Last month I took a bit of a social media break, and I have to tell you, it was wonderful.
For two weeks, I didn't worry about what was happening on Facebook, or worry about posting witty status updates. For two weeks I wasn't a slave to my email or stats. Instead, for two weeks I felt free to simply live life and enjoy it.
I learned a few valuable things during my break:
Not everything that happens needs to be shared with the Internet.
That was a tough one for me, because while in real, face-to-face life I am an introvert through and through and generally avoid trying to get attention, online I like attention. But while on my break, rather than worrying about how I could commemorate a moment in 140 characters or less or with a photo, I just lived the moment. And really, no one seemed to miss my daily toddler updates, anyway.
Photos are much more enjoyable the old fashioned way.
I developed a ton of photos years ago with the intent to scrapbook, but after abandoning that hobby they've been sitting in a dusty closet since. I've mentioned before my new found love for Project Life. Part of why I love it is because it feels so old school. My kids love looking through the stacks of old photos, and thumbing through the pages of our new albums as I slowly put them together. It's much better than trying to find the CD's or flicking through them on the laptop!
My kids definitely follow my example.
Less time for Mom online naturally unfolded into less time with the kids plugged in. And I didn't even have to nag. Seriously.
Less time online means more space - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Prior to my break, I was finding my forgetfulness increasing, not to mention my grumpiness! I felt a lot less overwhelmed with information, better able to handle stress, and quite honestly, fully open to God's leading and direction in my life. That's a better payoff than any of the other ones listed above.
I'm prone to comparison and trying to be like someone else.
Don't get me wrong - what you see here is what you pretty much get in real life. I'm a broken, messy woman. But I do struggle with feeling like I don't measure up, like I need to keep up, and wishing I had half the influence of ______ (fill in the blank). It took taking a break to help me realize that it's really okay to be Andrea.
I'm officially off my break now, but there are a few things I plan to continue with, like keeping Facebook off my phone, and removing my phone to another room when the temptation is getting too strong. I plan to continue to set time boundaries, particularly as summer schedules relax. And I want to approach my social media use my way - not trying to copy anyone else, but just being myself.
And I want to remember the most important thing: embrace life. Live it well. Because at the end of it all, I don't want to look back and wonder what all I missed.
Linking up for Soli Deo Gloria.