I’m actually writing this on Friday evening, right before I turn off all the social media and connectivity for a few days. For the past several weekends, I have been doing my best to spend Friday night until Monday morning free of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog reading, and such.

I’ve been mostly successful. Last weekend I faltered a bit because I posted a picture to Facebook on Friday night – a bad idea because I wanted to read and respond to all the comments. Lesson learned. Wait until Monday to post all the things.

I decided to have these “analog weekends” (not my term) for several reasons. One is that Facebook during political season frustrates me, and I just don’t need that on the weekend. (Or, frankly, much during the week. If we are Facebook friends and I miss your birthday or don’t like all your stuff for the next six weeks, please don’t be offended.)

Another reason is that I want to be actually present for my real life, real-time friends and family. I don’t want to be the parent at soccer who is so busy on Facebook that I miss the goal. I don’t want to be the parent who doesn’t have time to play because I need to “look at one more thing.” I want to be physically and mentally present in the moments, because the moments will be gone too quickly.

During cancer treatments, I missed out on a lot of things, and when I was home alone in bed, Facebook was a way into the outside world. But now that I am able to be in that world, I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

When we look up from our screens, we see changing leaves, gray autumn skies, fall sports, pumpkins, and so much more that is beautiful in God’s creation. He designed a world more beautiful and intricate than anything we will find on our little screens, and we miss it if we spend all our times looking down.

You may not be ready to give up your social media for a few days each week, and that’s fine. But can I encourage you not to let it replace your real life with the real people you see every day or every week? Look up, look around, and take in all that God has made. I think you’ll find that’s a far more glorious way to pass the time.