5 Disturbing Signs That Caused Me To Step Back From Social Media

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OK, so I wouldn’t call myself an “over-poster” but, I do spend a fair amount of time sending out broadcasts on social media. I like to share funny stories about my kids and celebrate their successes just as readily as the next mom. I also like to encourage people and publicize the positive in a world with so much darkness and confusion. Writing is therapy for me, even if it’s only 176 characters, so, yeah, I post, tweet, blog and the like. But then I had a wake up call…….

1. My kids were ready to enroll me in a 12 step program

It’s summer here in Phoenix and it was time to buy my kiddos some new summer digs. I don’t dare buy my daughter anything without her trying it on first (she’s 11) so we headed off to the mall.

First store we stepped into my daughter yells, “Freeze mom! I just found the perfect shirt for you!”. I look over to find a gray tank with giant hot pink letters spelling, “I’m addicted to my phone”. “You so need this mom, you are always on your phone!”. Yikes! This is how my daughter sees me prioritizing my time?

2. The post ding snap

We have a no cell phone rule at the dinner table. No electronics, period. But as we were sitting there and I would hear my phone ding, I noticed an irritability and snappy attitude rising up within me until I could satisfy my curiosity as to who had responded to one of my many social media portals. Rather than enjoying the conversation around the table, I just wanted to finish eating and go check my phone. Now the phone is in my bedroom on vibrate while we eat……

3. Set It or Forget It

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little all over the place mentally at times. I will be heading down the hall to grab something my kids need for the afternoon and forget what I was retrieving before I round the first corner. With my phone beeping all of the time, I’m especially prone to forgetfulness. The first day of summer vacation I had to return home three times to get something I had forgotten. I decided to set my phone in the car and then pack up to head out the door.

4. Website Wake Up Call

My phone rang a couple of weeks ago and a pastor was on the other end of the line. He inquired about my ability to come speak to the women in his church and added, “I love how your ministry motto fits in with our church vision, you know, how every life matters”. It was like a divine hammer hit me in the head. Every day I had been communicating to my family that they didn’t matter nearly as much as the people on the other side of my social media screen. Epic mom fail. Hit the mute button on the phone and shoved it down to the bottom of my purse.

5. Reading The Wall or Reading the Word?

With summer here my schedule is completely revamped. I’m with my kiddos a lot more often. I don’t have a quiet house each morning after school drop off. My quiet times are harder to squeeze in and honestly more rare. But my social media time? Well that hadn’t seemed to drop off at all. I was reading my wall and newsfeed a whole lot more than my Bible. Turn the phone off……….
So, I have gone a whole week without posting a thing. Not. One. Thing. Nobody called me to see if I had died- in fact, I’m pretty sure no one even noticed nor mused over their morning coffee, “Gee, I wish Erica would post something on Facebook today!”. The world still stayed on its axis and I had meaningful conversations with friends and my family in my backyard and around the dinner table. I spent several mornings in the Word. I’ve looked at social media once or twice and realized I didn’t miss too terribly much. The benefits far outweighed the sacrifice of stepping away from the screen- but that is what I’ll share with you in my next blog post……..

What limits do you place on your social media usage?

How do you balance staying in the loop with being present in the moment?

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