6 Ways to Control Social Media Use {for moms}

road.trip

For two weeks this summer we took an RV trip in the mountains of Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Montana.  I was unplugged for the majority of it- living fully in each moment. The simple brought my soul to life: a cold stream over my toes, my child’s bubbling laughter as we hiked steep terrain, and the fellowship of a circle around the crack and pop of a campfire.

I had no idea about the latest happenings on Facebook, and I missed more than a few tweets and emails. Interestingly, the world went on without me, and the inner peace in my own heart was striking.

Don’t get me wrong.  This people lover is a fan of social media and it serves many purposes in my life.  But here is what I realized, we often don’t know the distraction that media is to real life until we pull away from it.

Any good thing can tip the scales toward unhealthy living if not carefully weighed.

Maybe I’m the only one with a lack of self control, but when the phone dings the familiar sound of a text, email, or notification coming in, I can’t help but see what is going on!  Even as a child I could never sit in a room and study if there were other people in it.  I was far more interested in what was going on with them than the material in front of me. Social media has the same affect.  I am drawn to the happenings in peoples’ lives, but the problem is I am surrounded by my friends’ happenings all day long!

Although I LOVE my smart phone, the plugged in life has several ramifications:

1. I am not as effective or focused with my time

2. I am less present with those who currently surround me, and

3. I sometimes find myself getting drawn in to the drama online or comparison  {and ladies, you know what I mean}!

Here are 6 ways I’m combating this issue in my life.  These are not hard and fast rules, and they may ebb and flow.  For this season, these work for me:

1. The Facebook app. is off my phone & I’m not checking it every day. 

I love encouraging people through social media, and I like to know what is going on in my friends’ lives, but for me to function at my best, I need to limit the access I have to it.  For my Meaning in a Minute Facebook platform, I can schedule the posts ahead of time.

2. My phone is turned to silent and I leave it put away in the kitchen when I’m spending time with family, working on something, or when I’m managing my home.

3. The computer is turned off until my designated work time.  During this block I accomplish as much as possible, and use it to catch up on people.  After the time is over, it gets turned back off and put away.

4. I utilize the 24-hour rule.  This simply means that within 24 hours I will respond to a person.  We’ve become so used to instant feedback due to texting.  I often feel I need to respond immediately.  Now, to lessen the burden, I keep the 24-hour rule in my head.  If I’ve responded in that window, that honors the person, but it also allows the freedom I need to not be tied to media. This does not mean I have to wait this long, but if I need to, I’ve given myself permission.

5. I let my kids hold me accountable.  They are free to pull the “phone goes to jail” card if I’m distracted.

6. Periodically I am taking an extended break from social media.  After this past vacation, I realize how vital it is to shut it down.  This may be for a weekend, or longer, but just taking a rest every once in a while.

HOW ABOUT YOU? 

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LIFE HEALTHY?

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