I absolutely love staying connected through social media! Instagram is my favorite with Facebook running a close second~ However, for many, this type of thing can be a point of great struggle.
Have your interactions on social media ever lead to you feeling inferior, inadequate, irritated, frustrated, angry?
Have you ever struggled with guilt over how much time you spend on your accounts?
Have you ever felt like - instead of a fun hobby - it has taken over many areas of your life?
Have you ever wanted to delete all of your accounts and live as if you are cast member on "Little House on the Prairie"?
I have worked hard to keep social media fun for me, and here are a few things I do to make this possible - specifically with Facebook.
1. If someone in my feed is repeatedly posting extremely inappropriate comments, photos, etc. I unfriend them. End of story.
2. If someone is simply irritating - You know the ones....the insecure bodybuilders, the overly crunchy mamas, the selfie-obsessed college students, the lovers of drama... I hide them by simply selecting unfollow next to their name. I mean, c'mon...there is probably a reason I never stayed connected with this person in real life. With a click of a button, I don't have to see their silly stuff any longer. I want my news feed to include things that I care about...pictures I actually want to see...updates that are important to me. If you are finding yourself frustrated with what is in your feed, take control over it. You have the power to determine what you see. *You can also click unlike/unfollow on pages that you have previously liked - pages that are no longer of interest to you - or pages you simply liked initially just to be nice.
3. If someone is notorious for sending game invites, unwanted party invites, etc. I go in to my settings and block them from sending invites my way. I will also block specific game invites - just in case someone else is getting excited about playing that game, too. You may be in to the games, but that's not something I want to spend my time doing.
4. If a negative or controversial status is posted, I hide it...This way, I don't have to see all of the follow-up comments...where experts are giving their opinions.
5. If an argument has broken out between friends, I do not participate. In fact, I typically hide those kind of conversations as well.
6. I do not use the Facebook Messenger App~ I have a number of reasons for not using it - so if someone messages me through Facebook, it is probably going to take a few days for me to get back with them.
We all have people on our friend list that do social media a little differently than we do - For those situations, the "hide" button and the "block" button are my favorites!
Now for a few simple technology guidelines that I live by:
2. Take Family Time seriously! Phones, tablets, etc. do not join us for mealtimes. No exceptions. They are not welcome on family walks, trips to the parks, etc. If they come along (in case of emergency), they stay tucked away in a zippered pocket in the stroller. When we're at the pool, phones stay in the pool bag...unless I need to snap a picture, of course.
3. Disconnect from the Internet - If I'm needing to be especially productive or if I need to really disconnect, I will turn the Internet access off on my phone. I love the feeling of being truly alone...even if it's just for a few minutes.
So when it comes to Facebook, it's not something I have to take a break from...or fast from for Lent...or any such thing...because I enjoy it. How am I able to enjoy it? Because I am intentional about taking control over what it looks like for me.
You may follow some of the same guidelines...You may have some others that are important to you...You may have found that deleting all of your accounts was the best thing for you and your family...You may simply not enjoy using social media~
No matter where you stand with your efforts to be intentional, be prepared! Establishing boundaries in this area will frustrate some your friends and family, but make no apologies. I promise you will reap many, many benefits from setting a few healthy perimeters in this area.
For more on how we approach Screen-Time at our House, check out:
Screen-Free Times at Our House
For more encouragement in setting technology boundaries for you family, check out:
Hands-Free Mama (Available on Amazon)!
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