2/28/17

What Chocolate Cake Taught Me About My Addiction to Instagram



Babe, I need a slice of chocolate cake! Herm and I were curled up together on the couch, and I was sharing what was most heavy on my heart... A moist, rich, decadent slice. Just one. It's all I've been thinking about for the last two weeks.

Herm looked at me, astonished, as if I had suddenly sprouted a second head. 

You are craving chocolate cake? He shook his head, a little dumbfound.  I've been with you for 4.5 years of marriage and two pregnancies, and I have never before heard you mention a craving for something, especially chocolate cake. Wait, are you telling me you're pregnant?!

It's the curse of being woman. We come down with the flu, or mention something slightly out of the ordinary, and suddenly everyone starts guessing the gender and suggesting names. 

I'm not pregnant, I just want cake!

Stating that out loud made the longing even more intense. I searched Pinterest for the quick fix, cake in a mug. Three minutes in the microwave and voila

Only, it wasn't voila! In an attempt to make the cake sort of healthy, I used things like almond flour and maple syrup and black cocoa powder. Of course, like always, I just poured the ingredients together, not measuring. The timer beeped. Excitedly I topped that mug with a bit of homemade whipped cream, dove my spoon into the gooey depths, and tasted. It was not moist, rich, or decadent, but rather, bland, dry, and very disgusting microwaved gloop. 

Somehow though, as I scraped all the contents from the mug into the garbage bucket, my longing for chocolate cake was semi-satisfied. Life moved on.

You're probably wondering by now where this story is going. How did chocolate cake that I didn't actually get to eat teach me anything about Instagram addictions?

It made to pause and ponder.

Do you remember the list? Yeah, that one, where I posted 25 things I aim to accomplish before I turn 26. It's here on the blog for the whole world to keep me accountable. 

The very first thing is: 1. Take a Sabbath from social media one day per week for the next three months.

In general I'm a goal-oriented, easily disciplined person. I set my mind to it and it's as good as done. I understand that eating chocolate cake or other sugary foodies isn't going to help with fitness goals, so it's only a treat, and a very rare one at that.  I don't watch shows or subscribe to Netflix because any free time I have I would prefer to spend doing things more meaningful to me. I get that the daily, early morning practices of making the bed, of eating a healthy breakfast, of spending time in the Word, and of working out, can set the tone of my entire day. And so I do all of those things almost every day.

I already had a few personal rules in place around social media / phone usage, and I guess I thought they were enough: When with friends, out to dinner with my family, or in other social settings, mindless scrolling was an absolute negative. It drives me crazy when other people do this, as if to say, hanging out with you is boring, I'd rather be with my Insta-friends. I saved the mindless scrolling for when I was home with my family. The people most important to me in the whole wide world! I was, in a way, saying, I'm choosing be with my Insta-friends, I find you rather boring.

If I am a disciplined person, why then has it taken me this long to realize that limited my social media consumption, just like I limit chocolate cake, might be a really, really good thing?

Truthfully, I already knew that. But sometimes, when I don't speak my goals out loud, I don't hold myself to them.

Taking one day every week to unplug from social media has been the most refreshing thing I've done in a while. It's showed me that I really don't miss it too much when I'm not there, face lit by the glow of a screen, but I certainly miss a whole lot when I'm constantly there, lost in the phones addicting glow.  It showed me that the more time I force myself to I say no to my phone and yes to more family, the more I actually want to say no to that silly phone. 

I completed that three month goal, but I don't plan to stop that habit of unplugging one day each week. In fact, I'm planning to build upon that. No longer do I charge my phone in my bedroom at night. It's out on the counter, out of sight, out of mind. I've been setting it aside in the morning too, until after 9 am. It gives me three uninterrupted hours to have coffee, read my Bible, make a healthy breakfast for the kids and I, do a workout, plan my day, and start the wash, or ever else I may be focusing on. 

Evenings aren't getting a free pass either; I'm going to be more careful of my time, more intentional to just sit in the quiet, letting myself be bored. I don't need to scroll through Instagram to pass time.

All of this from a craving for chocolate cake?! I would say this lesson I've learned has completely been worth the calories from the most moist, rich, decadent slice of cake one could find. 


Tell me friends, where could I get a slice that would pass the bill? I want a slice that will stick to my thighs, one that will take a week of Ab workouts to burn off! Microwave-able, healthy ingredient, mug options are not options.

Now to get lost in the glow that is social media, to find a recipe on Pinterest.... surely I jest.

3 comments:

  1. This week Micah and I have both signed out of fb and only check it in the evening after we've prayed together. So far this has worked really well; signing out reminds me not to check it when I open my phone by force of habit, and it also reminds us to pray together which is something we want to do but tend to forget in the business of the evenings. I'm surprised I haven't even missed it.

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  2. This is such a good reminder...thanks for the prompting to be more mindful of my time!

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