Social Media: How to Live Unplugged
I like social media. Don’t get me wrong, it has opened the doors to so many wonderful relationships and family that we would never have had time to see in our physical life. It helps me stay in the lives of my beautiful nieces and nephews and reach out to loved ones that are hurting. It has opened doors to new relationships and reconnected us to old friends.
But there was a time when I had to pull away from social media for awhile.
Living for Social Media
I have been speaking and teaching for years on parenting and family on a personal blog, as we had so many unusual circumstances and challenges raising wild boys. As I began to increase my activity on Facebook, Twitter and my blog, every scene or circumstance in my life was directed in my head like a Facebook timeline update. “ACTION … aaaaaaand cut!”
It was cute when my boys were small. Adorable little lessons of boys and bugs and life analogies, from a child’s perspective, can inspire us all. Raising boys requires a LOT of humor, and they provided great fodder for that humorous perspective. But then they got older.
Everything we did as a family, that may end up being a goofy flub or a great laugh, my boys would say, “Mom, you’re not gonna Facebook this, are you?” And I realized one day how much my Twitter and website and Facebook page were controlling my reaction and response.
Social media was writing my life, instead of just journaling my life. I had to take a break and get unplugged for awhile.
Recording memories is not a bad thing, but when we cannot enjoy the moment because we have to charge the camera and make sure the lighting is right, and fix our hair, and tweet again, instead of just looking our family in the eye and hear them, and enjoy them, or make them dinner, something is wrong.
How to Live Unplugged
One remedy for us is traveling home. When we visit my parents, there is little internet, minimal TV, a lot of gardening to pick, woods to hike, fields to romp, and nature everywhere. It is a heaven for boys, and for a mom who wants to unplug for awhile.
I still love to blog about my boys and our joys. It is a ministry and I hope that our experiences will make a difference in the lives of others, if only to relate and offer a humorous perspective.
But they are older now, teens themselves, so we try to discuss it first. We also try to help them realize all they are posting should be edifying and considerate of others. And some things are just better left un-posted. I want them to feel the freedom of being kids, enjoy the moment and plant memories that may take years to savor and truly appreciate.
Our goal this summer is to create as many offline, humorous memories as possible. We will work in the garden, walk the woods, and chase some fireflies. If they think they are too old for fireflies, then they can sit on the porch in the rocker, and laugh at their mother chasing fireflies.
During those fabulous goofy times that are so great, I am sure the writer in me will still think, “This would make a really great post.” But I won’t be instantly worried about my hair or make up, or the phones losing their charge. I will just be gazing, adoringly at my beautiful boys growing before my eyes. Literally.
Then I will intentionally NOT post about it, but just hold it in my heart, as a memory unplugged, and cherished. Which makes it even more special. Of course, I can still scrapbook about it in my latter years. 😉 … aaaaand cut.
What memories do you plan to create for your family this summer?