The question of whether you should allow social media or not on a retreat is widely debated by retreat planners everywhere. While there are many valid arguments for each side, the choice is up to you. Evaluate different viewpoints and decide for yourself what you think the best route would be for your retreat. If you’re on the fence or simply scoping out other perspectives, this article is for you. Here are 3 reasons why you should ban social media from your retreat:
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It Can Be a Major Distraction
The most obvious reason why social media can do more harm than good on a retreat is that it can easily distract you from what truly matters. Anyone who has a Facebook account can attest to how addicting and enticing it is just to scroll down your news feed instead of paying attention to your surroundings. When you’re at a retreat, there are important things that you need to hear, think about, and dwell on. It’s a time to focus on your walk with Christ, not the happenings of the rest of the world. Whatever your friends have to say can wait; now is your time to connect with God.
It Connects You to the Same Junk You Came to Escape
For many, the appeal of the retreat comes from being able to get away from the noise of the outside world. That means no heated arguments, no political debates, and absolutely no drama. No matter what you use social media for, you can’t deny that often, things come across your screen that you wish you hadn’t seen. Retreats give us a place to purify our minds from all the garbage the world tries to fill our heads with and be renewed by the gospel of Christ. God wants to make our desires align with His, and that means purging our hearts from the sinful desires of the flesh. We cannot keep our feet planted in the ways of the world, which, all too often, social media tells us to follow.
It Detracts From the Experience
While the phrase ‘living in the moment’ is often used to justify all kinds of ridiculous stunts, in this situation it is actually extremely relevant. When you go to a retreat, you don’t want to be preoccupied with something else. You want to soak up the experience as much as you can, because you know it will be over before you know it. If you spend the entire trip engrossed in social media, what have you actually gotten out of the retreat? Have you made the most of your time, or have you wasted it doing the exact same thing you would have done at home? The retreat experience is one that can’t be replicated, so enjoy it while it lasts.
If you are still undecided consider reading 3 reasons why you should ENCOURAGE social media at your next event.