Hi there, friends. It’s was such a long week last week, and I realized I didn’t write at all! We got hit hard with the stomach flu and it took all week to recover. We also had a little birthday party for Levi on Saturday that used up the extra energy we had; we’re all a little tired around here.
Being so physically drained and exhausted, my priorities shifted down to basic necessities; taking care of Josh, Levi, and myself was all I could do (with help!). That left pretty much no time for social media… and it was fantastic. Probably one of the better things from the week.
There were a couple days I didn’t even open my computer, and I was rarely on Facebook or Instagram. I didn’t miss either much at all. Maybe you’ve gone a period of time without certain media platforms? (Unless you do that all the time, in which case props to you. :))
I think God took the week to slow me down and refocus me. I spent a lot of time thinking about which things are important, and which things I invest time and energy into that really aren’t important at all. It hit me a bit more personally this past week, which I’m grateful for.
When it comes to social media, I’ve wondered how much of our family’s life to share. Some people share every bit of their days, and it can be encouraging and beneficial to others. Moms that want to see and show they’re not in it alone, or friends that want to keep in touch over distances. I’ve learned a lot from other people via social media, and I’ve been encouraged quite a few times by everyday things other moms share.
Yet I keep coming back something — in order to have all of those moments documented, all the photos and ideas/life lessons shared — that phone must always be in hand. Always. Always snapping photos, taking videos, uploading, writing, commenting… It’s quick and easy, sure, but it does take up time.
I can’t help but see that it communicates to these families, kids especially, that maybe the phone is more important that them. Or the moments of their days are only worth something if they’re shown on social media. And all those moments… are they really appreciated as they happen? Or do we give ourselves an illusion that documenting them on social media is the only way we’ll ever be able to look back, remember, and appreciate them?
I also wonder about safety, because while there are countless nice people in this world there are also countless people who’d love to do harm. Innocent photos of children playing can go so wrong, and that’s a reality each of us has to face as we share online. In the same vein, I wonder too how all these photos and words about each photo translate to the families and children themselves.
What does the son think when he sees a photo of himself? Or the daughter, or the friend? What do the words written mean to them? I think of Levi reading my Instagram posts, seeing photos of himself years from now — they’ll mean something to him. He’ll see what his mom thought, and what she deemed important enough to share with the world. Will it be good, or will it be harmful?
I won’t pretend to know what’s right for each family, or each person who uses social media. But I do know it’s important for each of us to think seriously about how we use each platform, and go with our conviction.
For myself personally, this past week and the writing of this blog post helped point me in the direction of discretion. I’m only going to share some photos, some things that happen day-to-day. I’ll probably continue to check Facebook and Instagram less frequently as well. Partially for all of the above reasons, and mostly because I want to live fully in each day and not be so distracted. In ten years I know I won’t look back and wish I’d spent more time online; I’ll wish I’d spent more time in person, present. And since I’ll be looking back at time I no longer have, I pray I use up that time well starting now.
There’s my little brain-dump for your Tuesday. I hope my thoughts have made you think as well! :)