I truly believe our generation and future generations are at a real disadvantage in life due to social media. It’s stealing our time and our joy.
What?! How can that be? I mean I make my living off of social media, it’s crucial to my businesses survival. Just hear me out. First social media isn’t the devil but were we really designed to have instant access to news, people, and shoes at the touch of one finger? Studies show that the average person will spend 5 YEARS of their life on social media. If that doesn’t blow your mind than I’m not sure what will.
Take the amount of time you spend scrolling news feeds out of the equation and focus on the other things it does. It forces you to compare your life to others. It shows you the worst of man kind over and over on repeat . Shootings, sexual assault, bullying, you really can’t escape it on social media. It also gives people “social media muscles”. Remember the beer muscles the frat guys got back in collage? Well social media muscles are worst. Social media gives people the ability to say things that their in person filter would never allow.
In a Facebook group someone was talking about how they read their kids texts and social media feeds. A millennial popped in saying how her parents had done the same thing and “it really ruined my trust with people for a long time.” Just stop for a minute. Parents I’m going to tell you something and I want you to picture me in your room shaking you by the shoulders “monitoring your children’s social media will not ruin them for life. Allowing them to bully others on social media or be bullies themselves will. It is YOUR job to mold these little humans into kind, loving adults. Do NOT back down because this is a parenting warfront that our parents never had to endure.”
Mean girls isn’t just a movie.
As parents we teach our kids to never be a bully. We pray that they will be kind and never experience someone being a bully to them. We write Facebook posts about it or share viral videos of bullies gone wild on our feed. However did you know that the majority of bullying these days takes part on social media? Oh yeah and it’s done a lot by grown adults. Click on any viral post and you will see grown adults arguing over anything, but what happens when this arguing comes from a real life person you know on there?
We all have those people on social media that drive us INSANE. The negative Nancy’s who hate on anything anyone does. Or the people who posts the worst possible news they can find every second of the day. Maybe social media holds a lot of “frenemies” for you. Guess what though? You have the power to delete and unfollow anything that doesn’t make you happy. Social media has great purpose and can help creativity and even boost your spirits but only if you make it a safe place. I spent a weekend unfollowing and defriending people and pages that didn’t bring me joy and now my feed is one I love. It shows me the groups that inspire me and the people who fill my heart with joy. I urge you to do the same. Those features were created for a reason and you deserve to use them.
Limiting the constant.
5 years of our life on social media is pretty scary. I mean that is 5 years of moments we miss with those around us. 5 years of memories we skip out on making with our babies and husband. 5 years of time that could be spent on meaningful face to face conversations. But how can we even begin to limit something that is at our fingertips? How do we learn to balance it all? I have a few tips I have learned that I will share but I’d love to hear from you on how you manage your time.
- Turn off all notifications on your phone. Facebook, email, Instagram….It’s hard to ignore when we see all of this begging for our attention
- Plan online work during a downtime: i.e. nap time, after the kids are in bed.
- Allow yourself specific slots for social media and train yourself to follow them
- Unfollow and unfriend anyone who robs you of joy: bullies, negative people, people you can’t help but compare yourself too.
- Create social media accounts that are going to lift you up!
I too am a work in progress.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, social media is how I make my incoming. Learning to balance work, play, and family has been a struggle and something I am constantly trying to improve. The greatest thing I did was set specific time limits for myself and turn off notifications. If I look at my phone for the time and see 400 emails waiting to be read it sends me into a panic. Or if I hear the dings of Facebook it’s hard to look away. Setting limits and creating good healthy habits have been one of the best things I have done for myself and my family.