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Take a Break!

As church communicators, social and digital media are a huge part of our work. Nowadays, most of our communication platforms are digitally integrated. In our communication strategies, we include social media posts as a part of branding and public engagement. But as humans, there are times that we find ourselves tired of social media. As we work on our churches’ digital presence, we may also feel obligated to maintain a personal digital presence.

For the sake of mental health, we must take rests from social media. Also, it will help us to think deeply about things that we can then apply to create content. Here are some strategies to help you unplug:

Read a Book

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

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“Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don’t go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends, and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.” – Jill Schlesinger

“I would read Cal Newport’s latest book – Digital Minimalism. It is a game-changer.” – Ben G Kaiser

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch

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“Making conscientious choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen time limits for our children. It’s about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media rather than accepting technology’s promises of ease, instant gratification, and the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. And it’s definitely not just about the kids.” – Andy Crouch

“This book was a great help to me.” – Michael Lane

Commit to Screen Time Schedule

“Sabbath. I won’t look at my phone on Saturday. Pick a day for your Sabbath, and stick with it. God kinda commanded it.” – Glenn V. Williams

“I actually have time scheduled that I don’t use my phone. My daughter does too – a minimum of 3 hours a day. And I try to keep her distracted enough on weekends that she doesn’t even get a chance. A friend shuts hers down at 10pm until 7am. Also, I try to avoid the socials. A max of 30 minutes for personal scrolling and I won’t open it at all on Wednesday or Thursday. My recommendation is to set your limits and just make sure you follow them.” – Keeley McConico

“We take Sundays off (after church) for the whole family. Our Phones go in a drawer on Sundays, unless we travel, then we use it for GPS or in case of emergencies, but we don’t spend time playing games, checking social or texting on Sundays. I would like it to be more often. I would love to have enough self-control to turn it off an hour before bed, but I’m not there yet.” – Adam McLaughlin

Block Off Social Media Notifications

“When my workday is over, I usually mute all notifications and intentionally stay away from social media apps, email, instant messages, etc. There are no real “emergencies” in my line of work, so almost everything can wait until tomorrow. I’ve come to realize that with FOMO, you’re not really missing out on anything important and to tell yourself that you are is a lie. Being tethered to devices at the expense of my health and family is just not worth it.” – Bennett Tobias

“An Android update changed ‘do not disturb’ so I get zero notifications/noises/pop-ups even if I’m using my phone (taking a picture, for example). It’s basically just a phone to call/receive calls and is able to take pictures when I have ‘do not disturb’ on. I do not like leaving my phone at home (for safety), but that’s just my preference! Like others said, it’s a conscious choice you need to make. I hope you find what works best for you!” – Lisa DB

Conclusion:

We all need some time away from our screens to relax and reflect. Consider the advice given in this post. Check out those books, create a screen-time schedule, and put that “do not disturb” feature to good use. Sometimes even church communication pros need a break from social media!

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