Have you ever wanted more time in your day but didn’t know where to find it? Try tracking how much time you spend on social media. This summer I deleted Facebook from my phone, and Instagram soon followed. I still maintain my accounts, but I have to be much more deliberate to access them. No more mindlessly checking it umpteen times a day. Truly, it has been freeing.
I like to use social media as an escape–when I don’t like what’s happening or I don’t want to do what’s next, I’ll reach for my phone and scroll to see what others are up to or what articles are trending. And the thing is, most of the time, consuming social media doesn’t even bring me joy!
After 30 minutes of scrolling and link-hopping, I’m no happier than I was to begin with. To be honest, I’m probably grumpier because I’ve been comparing myself when I’ve seen so many awesome activities that I could be doing with my kids, how many beautiful pictures that I could have taken, or how happy my children could be. Eventually, reality hits and I realize that I just stared at my phone, and I’m no further along in whatever I needed to do. Bummer.
But really, isn’t it ironic that I’m writing to persuade you to set aside social media from a platform that relies on you enjoying social media? We definitely live in a world dependent on social media.
What do you gain from saying “no” to social media?
By saying no to social media, you can also say no to distracted parenting. So many times my children want something, and I keep putting them off because I want to finish reading this or looking at that. By saying “no,” I can say “yes” to living in the moment. It’s also easier to enjoy the moment if I’m not scheming how I can share it with my followers.
By saying “no,” you gain time! Who doesn’t want more time in their day?
By saying “no” to social media, I’m also saying “no” to constant comparison and “yes” to a more joyful life.
When I’m on social media, it’s too easy to be content with consuming content instead of creating. Eventually, all my creative energies are sapped, and I don’t create anything anymore. By saying “no” to social media, I say “yes” to creating. (Even if it’s just a meal that no one will ever know about.)
By saying “no” to social media I’m saying “yes” to a minimal digital footprint for my kids. Most likely, what I post will still be around in 10 or 20 years when they’re in high school and someone wants an embarrassing photo of them or when they’re looking for a job.
But Let’s Be Real . . .
We live in a social media age. And honestly you probably will miss out on some things by saying no. I know I have.
Some days I really wish I could have more self-control and regularly consume Instagram in moderation and see those inspiring photos from my favorite photographers. I wish I could know what everyone is up to on Facebook. But in trade-off, what I gain is worth it.
If you’re interested in saying “no” but feel like it might be too isolating, here are a few suggestions:
- Text or call your friends. You can even include pictures and GIFs! And added bonus is that texts and phone calls are more personal than social media posts.
- If you live far away from family and want to share lots of kid pictures, set up a shared iPhone album, or use an online photo sharing service such as Google Photos, or Tinybeans
- For entertainment purposes, choose something more limited and intentional, like podcasts. Or subscribe to a few blogs that are inspiring and bring you joy.
There may be another season in my life when I want to say yes to regular consumption of social media; but that season isn’t right now. I know I’m struggling just to keep up with the essentials around here. I know I lack self control when it comes to link clicking. Taking a time-out is worth it to me. And maybe it’s worth it to you too.