When I left social media for a month.

After I published this post last week, I realized (and thanks to some prompting from my girl Ali Grace!) that I had more to say on the subject of social media so that’s where I find myself right now writing down the rest of those thoughts.

Like I mentioned, I absolutely had ZERO intentions of quitting social media let alone for as long as I did. If I’m honest, I had no intentions of even mentioning it after the fact. However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt convicted to speak out about what I learned from the experience.

You see, something funny happens when you realize and admit that you have a problem. Step one is admitting you have a problem, right? The problem here for me was that I was letting social media enslave me and control my time. I was not being a wise steward of the precious commodity of time that I have been given.

Simply put, it was an ugly realization. While I can’t take back those dozens of hours wasted mindlessly scrolling through my phone, I can learn from my mistakes and be diligent about not making them again. Below are the 4 things I ask myself when I’m thinking about spending any time on social media. I’m a big work in progress, so please don’t take this as something that I’ve mastered or even come close to being 100% faithful to all of the time. Let’s give ourselves grace over guilt, okay?

Check your motivation(s) – What is the reason behind why I’m choosing to post this update or picture? This is a HUGE one. It’s really easy to lie to ourselves about our motivations. Think about that for a minute. When I think about getting more likes, comments, or shares on something I post on social media as the motivating factor, then I know that my motivations are in the wrong place. If I’m sharing something because I genuinely want to share a moment with the Internet and could care less what people like, comment or share about it…then my motivations are in a better place.

Protect your personal space – How much do I want the outside world to see of my/our life? I’ve actually become more sensitive to this one, the older our kids become and I imagine it will continue shifting with time. Even though my social media accounts are ‘private’, this is still the Internet, y’all. I’m hyperaware of how something good can be turned into something bad. Before posting something about our children (especially photos), I really think about our personal space. One question I ask myself if this: will my children look back someday at this update/photo/story of themselves and not respect me because I shared it for the entire world to see? If the answer is yes, I don’t post it.

Designate time(s) – One thing we can all agree on is that time is precious. We each get the same 24 hours in one day. What we do with those hours is what is different for everyone. When I admitted that I had a social media usage problem, I knew having a  practical plan in place was going to be necessary. Initially, there was the cold turkey “quit for 30 days phase” which was lovely. Then, I slowly began introducing social media back. I have 2 different times during the day to check social media. All notifications are manually turned off, as well. Outside of those times, I don’t even have my phone nearby. On the weekends? I delete the social media apps from my phone. YES. It might look different for you. That’s okay. Baby steps are good. Find what works for you and stick to it. If you can’t stick to it, ask someone who cares about you to keep you accountable.

Live your life – Finally to state the obvious, when I spend less time on my phone, I have more time that I can spend with the actual humans in my life around me. As a side note, please hear me out on this: I have made some sweet connections and friendships through the blogging community. You all know who you are and you are wonderful! However, my day-to-day reality that doesn’t involve these wonderful people is right here, right now. These are the moments I can’t ever capture back. Not every single moment has to be documented on social media. My family, friends, my tribe, my community, my neighbors, everyone who breathes and lives alongside me are worthy of my 100% undivided attention. Everyone else can wait.

xo

{image via unsplash}

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4 thoughts on “When I left social media for a month.

  1. ali grace says:

    LOVE this, friend! Thanks for taking the time to think through all of this and share it. I’ve been sensing the nudge lately to begin doing social media differently — and this was really helpful. I’m especially interested “designating time” for it, and maybe deleting the apps on the weekend. I’ve heard several people (that I respect!) lately say that they do that.

    Have a wonderful Friday! xoxo

    • Urban Wife says:

      You are too sweet, Ali! I really think it’s absolutely doable even for the most diehard social media users. I know because that is totally me. 😉 Good luck with whatever intentions you set for yourself — I’d love to read more about how it goes for you!
      p.s. Thank you for including my post in your newsletter! What a privilege and honor.

  2. Runwfaith says:

    Great post sister! Right there with ya, I also had issues a while back too and had to do a similar thing….deleting the app for a while, then also choosing to not follow certain accounts, that helped me. Trying to respect and savor each special moment with those you care about is waaay more important!! Later-gramming lol instead of instagramming (for me anyway). I use social media (IG) to capture special moments I want to remember and scroll back at and look through. I like your steps you mentioned before posting a picture… Thinking about the intentions and what the picture says to our children later on, really good reminder!! It’s easy though to get caught up in it though and waste time…so easy.

    Love and Hugs

    K

    • Urban Wife says:

      Awww, thank you for what you said about not following certain accounts. That is certainly another topic I could discuss at length and actually need to probably write more thoughts on it. Love you!
      xo

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