January 14, 2018

Life Unplugged

A friend of mine decided to say "bye bye" to Instagram for the month of January to refocus. I found myself thinking, "That's a great idea!" and I decided to do it too. In addition to staying off of Instagram I decided to give up Facebook, too. I stayed off of Facebook for about two weeks (I serve on my H.O.A.'s Board of Directors and some issues came up on our community Facebook page and I was asked to take a look at them). Unplugging was easier than I thought it would be and I think it has been a really good thing for me and my family.

Unplugging has allowed me to think about the things that are most important to me (my family and God), I have had more time for my son and my husband, our home is cleaner and I think we have all been happier. All positives for the win!

Our family went on a walk yesterday and as we were walking, we started talking about social media. Our faith teaches us that all things need to be in moderation, too much of anything can be bad. We are also taught that you cannot know joy, if you don't know sorrow. You might be wondering what these things have to do with social media. Let me share.

When you think about your life, how much time are you spending on social media? If you're like me you get online intending to look something up only to become distracted. Minutes tick by and before you know it an hour or more has passed. What could I have done with that time? Spent time with my family? Cleaned my house? Called a friend? Exercised? Magnified my calling? Spent time in the scriptures? All of these things are good and wonderful, but these opportunities are missed when I am plugged in.

Often I hear other women say that they only share the good things that happen in their lives. I think it is great that people want to be positive, but I think it is also important to share the heartaches and the sorrow. By sharing the hard things our loads become lighter and other's can learn from our experiences.

When we only share the good and the positive we create a false image that our lives are perfect and that we have it all together all the time. For an onlooker they subconsciously and maybe even consciously begin to wonder why their life isn't a great as yours. This can lead to depression, loneliness, isolation and even personality disorders such as narcissism.

I recently started reading a book by Brene Brown (she gives TED talks on shame and I love her!). In this particular book that I am reading she talks about how narcissism is caused in part by a fear of being ordinary. Who wants to be ordinary? When we constantly surround ourselves with perfectly Photoshopped images of people who are happy all the time and living the perfect life, it's easy to begin to feel ordinary or like you aren't good enough and THAT my friends is NOT a good thing.

I have learned a lot from my little experiment. I hope to be more aware of my time. I want to fill my life more fully with the good things that matter most to me. And I am contemplating sharing more about my trials on the blog. Currently the hardest trial I face is one that has been going on for many years, it involves another person and I don't want the things I share to change the way other people see this person.