Monday, June 9, 2014

What I learned on my social media break

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.

Have you taken a social media break lately? What did you learn from it?

Linking up for Soli Deo Gloria.

14 comments:

  1. I take periodic breaks, but spend way too much time on.line.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  2. Good for you, Andrea! I struggle with keeping a balance with social media as well. There are times when I hate it even as I am checking it. I have learned from when I've taken my own breaks that life is beautiful without the distraction and it inspires me to keep a healthy perspective about the whole thing. As a side note, I love me some Project Life as well! Fun stuff and totally do-able with little people in the house. :)

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  3. Social media has it's little good points, but mostly, for me anyway, it's a root that strangles out life. I was once looking to it for "affirmation" but it is NOT a good mirror to look into!! I love what you say here: 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. That's good insight, it's okay to just be who God made us to be!


    Visiting from SDG today! Great post!

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  4. I'm so glad you took a break, but I am really glad you're back, too. Because I love the real Andrea. She is funny and charming, caring and wise.

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  5. Yes, it can definitely strangle out life. It helps when we remember Whose approval matters most - the tricky part is actually remembering that! So glad you stopped by today, Margo!

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  6. I totally understand that feeling - those are the days I just want to delete it all! My husband, thankfully, helps me keep some perspective during those moments.
    And please tell me you find PL addicting - seriously, I may have a problem! ;) Good to see you today, Kelly!

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  7. Me, too. Glenda, I just love your honesty. Every time you stop by you bless me with your words, even when its just a simple admission. Thanks for being Glenda!

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  8. I did take a break from social media recently & discovered that it is more tiring and takes more out of me than I ever realized. I am thinking it is good for me to take a break like this every once in a while. Glad I visited today from Soli Deo Gloria. Blessings!

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  9. Yes, yes! Life right now is what we (I) need to be living. Jesus calls us to "Be anxious for NOTHING." Depending upon all of our "stuff" to define who we are seems to me to be about being anxious. You have set a fine example for your children and many of us out here. I am 66 and decided long ago to keep my old-fashioned flip phone with no internet. I am glad I did. But I do spend toooo much time on this desktop computer some days. Thank you, Andrea.
    Visiting from SDG.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  10. I was really surprised at how it was wearing me out, too. I like your idea of taking breaks every so often. I'm trying (but not very successfully!) to do that on the weekends at the very least!

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  11. There are definitely days when I long for a not-so-smart phone again! I have never really considered that my dependency on being connected is tied to being anxious, but I think you nailed you it. You've given me some more to think on - thanks, Linda!

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  12. I do think I need to take more social media breaks, too. My then teenage daughter fasted from it for Lent--it was a-child-shall-lead-them time for me.

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  13. That's impressive - that's a proud mama moment for sure!

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