We are NOT hardwired to have relationships online. This is not how we were created! We were made for SO much more. Relationships, sharing stories, & being known happens IN PERSON!
This summer I read Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. I ate it up! Loved it – I could relate to it, I understood his examples of being in a pressure cooker world filled with social media pressures. It was like he was sitting across from me having a cup of coffee! And you know what? He explained to me what is happening in my brain – physiologically when I am CONSTANTLY connected. I won’t spill everything here – but I was blown away & convicted!! As a mama, wife, friend, neighbor – I didn’t want form the habit of always needing to “check in” with my social media apps. Not only was it super clarifying for me personally, it changed how I approach our business as a whole!
I had drawn lines in our business – but now it was time to make those lines VERY clear. I decided to:
Take regular breaks from social media – not just on Sunday’s but EVERY week. It varies – but I take a full 2 days OFF of my apps & away from digital communication.
Write down a list of what we CAN share & what we won’t share! (This was super clarifying.)
Commit to making sure that what I was sharing is about OUR family & create boundaries for friends. ie, if we go on a playdate, my phone is away & no pictures are shared from our time with others. Instead, I would share about our day in another way or NOT at all! (Do you really need to know about every single one our activities? Nope!)
Protect our marriage & children. We only share what we are OK with being in print & a quick gut check – would Kerr be OK to see this when he is grown? He matters SO much more than anything we would ever share!
Only be active online during our “office hours”. This is for mental & emotional clarity. We don’t share anything about our lives pretty much past 3:00 pm everyday.
How I would challenge you:
Take a break! Find a week that you can completely unplug! Delete your social media apps off of your phone. When you come back, ask yourself, “What did I learn? What do I want to change for the future?”
Take photos for yourself! Document life for YOU & no one else. These don’t need to be shared! See how freeing it is to look at life through your own eyes?
Tell someone that you are struggling! There is POWER in community. For me, this is Ryland & other close friends! I usually come to him about once a month with a social media burden of some sort! It’s totally OK & normal. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you will be set free. The pressures will still be there! But you have the final say – do you want your most important relationships to be virtual or in person?
This is my personal story with social media – but as I have shared with others – A LOT of people have raised their hands & said “me too”. It’s tough!! But it’s not impossible!! Remember your identity does not lie in numbers, tags, posts, or shares. It lies with the One who created you & knows you!! Lean into Him. Ask Him for grace & don’t be afraid to try something great…