Social media sort of drives me crazy. I like it and I don't. It's great to stay connected to old friends, to see pics of everyday life of those I love and to hear what they are up to, but it can also be a tremendous time suck and distraction. Let's be honest with ourselves. How many "friends" are we actually very close to? How many of them do we really and truly want to know what's going on with and vice versa. If I'm honest with myself, it's a good few dozen and that's it.
I've been feeling a slow pull from the Lord to distance myself from social media outlets. Last year, I took a month long break and it was so helpful; gave me a fresh perspective and was quite shocking to realize how much time I spend on my phone or on the computer. And how life went on without much incident and I wasn't around to "view" it and it was just fine.
At various seasons of my life, I've found it's a big distraction and not in a good way. I find myself checking Facebook news feed to see what others are up to, when I should be playing with my children. Lame. But, what to do? Go offline all together? Many I know have become "Face-Free" and I think that may be the way I'm heading one day. For now, I've set several boundaries for myself and have done a good job sticking to them: checking social media outlets only a couple of times a day, and not when my children are present. They deserve my full attention and investment. I want my life's work to be reflected in them, and not waste the time I have on some silly network (which will eventually be replaced by the next-best thing; remember, Myspace? Me either).
Because I am not feeling ready (for some good reasons) to go "Face-Free," I recently did a few things to "tidy-up" my Facebook and Twitter accounts. These have been life-savers for me.
First, I deleted people who I do not consider close friends and who I have no contact with. This makes sense. I am not truly interested in what a high school friend, who I haven't spoken to since high school, is eating for lunch that day. The same goes for a slew of elementary and junior high friends.
Second, I hid all "push notifications" to my inbox for anything but direct messages to Facebook account. Honestly, do I really care what Jennifer so-and-so (who I do not know) said on my best friend's Facebook page about her new haircut? Do I need to read someone else's comments on a friend's picture of her new baby? Not really. I was finding that such email notifications only cluttered my inbox and distracted me from being present with my kids and focusing on important tasks of my day.
And lastly, I "hid all posts" of Facebook friends who I have very little contact with. These were people who I did want to remain in touch with, but overall, am not very close to and didn't want to keep up daily tabs. It's freeing to not see so much clutter in my news feed and email inbox. I like it!
I found this article by Lindsay of Passionate Homemaking an excellent one on "guarding against technology time wasters."
What suggestions do you have for curbing the onslaught of social media?