The past couple weeks, Chuck and I have been making a very conscious effort to use our phones less. Checking Facebook (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) has started to consume my life. I know I am not alone in this. Chuck commented that in five years we aren’t going to look back and say “I wish I had spent more time checking Facebook”. And he’s absolutely right.
With baby number 3 just about 16 weeks away from arriving and these two girls growing up before my eyes, I need to remember to savor the time I have with my girls, with only two kids, with a little bit of free time from a newborn and when I am not running on fumes from being up all night. I need to stop going to the gym for 5:00am classes (because those couple extra hours of sleep will be appreciated as my frustration levels rise during the day). In general, I need to set down the phone and live life.
I have seen a few articles recently that have hit a chord with me about how much time we spend on phones. This article was one I saw recently that I loved. It’s about how much different a personal connection is than a connection you have through social media. And this video is called “Look Up”. There are loads of other articles and videos on the same subject.
Social media can also be so depressing. When we are looking to see what people are up to, we are only seeing the very best things…the things you want others to see about your life. It’s hard to feel like you are enough when all your friends (or “friends”) are out having fun, dressed up, showered, put together, smiling, laughing, living it up….when you feel like a mess because your house isn’t clean, you don’t remember when your kids last had a bath, laundry is overflowing, dishes are piled in the sink and your to-do list is a mile long. Yet, you aren’t unhappy, you just feel inadequate. “Why can’t I get it all done, too?” “Why aren’t I doing that right now?” Just depressing.
No one shows the pictures of the dishes piled, the laundry that has been in baskets for days still waiting to be put away, the toys strewn all over the house, the crumbs all over the floor, that you had a fight with someone, that you are feeling secluded, that life is life and not always picture perfect.
I admit I have done all these things. I have posted about all the fun I had during the day and not about the number of times I got frustrated with the kids. Maybe I do that so I make sure the fun things outweigh that I felt like a terrible parent that couldn’t hold it together that day. I’m not sure.
Although I am not ready to give up Facebook (and the other forms of social media) completely (because I know there are many people that love seeing updates about the girls that don’t otherwise get to see them and I run a book club through it), but I am making an effort to put down my phone more and spend more time with my family. I have turned off notifications for just about everything and a few other FB tweaks so I’m not so engrossed. And I have moved all the apps that I was checking ALL THE TIME to a different page on my phone. Not seeing them immediately when I turn my phone on has helped me sort of forget they are there and made my addiction subside a little.
I always had a feeling if I wasn’t “liking” someone’s post they would think I didn’t like them or I didn’t care or something else dumb like that. No, I just didn’t see it or didn’t check my phone or FB screwed up my feed somehow. Any multitude of reasons. But of course, I go right to the whiny girl thought. Would I really think that if someone I knew didn’t “like” one of my pictures. No. So why do I automatically assume someone will think that of me?
I think all of these steps will help with my overall happiness and even my confidence. I will know what I am doing is right for me. I need to remember that people didn’t always have Facebook and Instagram and Twitter (and Google+ and LinkedIn and……) and they are just fine. Imagine the time I am going to have on my hands to do things I do love!?
So there you have it. My thoughts on social media after I have had some time to process and contemplate my usage and what I want out of it.
What are your thoughts on social media? Are you too engrossed, too? Do you hardly ever use it? Have you cut back on your usage? Do you forget to “look up”? I would love to hear your thoughts.