SO! We’ve talked about minimizing our lives of excess, about narrowing down what we wear (and our dirty laundry), about those friendship layers that give us support and also give us clarity, and now we can talk about the technology! I promise we will get to the food and the recipes…it’s just that sometimes it’s better to eat on an empty, clean stomach than to feed one that doesn’t need more. You know what I mean? Let me finish off this month of June with these minimizing strategies, and then all of July, we will focus on the filling up! In fact, July on this little bloggy dog is ALL about self-care for mom’s as well as some fun, healthy, and filling breakfast recipes, and I think you’re really going to like it!
But, first, let’s go back to that source of all the God-loving and God-forsaking recipes: Pinterest. And Facebook. And Instagram.
I mean, really. We can get the best of everything on there, can’t we? We can also get the worst of everything there, too. Whether it be looking at the “best” and then feeling the “worst” or the spending hours staring at a screen when there is a person sitting next to us; it really is the best and the worst.
I spent some time last year diving into this topic as I kept running across young moms who were taking social media breaks because they felt like they were addicted. Moms…and addictions…that’s a whole other topic but it’s also this one, and so I felt it was important to chat about in a series on Minimalism.
It’s no secret that social media can share the most beautiful moments and also the most devastating events of emotional throw up all in one package; it’s fun to have a place to share and it’s also a good idea to set some boundaries in that sharing. It’s also fun to see pictures of our beautiful friends’ faces and validate that beauty–because it’s true–people are beautiful. In addition, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves where the value of beauty comes from, not just in a well-taken photo, but in the grit of real life, the human heart, and the sacred mundane and adventurous conundrum of our existence. We were created for connection and for relationship, and yet I keep hearing people say “Can I just find a friend who is REAL?”
A REAL friend, opposed to a friend you only see photographs of. That is interesting! A friend who will show up for you when you’re sick as a dog and need your three kids’ babysat in a second’s notice. A friend who won’t try to fix you or judge you by a status but will get in the dirt with you and let you be honest with your feelings. A friend who takes a good selfie on the phone and also in her heart. We want the people to be in our lives who will show up for the party we throw, even if there are no phones allowed and no pictures taken of that party. We want those kind of friends.
And if that’s not enough, we also want the creativity and the release. We like the speed of a technological world, and we like that we have a platform to share whatever is in our head. We also can value from what other people share and learn new things. This is what makes social media amazing!
But with this comes the wifi overload, the inherit checking of the phone when notifications come in, and the constant availability to see how everyone is having a great day when your day is the worst. It’s the truth. It’s also the worst.
So, with all these paradoxes, I’ve come to narrow down a few things that help me……maybe they’ll help you, too.
- You don’t have to de-face yourself. Take breaks if you need to, yes. But please come back. It’s nice to see you!
- Narrow down a time or two a day when you have the availability to check in. Refuse to allow the notifications to interrupt your daily life.
- LAUGH. Social media is supposed to be fun. Post as many videos as you can of funny baby animals wearing sunglasses and getting their bellies rubbed.
- Learn from what you watch. Social media is a great resource! I never would have decided to cook more if it hadn’t been for the visual aid of those cute overhead videos where people are cutting vegetables and putting them in the bowl, then highlighting the temperature, then showing me pictures of what it would look like when it’s done. A 2 minute cooking show–PERFECT for moms!
- Don’t take everything seriously and be careful at times. If it’s a depressing or controversial news type of day, just stay off the inter webs. People will be crazy, and it WILL bring you down!
- Remember that people are usually showing photos of the best parts of their day. It’s not their whole day. We all lead lives that include boredom and stress.
- Call a friend and make a coffee date. See them in real life.
- Let social media add to your life, not take away from it. Balance it, and it can serve you well! Spread your joy, and enjoy the process of others.
This may not cover all the bases, but it gives social media a healthy place in our lives without feeling like it’s a lost cause or that it’s the only cause of life. I do my living off the grid, but I love popping in to say hi and to stay connected to relationships easily. The friends who I need to be there for, I will be there for. There is a difference!
For the last week of June, I’ll finish up our series on Minimalism by writing about Quiet–what to do with the internal noise once you’ve gotten rid of all that outer clutter.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? It’s one of my favorite practices in life. See you next week!