Truth time homeschool mamas and papas… What are the answers to these 5 questions…in your heart:
- Is social media media the unspoken (or uninvited) guest in your home more often than you wish?
- Does facebook time leave you with feelings of comparison or annoyance? (Did you know shows that people who spend more time on facebook tend to be sadder than those who don’t?)
- Have you replaced crafting with pinning? Doing with surfing?
- Would your kids not be behind in said subject they are behind in if facebook time since the school year started in August had been rerouted to homeschooling subjects time?
- Do you remember fondly and warmly a simpler life before social media…before facebook, twitter and pinterest?
All of these things came into the forefront with me in 2013. Writing for a couple of blogs, having a facebook presence is a necessary evil but I was sad to realize there was time my kids saw me on facebook when I know what they were thinking “Why isn’t she spending time with me”. Statuses had replaced stories and I was not always truly present; I was half present.
To be fair, I never did spend what I considered a lot of time on social media…BUT…with five children, a job outside the home, and multiple blogs, it wasn’t like I was swimming in free time to read stories, craft, or play to begin with. And while none of my kids are behind in any subjects, I have three I am doing speech therapy with. What if that extra 10 minutes a day to write “one more status” had been spent working on that /R/ 10 more minutes?
In 2013 I literally stumbled upon the blog Hands Free Mama. It was a game changer. Post by post I knew I had gotten off track. I was too busy (summer of 2013 found me teaching 7 classes a week in
addition to working three 1/2 days a week seeing speech clients in addition to homeschooling and running my home.) I felt tired, cranky and overwhelmed. Then in free minutes I would hop on facebook and feel frustration (wish I had time to do that with my homeschooler), annoyance (dealing with negative commenters) and even envy (her house is so clean/organized/perfect)…No wonder I was feeling depressed! I was tired, sad, and comparing my behind the scenes with other peoples’ highlight reel! And I wasn’t feeling great about knowing that sometimes other mamas and friends were discouraged by comparing their behind the scenes to mine!
At the end of 2013 I decided I needed 2014 to be different and made changes regarding my social media budgeted time, use and intent.
Here are the 3 ways I changed my facebook usage:
1. I combined my little facebook trips into one morning trip. Just like doing one big grocery store trip is more time and money efficient than doing several little ones, chunking my facebook time into one time period in the morning saved me time later throughout my day. I am on facebook in the morning. During my morning tea/wakeup/kids are still sleeping time, I post or share on my pages and schedule any others that will be going on that day. Automatic pilot. Brilliant. There are exceptions to this, but this is what I strive to do. This applies to my personal page also. One time a day is plenty. If something really earth shattering happens in my family or with my best friends, they will call me.
2. I unfriended or unliked those people and pages whose statuses were a constant “stir the pot” kind of status that frequently had two different groups going at each other in the comments. I don’t want to see that on my wall. It’s not positive. It’s strife. I also unfriended people who were acquaintances that had a tendency to try and do the same thing in the comments on my statuses –(You know…those people who would take any status, even those completely innocuous, and turn it into a “discussion”, argument, or a criticism.) And those passive-aggressive acquaintances? Yep, gone too.
3. I organized my friends I kept by utilizing facebook groups: friends, acquaintances, and restricted friends, with the majority of non-family members going into restricted friends. Restricted friends see your public posts and that’s it. And really, those people I kinda know, or know but haven’t seen since high school, unless there is a closer rapport there, don’t need to know much more of my business than that. For me this equaled more happiness in the form of feeling I was able to be connected, to be kind in accepting those friend requests, while still maintaining some privacy.
So, this is how I changed the way I am doing business on facebook this year, and am applying these to both my blog page and my personal page. I’m only a few weeks in, but I am happier. Much happier. How do you keep good boundaries with social media? I would love to read your suggestions in the comments.
P.S. In her new e-book, Growing your blog while managing your home, Jacinda of Growing Home shares a biblical perspective on guarding against the habits of idleness and gossip while maintaining an active online presence. Highly recommend.