black iphone 4 on brown wooden table

Breaking the Impulse to Scroll

This past Sunday, Ryan invited our community to do a community-wide social media fast for two weeks. You can fast all (or a specific) media, social media, games/apps that are unnecessary distractions until Jan. 28th. Delete or hide them off your phone, and choose to reclaim that time to “be” – and inquire of the Lord:

  • What comes up, what do I feel, what is numbing me out?
  • What do I turn to “accidentally”?

At the end of 14 days, we will ask: How do I feel? In light of that, how do I want to move forward?

With that in mind, I want to share a little data-driven experiment I have been on.

So I have this app. 

I have it set so whenever I open instagram, this app catches me and prevents me from opening it for about 6 seconds. It gives me an option to either

  • think and breath
  • label my intent of going into instagram or
  • find an alternative app to engage with

According to this app, it has prevented me from jumping into instagram 17,487 times since I first installed it back in November of 2022. That is about 48 times a day.

I remember the first time I installed this app. It said that I attempted to open instagram over 70x.

In one day.
And that’s just instagram. 

Let’s do some math. 

According to this app, I saved about 1.2 months of my time. They figured that if the average person spends 3 minutes on social media per impulse check, it would equate to approximately 52,595 min.

3 minutes x 17,487 = 52,595min (1.2 months)

And that’s not even counting the times I did actually go in on instagram and spent more than 3 minutes scrolling through instagram because of work that then becomes a distraction by watching a short snowboarding reels, an epic Marvel movie scene, a hilarious joke with a meme above it, a post about being an enneagram 9…or this reel…and that post….so on and so forth…

Imagine if I increase that to 5 minutes. 5 minutes x 17,487 = 87,435 (2 months). That’s 2 months just looking down on my phone scrolling.

I haven’t done a social media fast in awhile, so I am taking this to opportunity to quiet down the noise and see what the Lord wants to do during that time. If you are on the fence about jumping in, my hope in sharing my real life experiment bring some awareness and inspire you to join us.

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