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?

 

In case you missed it

I’m a girl who does not like change.

I like the things in my life to remain the same, predictable. I like my coffee in the same mug at the same time every morning. I like the same thing for breakfast every day, and I wear the same ratty old sweater around the house because it’s comfy. And familiar.

These past two years have brought about so much change in my life. Some very, very good, most not. Relationships, careers, new babies (well, just one baby!).  I thought I had been handling it well, until recently. I started to realize I wasn’t happy; I wished life was different. “If only _____ hadn’t of happened,” or “if only I could do both” replayed itself in my mind over and over again.

I was becoming bitter from the hurt my heart had experienced from so much turmoil. And I didn’t like who I was seeing in the mirror.

I had the wonderful privilege of being a guest contributor over at (in)courage this past week. I am excited and humbled and would love it if you popped over there to read the rest of this post!

Embrace The Little Moments

I woke up this morning dreading the fact I had to take the girls to the orthodontist today. Sometimes my husband can manage it, but today the task fell to me. It’s not a horrible place, this orthodontist office, but they did manage to suck thousands of dollars out of our bank account in the blink of an eye and I have yet to recover.

Also, I was feeling lazy. It’s a beautiful, sunny day. The lawn should be cut.  I need to ice our 15 year old’s cake for her belated party tomorrow. The floor has too many sticky spots to be ignored anymore. And my Amazon wish list is begging me to lighten its load. So a half hour drive to the city for a fifteen minute appointment and another half hour drive home really didn’t sound fun.

But you know what? It ended up being fun. My girls filled me in on all their little details that usually get left unspoken in the noisy chaos that is our home. I forgot what street the office was on and we laughed as we half ran, half walked the three blocks I parked too far. And because I accidentally parked on the same block Starbucks is on, of course we stopped in on our way back to the van. Who am I to ignore the signs pointing to more coffee?

The morning reminded me that in our quest to be more intentional as moms and women in general, it’s so important to be intentional in stopping and enjoying the little moments. I’m so tempted to try and do things bigger and better – as I think about the upcoming summer holidays, I wish we could do a big trip or big activities, but the reality is we don’t have the resources to do so. These little moments, the ones with smoothies and giggles and extra city blocks, these are the ones that we’ll treasure the most.

These are the ones I want to embrace today.