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I used to spend a large amount of time on Facebook. Then along came it's best friends Pinterest and Instagram. And my social media time was increased when I became a blogger. Trying to keep up with the latest news to share, pinning all of my blogging buddies, finding ideas for blog posts, sharing Instagram photos and practicing my photography. I loved all of these so much, that I forgot about my number 1 job. Being a mom.
It was easy in the young infant days to spend hours on Facebook and Pinterest. While the baby slept on me for the 3rd nap of the day, I would bring my phone in and scroll away. Well, this habit didn't die. It continued and actually got worse. As my daughter grew, I was always trying to be the person who posted photos and videos, bragged about what she was able to do now and how much I was a 'supermom' in a not so humble way, and I realized I was missing out on so much - and not such a 'supermom'.
So, I deleted social media from my phone. I actually did it. More as an experiment, but I got so much more back.
When I disconnected myself from the World, I got more connected with myself and my family. (Click to Tweet)
What I did instead of being on Facebook and other Social Media:
- I focused on my home. I was able to be present in the moment. I started to find out all of the things in my house that wasn't working, needed to be organized or what actually was working. I was focusing more time into how our routines worked rather than how other people's routines might work for our home. I was able to get more cleaning done, more cooking done and more organizing done.
- I focused on playing. One thing I have discovered is that my daughter LOVES to be outside. If she could be outside running around, going down a slide or just blowing bubbles, her life is complete. I missed watching her so much because I was taking a photo and posting to Instagram or checking in at the park on Facebook. I wanted to see how many people 'liked' what I was doing, instead of going and enjoying it myself.
- I focused on teaching. I had been doing a good job of teaching my daughter sign language, but about 6 months ago, it began to wane. And it wasn't her fault. It was mine. Instead of taking the time to look up some signs or some simple games, I was spending time just pinning things on Pinterest and not actually doing them. Now, I use my phone to simply look up a word we want to work on, a video that is about letters she wants to watch or a simple educational game app that she wants to play. And we do it together.
- I focused on learning. I am new to a lot in the blogging world. I am new to parenting. I am still a baby in the marriage world. Social media is great for learning about new tips, techniques and skills in these categories, but I never actually took the time to read them. Now I carve out time to educate myself instead of just reading the statuses of the day and making them news and educational.
- I focused on being happy. I loved being able to share my happy moments on social media and seeing all the great things that were happening in my friend's lives, but I was seeing a lot of other stuff too. I was seeing opinions and advice that were negative or not encouraging. I was seeing other people's husbands treating them better than I thought I was being treated. I was seeing other people's kids being better behaved than I thought my child was behaving. I saw kids who were advancing much faster than I thought my daughter was. So I started to change my ways, and not for the better. I was more nit-picky to my husband and more agitated. I started to push my daughter to do things she may not have been developmentally ready for. I turned into a person I didn't like.
When I turned off the social media, I started to look at my situation. I started to be more grateful that my husband does the dishes instead of bringing me home lavish amounts of flowers. Or so thankful that my daughter loves to color and wants me to sit with her and color too. Taking away the negativity started to make me feel more grateful.
Don't get me wrong. I still use social media. I love Pinterest for great ideas, I love sharing on Facebook my happy moments and I take photos all day, but wait until after bedtime to post to Instagram. I'm still figuring out Twitter. And I haven't even delved into Periscope.
It may seem that I am posting for my blog all day long. And I am. But it's either scheduled or during naps and periodically (scheduled times) throughout the day. I love being able to interact with my followers, but unfortunately, it isn't my priority throughout the day right now. My family is. And that is how it should be for every one of you.
This all started as taking a break from social media. To see what life would be like not being 'connected'. What I got out of this was something totally different than what I expected. I got something so much better than I expected. When I disconnected myself from the World, I got more connected with myself and my family.
My challenge to you is to try and go without for a day, a week or a month. Delete the apps off your phone, block the websites from your computer at work. Try to look up from your phone and focus on the life you have in front of you. You may be surprised at what you find.