I quit social media today. And I did it in the most dramatic fashion—I really declared that I'm gone. So if I ever go back, my friends are going to give me a really hard time. I'm never going back. I plan to write more about this very soon, but suffice to say, I fasted all last week from social media and my brain has never felt better.
Whether you believe that God made us, or that man evolved to be what we are today, there's an indisputably fascinating biological phenomenon that we encounter every single day, but that we rarely consider, and seldom talk about. It's the way that our eyes work. Have you ever considered how your eyes work?
Consider the evolution of eyesight if you will, for a moment. Sharks have eyes that magnify light, giving them the ability to see great distances in murky water. Horses have a low depth of field, but a wide field of vision—with a single eye the horse can see all around itself—giving it the ability to see stumbling stones in the distance and predators from all sides.
Owls evolved to hunt their prey in darkness—they can see in ultra low light. Because their eyes are so critical to their ability to hunt, the owl's eye is protected by three eyelids! And chameleons are able to look in two different directions at the same time, which, when paired with their camouflaging capabilities, makes them incredibly difficult for predators to hunt.
The human eye is no less interesting. We have binocular vision, like the horse, but a much narrower field of view. In that field of view, we're able to focus on and sharpen objects great distances away. In fact, our eyesight extends beyond the horizon; as the Earth curves out of sight, we're still able to focus on objects further than three miles away.
But to keep objects in focus, even at close range, we've got to keep the object right in front of us. While the horse is able to see nearly 360° around its body, we have only a 120° field of vision. Objects in our peripheral vision are substantially blurred. In other words, in order to focus on a thing, we've got to face it.
Early man was well acquainted with this concept—he would have faced enemies of all kinds, all day long. Predators out for blood, savage enemy tribesmen come to pillage and plunder, and food—which was scarce to begin with—running away at speeds far too fast for him to give chase.
Early man evolved to put his enemy right in front of him—to face his enemies—be them predator, person, or prey. Anywhere else and they'd have the jump on him. If he turns his back to them, he's dead. If he looks away, pays them no mind, he's dead. You've heard of fight or flight response—early man had to adopt an always-fight mentality in order to survive.
Today, our enemies are much more difficult to face. Sure, our enemy no longer snarls and shows its teeth. Sure, our enemy no longer comes to sling arrows, to steal our food, or to take our wives. Sure, the enemy we face today seldom stands right there in front of us bearing its chest.
But our enemy is more clever. Our enemy is more cunning. Our enemy is unseen. Our enemy is ourselves.
The Bible says that each man is tempted, "being drawn away and enticed by his own desires." By his own desires. You and I, dragged away, by… us. By ourselves, by our selfs.
I'm going to write much more in depth about social media again soon and the powerful effects of even my week-long fast, but I wanted to type out this quick post. This is why I'm giving it up.
I am choosing to face my own desires headlong, keeping my own impulses and my own bad habits and my own lusts and my own temptations right in front of me, not letting my enemy get the upper hand.
The constant comparison to others, letting your experiences define my own, letting Instagram turn a mirror to my life and cause me to see that I'm not this or I'm not that, or that I haven't accomplished this and I don't own that… I didn't realize it, but I was letting those unconscious thoughts eat me up inside.
I let the unseen enemy sneak up from behind.
I face my enemies, I face my demons, I turn toward my problems—I don't run away, I run headlong into my problems because I'm a fighter and I don't lose. I never lose.