Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Social Networking and Motherhood

I have a confession to make. I'm not good at keeping my opinion to myself. I know it's a sign of foolishness to just blurt out what I'm thinking but it happens. And way more than I'd like to admit. Trying to NOT say something when I really WANT to is almost a physical struggle for me. I literally have to bite my tongue sometimes. I have destroyed relationships but not keeping my opinion to my self. Whether I was right or wrong in my thinking doesn't matter. Keeping silent would have been better.

I have another confession to make. I am extremely critical. Extremely. Is there a stronger word than "extremely"? If there is, I'd like to use that one instead. I'm going to chalk it up to being able to see things for their face value. Most of the time, at least. I'm not trying to toot my own horn. It's a fact, and one that others that know me really really well have also pointed out. Being able to see things or understand things about people that others miss puts me on edge. And often makes me judgemental and hypocritical. 

Enter Facebook. 

Now, before I say this, I need you to take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Some of you reading this are my Facebook friends. I want you to understand that I may not be talking about you. And also that the problem is me, not you. Ok. Here goes nothin. 

Taking into consideration the things I just confessed, Facebook has become a nightmare for me. I find myself blocking or deleting or hiding people just because I can't handle reading the things they post. I end up wanting to comment on almost everything. And I get all worked up over the ridiculous opinions and the narcissism. I get annoyed with people and end up disliking a lot of my "friends". Oh yeah, I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve too. So all my irritation with the goofy things people say online was spilling over into my attitude at home. I walked into my husband's office here at home one night and just ranted about something silly that someone he doesn't know said on FB. His response was something like, "You need to be like me. I'm drama free. I don't have Facebook." 

It was a "duh" moment for me. 

So I decided to stay away from FB as much as I could. I had to get on sometimes because of group messages that were being sent that I needed to pay attention to but other than that... I may post a picture here and there or update my status sometimes but I'm trying not to read my timeline. 

What started as me needing to take a chill pill and get a grip turned into another "duh" revelation. I know this is getting long but stay with me. 

I often wonder where the time has gone during the day or why I didn't get certain things acomplished or how I got so stressed out. Could it be because I'm spending too much time on Social Medias? Duh. 

When I stayed off FB, I immediately noticed how much more time and focus I had for the things I'm really supposed to be doing. I'm not one of those women who's going to chastise the mother on the park bench that's looking at her phone instead of watching her kid pick their nose and wipe it on the tree before heading down the slide again. Mommys need a break too. By all means, Pin away. I'm right there with ya. But the time I was spending on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest (I have a twitter account too but I'm not sure if I personally know a single person I follow so I lost interest a while ago) was consuming time that I should have been spending on cleaning or reading or calling my Dad or blowing bubbles with the kids. It blew my mind how much time I was just throwing away. And none of it was benefiting me or those who need me most. Beyond that, who really cares what I ate for breakfast? Or if I'm sitting outside in the sun? Or what I think about the mean lady at Walmart? Or whether or not I think you're lazy or whiny or theologically off your rocker? I'd get all worked up about what so and so said or the inappropriate selfie they posted and I'd waste even more time wandering around the house in an angry mess. I know. I've got issues. 

There are so many people I really liked until I started reading their status updates. Or looking at some of their pictures. And I decided that if that's how it is, I need to stay away from social media. I'm not quitting cold turkey. Just trying to exercise some wisdom. 

Some of you aren't "networking junkies" like myself so you think I'm nuts. But to those of you who post things over and over every day or are checking you apps more than once every couple hours, I dare you to go a few days without getting on at all. I think you'll be amazed at how much more time you have on your hands to take care of the things that truly matter. It blew my mind. And I'm not as stressed or annoyed or frustrated. No more drama for this Mama! 

I get a lot of encouragement online from fellow bloggers or from friends posting Bible verses or my family letting me know they miss me or fitness motivation but in the long run, none of that matters. What does matter is how I'm spending the time God has given me. Am I spending it reading multiple posts from hundreds of people I almost never speak to in person? Or am I spending it nurturing my children and meeting my husband's needs or attending to my home or helping my neighbors or taking meals to the sick or assisting the elderly? What matters? Not social media. 

I honestly can't say that I've been honoring God or taking care of my family with how I've spent my time. And that's sad. There are so many stumbling blocks and temptations in our path throughout the day and Facebook has definitely become one of mine. God promises to protect us from temptation and He is strong enough to keep us away from it. But I think He expects us to use our brains too. If I understand what my temptations look like, I need to be smart enough to avoid them and ask God to help me reprioritize. And God is good and faithful. He won't let us fall. But we have to keep our eyes on Him. Duh. 

Philippians 4:8 
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Social Media and Motherhood. It's a love/hate relationship. God and Motherhood. It's a love/love relationship. 

Which one matters most? Duh. 

How will you spend your time today? 

*This blog, and the social media I have connected to it, are very important to me. I WISH I had more time to spend on here. But because it IS an important way I spend my time, I will always be available through this blog's Facebook page or on here or through my email address.* 

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