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10.03.2013

31 Days: Limiting Social Media

Let me just start off by saying this: I'm writing to myself here. It's pretty much that way for all of these posts. I just want to get that out there. I don't want to write from a place of I do this so well. It's more like I tried this and it worked a few times. But listen, I'm clueless! Sometimes I forget the bag of tricks. Other days I'm like Mary Poppins. Ok, not so much. But you get the idea.

I have a love-hate relationship with this thing called social media. I know I can't be the only one! Most of the time, I enjoy being so connected to people. Especially being a stay-at-home mom! It's fun to share bits of our life and to catch up with others. But sometimes, I just want it all to go away. Also, do you remember my post from yesterday? How I shared that I compare myself to others constantly? Social media doesn't help me overcome that one bit. If anything, there is a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend on-line and how harshly I judge myself and/or others. That isn't social media's fault. That's all in my heart and it's ugly.

Another correlation I see is that on the days I'm more attached to my iPhone, the girls seem so much needier than normal. I become so irritable, as if they're barging in on some sacred ritual of mine. Amelia's questions are annoying and I tend to wish Elsie would just sleep a little bit longer while I dink around here or there. This happens on days that I want to zone out or disconnect. I'm usually bored or really tired. However I say it, I can be too attached for different reasons. This is dumb. If my husband, my children, and our home are the most important aspects of my life (besides Jesus, of course) then they need and deserve to have my undivided attention.

Side note: Have you seen this video? It's called "Disconnect to Connect". It's amazing. Watch the video real quick and then come back here. Seriously... go. 

A few weeks ago, I was so fed up with it all. I explained to Danny that I needed to change something about the way I engage in social media. Being a person that hates change, it was imperative that I started small. So I turned off all notifications for my social media apps on my phone. Prior to doing so, it was so easy to get distracted. One notification would pop up and before I knew it, I'd be glued to my phone. A week or so after I turned off all notifications, I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps off my phone. With these apps gone, I had to access my profiles via the internet browser on my phone or *gasp*... sit at our desktop computer! Who does that?? This happened maybe once a day which eventually got annoying. As time passed, I ended up checking the sites even less. I was accomplishing exactly what I had set out to do. My attention was becoming less and less divided. I noticed a huge difference in my attitude towards the girls on our challenging days. Instead of hiding behind my phone, I got creative on how to make the rest of our day better.

I remember that this was one of "those days".
After I took this photo, I set the phone on the couch
and made myself be ALL THERE. It wasn't easy.
If we're being honest.

Now, I hope you're not hearing me say that social media is evil and we should not participate in it. Again, none of this is social media's fault. What I'm getting at is that there needs to be a balance. In fact, I think social media can be an incredibly positive experience when used in moderation and for a purpose. The Lord has used many people from the internet to influence some of my deepest growth as a mom and a Christian. I have my YouVersion Bible app that I love and use every day. There are hundreds of devotionals to read. Along with that, there is every translation of the Bible you can imagine. Then there's She Reads Truth, Thrive Moms. Naptime Diaries. Finding Joy. L.R. Knost. Sally Clarkson. Pint Sized Mama. Mom Diggity. Just to name a few of my favorites. There's so much good online!! Like minded people actually connect here and go on to meet in real life. I've witnessed these women form amazing friendships. If you don't believe me, check out The Influence Network.

I find it so difficult to reach a balance between online and offline life. Because it's not about the social media. It's about my heart and what I treasure most. Disconnecting means I have space for reconnecting to what truly matters.

What are some ways that you have aimed to disconnect? Is there any particular social media that you spend more time on over others? What differences have you seen in your life when you're less distracted by electronic devices? 



4 comments:

  1. Wow. I never even thought about the fact that I don't have to have Facebook on my phone. Crazy!!! I should really think about deleting some apps. Have tried keeping my phone on the charger so it's less distracting but then I want it for the camera!
    Chandelle
    www.mommysfirstyear.com

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    1. That's my struggle, too. I take so many photos!! It sure is a tricky balance. :) I'm sure you'll figure out what works best for you.

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  2. I would be so much more present if it weren't for social media. I might have to look into deleting some apps! I so know what you mean about babies being more needy when you just want to zone out...Karyanna (my almost 13 month old) gets that way especially when I'm trying to blog. I just try and refocus and remind myself "She is more important and my time with her is going to be gone too quickly." I never want to feel like I squandered these precious years.

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    1. I totally know what you mean about not wanting to squander the years. It's been hard but I limit my blogging to naps or after bedtime. If I get to it, that's great. If not, it's the not the end of the world. At least my kids got to have all of me, ya know? But seriously! It's a daily battle. :-P

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