I decided to give up social media for Lent again this year — I’ve blogged about it before here and here. This time I’ve been needing to pull away for a while and decided to go cold turkey again, unlike last year when I did a modified version (only using it when my kids were asleep). Frankly, it’s been a little hard. I don’t miss wasting time so easily, but I’ve been working a lot on photography lately and I have taken some photos I REALLY wanted to share on Instagram. Yes, it’s silly or probably vain, but I miss that feedback — if I show a picture to Andrew he’ll say it’s nice and then that’s that. It’s over. He doesn’t quite have the gushing gene, even though he does appreciate my talents (actually, he had printed out and framed some photos of mine when he asked me to marry him!) But maybe it’s a good reminder to print and display photos I love, so that they’re sticking around for longer.
And hey, if you’re here you get to see them now! 😉
And nobody clicks over here unless I post to social media to let people know I’ve posted, so I’ve had roughly three views in the last two weeks, ha! (I might enable auto-posting to Facebook when I publish to remedy that, come to think of it. Done!)
So yes, I’ve been feeling disconnected. I miss checking in on some friends’ lives — but on the other hand, I’ve also texted friends and actually communicated with others face-to-face. We’ve been to several play dates. So it’s been good for me, I think. And I realized the other day Lent is actually closer to 44 days… gah! But that’s the point, right? It’s supposed to be a sacrifice.
I’ll admit it: I snuck onto Facebook once or twice on the computer and caught a baby announcement (yay!) and plenty of political debates I hadn’t missed one bit. I even just re-downloaded Instagram and almost posted before telling myself how silly I was being and re-deleting it. The pull is strong.
So what have I done with all those extra in-between moments, what have I made of this that’s good instead of just plain white-knuckling?
Well, I don’t have my phone nearly as constantly on me (in my hand, in a pocket, at arms’ length) and therefore have been more available for the little requests like wanting to be held, playing a card game, giving extra cuddles to Jonas… I’ve pulled out my real camera more and captured some beautiful moments that make me happy…
I’ve spent more time with my husband instead of on my phone… I’ve read two books and just started a new one. (Hands Free Mama is really life-changing. The book is excellent but her blog is a great place to start grasping at what really matters ❤ It was a great way to kick off this social media fast.) We played outside in the snow and made treats together and I’ve also had mental energy to complete tasks for my church work.
I’ve also still used other things as time-fillers — it’s so easy to try to satisfy those bad habits. The photography forum I joined has become my go-to “I’m bored, let’s see what’s new” place, which isn’t ideal. I should go there to accomplish a specific purpose. And reading books in the evening can prevent conversation with my husband even if all the screens are off.
But this afternoon I set down my phone and spent some time reading an Ensign article that it turned out I needed to read, then texted a friend about it and received more pearls of wisdom and needed encouragement. And I got some real rest to fight off this nasty cold. And I held Adelina in my arms immediately when she asked for it.
So yes, it hasn’t been super easy. I honestly really miss Instagram sometimes. But I’m grateful for the chance to pull back and focus on the things I need to hone in on. This isn’t permanent, only a needed exercise to re-assess my priorities. And I’m sure grateful for these beautiful children who fill my days ❤