This is going to be a lot. A lot of words, a lot of rambling, a lot of honesty.
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend about how adult friendships make us anxious. Like we feel like we’re in high school and we don’t know when we fit in. At 30, this is ridiculous. Ridiculous! Seriously. I was glad to know I wasn’t alone but sad to know we or anyone else could feel like this.
Honesty moment….when I think I’m being a good friend, I am doing things wrong. In the last couple of years, more than one woman that I thought I was friends with has pretty much just dropped me. Unlike/unfriend/block on social media and stopped talking to me all together. So my options are to just leave it alone or confront them. In these situations, I’ve chosen to just leave it alone. I’ve obviously done something that warranted the loss of friendship without a conversation, so I’m not going to just keep pushing when it doesn’t seem like they want to chat about things. I mean how crazy, insecure, and desperate would that be? Chasing after someone that doesn’t want to be friends? I’m trying to get rid of anxiety not cause more. I don’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t value our relationship enough to talk things through. Still, it is hurtful.
In my questioning and wondering, I realized something, I was measuring my own worth on things other than Him. Measuring my worth on my children, my home, my friends, and those social media numbers. That is hard because blogging, photography, and working with certain clients mean that to some extent I have to worry about numbers. I know that I need to be aware of them, concerned and educated about them, but not worried. Worrying about them really won’t get me anywhere.
Who do you turn to? Do you ask another friend? Do you dwell in your own thoughts? What do you do when you have some life issue? And then I remembered something…have you prayed about it as much as you’ve thought/talked about it? So that’s what I did. I prayed about it. I prayed about it a lot. And I felt like Jesus was telling me I needed a little detox. From the addiction of numbers and pictures and statuses. I love social media for what it is. I love sharing and keeping in touch with friends near and far. I love having a record of our little life and my kids growing. I love forming new relationships and learning from others. I don’t love the comparison and the judgement and the hard/ugly stuff. I don’t love the negative thoughts that can be brought up because of it. I don’t want to compare my worst to someone else’s best. I want to use my tiny tiny corner of the internet for good. I don’t want to make someone else feel bad or anxious, myself included. I want my corner to be used, but FOR HIS GLORY NOT MINE.
So here we are a few weeks later and there’s been a full social media free weekend + more social media free days. That Friday it was clear. Stop the scrolling. So I did. I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone.
What did I do with my time instead of scrolling and posting?
- Mothering // Not that I don’t mother while I am on social media but I was just more intentional. I was more focused on my kids and not how cute everyone else’s are.
- Jesus // So much bible studying happened. Hello If:Gathering app! Thanks to a lot of nursing time with a very clingy teething babe, I’ve read a lot of devotions. I’ve had some quality prayer time.
- Cleaned and organized // This is still part of my leaving room for life motto so I’m working on it.
- Fun with kids // Zoo. Museum. Library. Park. Walks.
- Read // Along with the Bible reading, I also am reading my own stack of books. [Cultivate. Hands Free Mama. Grace Not Perfection. Grace Based Parenting.]
- Enjoyed the creation // This is a major thing for me lately. I’m constantly in awe of what God has done. More on this later.
So what have I learned?
- Identity is in Him // Not in numbers/likes/others. I knew this before. But this was a good reminder. A little check in with Him who created me in His perfect image. I am worthy of love and kindness and friendship.
- Time management // I waste way too much time and could accomplish far more than I do. My mom is the most efficient person I’ve ever met. She is task oriented and always seems to accomplish what she needs to do. I’m a little jealous. But she has a “dumb phone” and maybe that’s helpful in getting things done.
- Comparison really is the thief of joy // Comparing myself to others is exhausting and unnecessary. And so many people in the photography and blogger world only show their best so what am I comparing myself to? Honest moments or staged pictures?
- Intentional mothering // I took pictures. I didn’t edit or crop. I snapped pictures and placed my phone back in my ergo or pants pocket. I didn’t add stickers or words to stories. Not what I was focused on.
- Margins // There’s a time and a place for being social. There’s a time for being focused and intentional.
- My phone battery lasted longer // All that mindless scrolling was draining my battery along with me.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love social media. I make extra money and work with amazing people and brands because of social media. But I have to be aware of what it’s doing to my mental health. I already have enough anxiety. No need for more. I have to be aware of what it does to relationships. I have to be intentional with my time. Yes there will still be times of random scrolling but that will be the intention.
Social media free weekends are sooooo happening. I first read about it when Lara Casey said she does it and I love her thoughts on it. So I’m jumping on board. I’m not even wanting it to be “social media free” I would rather it be Life Filling weekends. And even if I check my Facebook or Instagram, I want it to be with boundaries. Here’s to a new relationship with social media. I’m pretty excited about this growth. I feel very “30” about it. 😉