1.11.2012

Unplugged

So I've been having a bit of an inner conflict for a few weeks now that I think I'm ready to take action on.

Like most everyone in our generation, I love social media.

I obviously love blogging.

I love reading people's Facebook statuses.

I've finally joined Twitter and Instagram and recently learned about a little gem called Path.

All these ways to keep up with what everyone I've ever met (and some that I haven't!) is doing.

Which in and of itself isn't really a bad thing.

But about a month ago we were having dinner with some friends and I happened to glance around the table and notice that we were all looking at our phones.

Checking to see what was going on with the people who weren't there.

Seeing if we were missing out on something else.

We all tried to make eye contact with whoever was talking every few minutes so we wouldn't look rude.

But, my Lord, did we look rude.

Why is it so hard to just be with the people you are with?!?!

What is it about Facebook that draws us to check our phones every 5 minutes?!?!

I used to get on to Andrew all the time for being on his phone all the time.

Then I got an iPhone and, while I'm not quite as addicted as he is, I'm a close runner up.

I can't count how many times I've told the kids to hold on while I check my emails for the billionth time in a day.

What must that look like to my 4 year old?!?!

She must have some huge illusions about what important news I must be reading that is worth pushing playing with her to the side.

I've noticed a spirit of jealousy trying to sneak it's way in too lately.

I read what other people are doing and think that I deserve to do that too.

I judge people on what they say.

People I know in real everyday life get the worst of my judgement.

A happy status while other details are left out results in an eye roll and exasperated sigh.

As if I have all the facts.

I've never been good at displaying compassion, but these judgements have made it near impossible for me to attempt to be better.

And the last straw came just last Friday.

A very good friend, one that's been there for me in some of my most trying times, had a birthday.

And for some impossibly immature reasoning, I felt a Facebook shout out and a text sufficed as a good way to wish her a good year.

Seriously?!?!

I didn't even pick up the phone to call her.

Didn't feel the need to send a card or try to get together, gasp, in person to celebrate.

And when the weight of what a lazy friend I've become hit me I felt awful.

How can I accept a status update, written for the masses to see, as an accurate description of what's happening in some one's life?

It makes me feel yucky.

Addicted.

Enslaved to a screen instead of making real life connections.

Now don't get me wrong.

I'm not declaring that I'm deleting my account or ending my blog.

I fully believe that there is a happy balance between social media and real life connections.

And I'm determined to find that balance.

For me, it'll start with me not carrying my phone with me all day long.

There are no updates that are more important then time with my family.

And you know what I realized?  Those updates will be there, frozen in the world wide web, when I get a free minute.

I've got to do better.

God's called me to be better.

A better wife, a better mother, a better friend.

Becoming more Unplugged fits really nicely with my 2012 Mantra to be Present.

So what about you?

Do you make real life connections?  How do you limit your Social Media?

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I completely understand what you mean. Everyone always has their phone, is checking their phone,etc. People don't even talk on the phone anymore they text on their phone because it is too much hassle to use a phone for it's intended purpose.
One way that I get out of all of that is by completely disabling facebook from my phone, I deleted the facebook app. I only check facebook on my computer at free time during the day. Nothing is so important on facebook that I need to see it right NOW.
I also don't have email on my phone for the same reason, if someone needs me that bad they can call me. This way I am only looking at my phone to check the time, answer calls or texts , or to call or text someone.

Keshet said...

Great post! I don't have an iphone, and I'm always thrown off by how often people are checking their phones. It can make it so much harder to live in the moment.

Anonymous said...

You read my mind! Thanks for putting it into words :)
Amy King

Lisa @ MMT said...

This is so true! I totally understand and agree with you. It is important to put down the social media and connect in real life.

Beth said...

I read this when it posted on fb and couldn't comment at the time but man...I struggle too! I think it started when we were in the middle of adopting the girls and I started checking my email on my phone every hour to see if bio mom or a lawyer wrote me. Then it turned into fb newsfeed checks...I caught myself looking at my phone while I was eating lunch with the kids (because it was the only time I sat down) And God showed me a picture of them doing the same thing at 14. I was horrified. No WAY would I let them sit there and do that. HOW RUDE! Yet look at me.
I'm with you trying to find a balance between preserving memories and sharing pictures with family in VA and becoming falsely connected with people on the internet and not the people in my house.

Kyle Hill said...

Well put!