03/ 09/ 2018
Yesterday a friend called me to check in. She said she hadn’t seen me post anything in a while and wanted to see how I was doing. It was the sweetest gesture and meant so much to me. It also got me thinking that maybe (?) one of you might be wondering what happened to me.
A little over two weeks ago I deleted Instagram and Facebook from my phone and I haven’t looked back.
At the beginning of the year I told myself I wanted to be more intentional in everything I do. I wanted to be present and engaged as a mother. I wanted to be focused when it came to the work I did: videos, writing, church service, house projects, personal projects, you get the idea. I wanted to put my phone away during the evenings and spend quality time with Cory when we were together.
Social media is such a great thing. I’ve been blogging for nine years and have been on Instagram for six. That’s a long time to share my life and in that time I’ve been fortunate enough to build some genuine relationships. Friendships I wouldn’t have been able to make IRL because, HELLO! these people are all over the country. Social media is wonderful, but it’s hard for me to find the balance. As a stay-at-home-mom with little adult interaction during the day, I love being able to open an app and connect with others in the same boat. I love being able to talk on stories and connect with other women who also have young children and need to shave their moustaches bi-monthly. But the more I logged on, the more I realized Instagram was turning into an escape from reality. I felt justified because I don’t talk to adults during the day. My home is my office and Instagram was my version of meeting at the water cooler. When you think about it, social media is the 2018 version of chatting with your neighbors in the cul-de-sac while your kids run wild. I mean, we can still chat with our neighbors in the cul-de-sac, but how often are we reaching for our phones instead?
Since uninstalling these apps, I’ve talked to my family and friends about this a lot and every time I do I swear I sound like an addict. And maybe I am. Was? Am? Am. I found myself getting on my phone to check something on Amazon or text Cory something cute the kids said and my fingers would swipe up, click right and take me to Instagram. It wasn’t conscious, it just happened. Getting on IG became muscle memory. And after unintentionally taking myself there, I would scroll for at least five minutes before remembering my initial reason for picking up my phone.
I noticed it was getting to be a real problem when one day my kids were trying to get my attention.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Look!”
“Okay, sweetie hold on.”
“Juuuust a minute!”
“What? What is it?!”
I didn’t yell, but I was short and frustrated and snippy. And for what? Extra scroll time? WOOF. I realized I needed to stop putting other people in front of the most important people in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love you guys. I love sharing and getting to know you and your families and investing in your stories. But honestly, all of this could go away. The apps, the grams, the posts, the likes. It could all go away like that and where would that leave me? I mean, let’s not go crazy. I’d be fine. I’d still be here, in my house, with my babies, married to my boo. But I’d also have a big old rock in my stomach when I realized I’d spent so much time on something that in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter.
When I look at each of my kids I can’t believe how big they are. Didn’t I just bring each of them home from the hospital? The days are long – they’re so, so long – but these years are so short and they fly so fast. I don’t want to miss another minute of this special time because I’m too busy scrolling.
I feel like this post is making it sound like I’m quitting social media and going off the grid. I’m not. I’ve got a log of videos to edit (no Bach Bashes, sorry guys. I haven’t watched since episode 6, but I know the drama and I wish I hadn’t quit!!) as soon as I’m done editing the installation project I filmed in February and I want to get into blogging again. But like, old school blogging where you write whatever you want just because. Do you remember back in 2009 when everyone had family blogs and personal blogs and random, single college girls (hiiii!) would write every day about whatever they wanted? Do you remember when Instagram was still a baby in 2012 and everyone posted grainy food pictures with the Nashville filter because it looked like film? Do you remember when people stopped planning their pages and pre-meditating their posts?
I’m not trying to bash on creators and influencers. I’m grateful for them, I think I technically am one? They work hard, they’re good at what they do and they really do care about YOU. But lately I’ve felt like everybody is trying to be somebody online. I believe everyone has a story to share, but it’s hard when everyone is trying to share their story at the same time. Before you try to tell me to delete all the toxic people from IG, stop. I don’t follow them. My feed is filled with people I know, people I love and uplifting accounts. I’m here to say it’s possible to have ALL GOOD THINGS on your feed and STILL get sick of it. At some point, too much of a good thing is still too much. It’s like I’ve overdosed on baby carrots and my body is suffering from carotenemia and I’m turning orange.
I’m not giving up, I just need a break. I’m not going to lie and say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Because it IS you and it IS me. I need to get to a better place with my consumption and not let it suck me back in and take me away from what matters. And, listen, if it’s not too much to ask, I’d like more grainy pictures of babies with puppies and captions talking about the weather.