Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Silencing Social Media

Earlier this month, one of my friends posted on all social media sites that she was taking the 30 Day Challenge from social media. In my mind, I applauded her! 

I've taken "social media breaks" pretty often since the MySpace days. Then, as more and more sites became popular and I tried to stay on the edge of all the new trends for my job, I realized how consumed we all are with tweeting that and instagramming that. 

It wasn't until January of this year, that I realized why that practice was so important and I was so glad I had done it. 

1. Time Waster: Once we became consumed with caring for Jace full-time and focusing on his treatment, our jobs and our girls, we didn't have any extra time to waste. Sure it was good to read through our timeline and "escape" our reality, but we soon learned reading about everyone else's "perfect" days was exhausting. 

2. Unnecessary Annoyances: It is fascinating to me that we all love being on social media and yet at the same time we can be so annoyed with the things we read on there. There's only so many times you can see photos of babies doing the same thing, read about the number of times someone works out, or covet someone else's dinner. For me, particularly, it's very difficult to read people complain about such trivial and small things of daily life, especially this year. I'm sure people are just as annoyed with me about all of my posts of gratitude. ;) 

3. Harmful to Self Image: Comparison is the biggest thief of our happiness. Social media is such a place that encourages this comparison. As humans, it's DIFFICULT to not compare ourselves anyway: they make more money, they have a nicer car/house, their kids are cuter, they are skinnier, their family photos are better, they got to go on a vacation. And then with the comparison, usually comes criticism. Criticism says way more about you than it ever does about the person you're criticizing.

4.  Neglecting Those in Front of You: While it's good to connect with other people all over the world, and it can create a supportive environment at times,  social media can create an environment where you're also neglecting those loved ones right in front of you. The world today is already really busy and we get caught up in bouncing from activity to activity to activity and then bed and repeat usually 6 days a week. When are we taking time to sit face to face with those we love the most? 

5. Only A Moment in Time: Your social media life probably isn't 100% reflective of your real life. We choose to share only a moment of time or a small window of what the rest of our days entail. What people think they know about me from this blog, my Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter accounts, isn't a complete knowledge of me. Knowing me on social media ISN'T the same thing as knowing me in person. 

Once again, I find myself needing and seeking solitude and silence. 

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. ~ Mother Teresa

I've decided to begin my own 30 Day Challenge. I cannot think of a better time than right before, during and after Christmas. Our goal this year has been to simplify. We simplified decor, schedules, gifts, and celebrations. 

So, I took the plunge this week and deleted my Facebook app from my phone. I turned off all notifications on my phone and won't be scrolling through any feeds. I'll only be updating, periodically, on Jace's progress on his websites (found above) and you may catch a Christmas photo on Instagram or  maybe a random blog here. You can also email, text, or call if it's urgent! :) 

This time with my family is precious and as the anniversary of Jace's diagnosis peeks closer, I know that the less noise in my head, the better. The more silence and solitude I find, the more I grow and learn. 

I challenge YOU to take time away if only for a day or a week and see how much clearer your mind feels! 

Love and Gratitude, 

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