If you’re friends with me on my personal Facebook page, you might have noticed my wall/feed/photo albums have become non-existent. The same goes for anyone who used to follow me on my personal Instagram account. I promise I’m not banishing you from my life, although I did delete everything. You haven’t been blocked from seeing my posts, I’m simply getting a head start on my 2019 goals. This particular goal isn’t one to be joked about, or to quit mid January with a casual, “I’ll try again next year!”. Stick with me, because it’s going to be a jumbled post.
This goal is going to be a life changer, because if change doesn’t happen now, no improvement will be made. It will be completely detrimental to not only mine and Scot’s life, but most importantly our children’s lives.
Like I stated above, this is going to be a long jumbled post, but before I dive in, I want to preface this post with the fact that this is my PERSONAL goal. This post isn’t to create an internal guilt for readers, so I hope it doesn’t come across that way. This post isn’t a form of judgement on your life, or how you choose to live your life, we all have enough shit to deal with in this modern day and age.
I hope you see the intentional drive behind my words, to MAYBE apply them to your life, and reverse the spell we’ve all been put under since social media has exploded in front of our eyes.
I was sitting down last night and this morning just jotting down as many thoughts as possible on the back of my cardboard Ikea membership card packaging. I am as type B as they come, so I’m not a natural list maker, however these thoughts just flooded out of me onto paper effortlessly. Short thoughts, one word thoughts, personal thoughts, questions, points, exhaustion. Exhaustion, pure exhaustion is a great way to sum up the feelings that have just been building and building, this past year in particular. Exhausted with the cliche’, yet chillingly accurate feelings that come with anything linked to social media.
Exhausted trying to balance multiple accounts on multiple social media platforms. Completely burnt out.
Isn’t it insane to think about how much social media is intertwined into our daily lives, and for insomniacs like me, early mornings. Why have we found such a strong friendship/bond with social media, aka our phones? For instance, if you’re a parent (and remember to refer back to my preface about not letting this post or my words allow any form of guilt to creep in), when is the last time you did the following without your phone within reach?
Watched a movie or game/snuggled on the couch
Laying in bed with your kids at night
Riding in the car
Laying in bed with your spouse at the end of the day
That list could potentially be a mile long, however those bullets are enough to make me get a lump in my throat, because #guilt, #guilt, #guilt #GUILTY. Think about it. Rewind back to your own childhood for a second.Now tell me how many times you witnessed your parents sitting in a dark room with a lit up face, completely engulfed in a plastic piece of technology relentlessly scrolling. For hours. Or at one of your sporting events, sitting in the stands looking down at their phone instead of cheering you on? I can’t recall a single time, because they weren’t relevant. Sure ‘phones’ were on the market, and we had land lines, but we didn’t have a world full of iphones, ipads, and CONSTANT stimulation.
If you know me, then you know our children grow up outdoors. We feel very strongly about not letting our children be exposed to anymore technology than they’re already exposed to at school. (Refer back to preface before reading this next sentence, because I know every family is different, and this post is not meant to induce guilt or negative feelings). We don’t believe children need access to phones, or apps, or games in general. This is especially true for one of our children that has a harder time with separating real life and shutting off technology. Technology addiction is a real, and powerful thing. If you have a child that has experienced anger, rage, or sadness due to technology separation then you already understand me. However…
Why as parents are we setting such crucial lifestyles for our children, but not directly applying them to our own lives?
Why do we tell our children they can’t have phones because of the negative toll they take on our minds and emotions, yet as spouses we are laying next to each other in the same bed at night, facing opposite directions, scrolling, scrolling, and scrolling into we drift off to sleep. When and why did the things being displayed on a phone screen take precedence over conversations.
Speaking of conversations, can we touch base on the isolation that comes along with social media for a minute? I cannot remember the last time I had a meaningful face to face conversation with someone. Not to be confused if I see you on a daily basis and exchange a few words, I’m referring to sitting down at dinner together, or a cup of coffee, talking about life and goals for example. I can’t remember the last ‘true’ friend I’ve communicated outside of my iphone. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I talked to someone, besides my own mother or husband outside of texting. How sad and lonely do those words feel to you, because they feel so down to me.
I used to blame motherhood for how introverted I have become over the last 9 years, but is blaming introverted behavior the real issue here? I don’t think so. I think we have become so comfortable in our ‘online friendships’ that we are
disconnected, yet connected.
I mean Facebook even tells us when it’s our “friends” birthdays. They have single handedly removed the middle man of snail mail, or even a calendar date and replaced it with a friendly reminder. Speaking of dictating our lives, our iphones even tell us how much time we’ve spent on our phone/apps in hopes we will track our time and use it more efficiently. Let that sink it. We can’t even have a Facebook business page, WITHOUT having a personal Facebook page. Therefore you’re ‘trapped’ into believing you cannot get rid of your apps.
Speaking of personal facebook pages. I briefly mentioned above that all of my data, photos, and posts have been deleted off both my personal facebook page, as well as my personal instagram. Do not panic, I have not deleted you, I have not blocked you from my posts, I’m simply simplifying my life to gain the freedom that my brain and emotions deserve and are craving. However, why in doing so did I feel so much anxiety and sadness.
Why would I feel sad about deleting all of my personal data? Is it because I’m a photographer and I’ve lost a hard drive with all my children’s photos before? Is it because it’s relatable to a final farewell? Disconnecting myself even more, and having to put in the extra effort that used to be so effortless with relationship building? For example making friends with everyone you meet on a playground as a child. Starting from square one and forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Was it the people pleaser in me to link living a happier life without sharing all the things we’re up to, and the accomplishments we’re achieving to guilt. For example…what is the purpose behind sharing something to social media? Do you sometimes feel as though
“If I don’t share it, why document it?”
I can tell you one thing, all of my friends weren’t looking at my personal VHS tapes of my childhood growing up. I’m going to apply that to present. The now. I don’t need, and also no longer want random people seeing my children grow up.
Today I wanted to step out and share these raw feelings with you, because I truly believe it’s a relevant conversation that flares up every once in awhile on social media, however I never actually see the action behind the ‘quitting social media’ shares. Which is fine, because I get it. It’s a tough step. However, it’s a step that we all deserve to take.
If you’ve made it this far, I love you. I do, because that was a lot. I hope this post sparked some feelings you might have been going back and forth on. Whether that’s past or present. Would love to know what you think in the comments below. I am leaving my blog instagram account open, so would love to connect with you over there, too. If you’re local, a mother, and feeling the same way, I would love to chat in person!
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt.