De-busying Life Lesson 1: The Social Media/ Technology Diet

This week I’ve been on a partial technology diet.  I have times when I check email, Facebook, and Twitter.  I leave my phone in the car or at home if I’m going to be with people, especially those who need my attention (Or maybe I just think they do;).  I don’t take my phone in restaurants either.  When I am home, I keep my phone on vibrate and in the kitchen.  If I hear it, fine; if not, fine.  Note:  I’ve yet to miss anything earth shattering;)

I’m not giving social media up completely.  I get too many smiles from reading about the adventures of my friends.  I loved all the back to school pics, and I love reading about my friends’ kiddos making cheerleader or the volleyball team.  I also love Twitter.  I learn a ton from various blog posts and book recommendations.

But, as I started “teaching” I knew I had to find a balance.  My computer is in front of me all day – mainly so I can Google my kids’ questions!  Who knew 3rd and 6th grades would be so challenging?!?!  The downside of having my computer in front of me?  The Twitter and Facebook tabs are right beside my Google tab.   So, they had to go, and email is only allowed if it’s directly related to what I am working on at the moment.

If you’re thinking, “Limiting social media will not help me de-busy my life,” I urge you to keep track (honestly!) for a few days.  I was shocked how much I scroll through Twitter as I wait for a table in a restaurant or wait for my daughter at dance instead of talking to my family (or other people) – and, yes, all three of my family members are usually electronically engaged as well.  But, no more.  We all like technology, but if we’re going to de-busy and really know each other, this is where we’re starting. Baby steps:)

Here’s my fav two blogs posts on this topic:

The Act of Presence by Jeff Shinaberger via Plywood People

Taking a Break from Technology by Jeff Goins

Do you think a technology diet could impact you and your family?  Could the scrolling time become family time?  I am interested to know what strategies/rules some of you use or if you think I am crazy:)

Comments

  1. Lori Mosser says:

    Love it! I took a 3-day technology break…mainly from Facebook about a week 1/2 ago and it was great! BUT…then I found myself “catching up” when I logged back in, so it took me forever to go back and see what all I had missed! 🙂 I’m like you, I don’t think I could give it up completely because these days, that’s how you find out about new pregnancies, illnesses, church happenings and the most important thing…what someone ate for lunch. LOL! But I am in the same boat you are. I get my girls started on an assignment and what do I do? Log into email or Facebook. And I think I will only be on it for a second and then 30 minutes has gone by! Good for you making those important changes. I love when I “accidentally” leave my phone at home when I go somewhere and I should do that more often, but I do worry that I will miss a call from my husband if he’s at work, or a call from one of our music teachers canceling right before a lesson, etc. It’s definitely something I need to work at.

    I will tell you something Brett and I decided a few weeks ago. We don’t watch a whole lot of TV, especially in the summer because none of our favorite shows are on. And even in the fall and spring, I don’t watch much TV at all. But I did have my “guilty pleasure” of one particular show (that shall remain nameless) that I would watch once a week. Brett watched a few shows that weren’t really “bad”, but just had a lot of words that had to be bleeped out. With so many movies coming out like “The Hangover 2” and some of the other ones that are not particularly good movies to see, we got into a discussion about what we should and shouldn’t watch. Of course, MY show got nixed right off that bat, but he also made some changes in what he watches. But more than that, we decided that we do not HAVE to watch TV every night…we can read (big deal for us since neither one of us likes to read much) or watch a video sermon podcast on a topic we’re really interested in, or just some other thing that would be more uplifting in our lives than just vegging in front of the tube. I will say, I haven’t missed it one bit! And I have gotten so much out of the “quiet time”. Brett has picked up a new show that I would say he’s semi-addicted to (Storage Wars), so I can’t say that he’s actually kept up with his end of the plan, but I’ve tried to stay away from the TV and it’s been great.

    Love reading your blog!

    PS How did your first week of homeschooling go???

    • Lori – I think I replied to this long ago – in my head;)
      Thanks so much for sharing your tech diet too…I am still trying, trying, trying to keep my phone put away:)
      Homeschooling is going well. More work than I ever dreamed, but I called in reinforcements today from my homeschool co-op. I am trying to use the books from their schools with no ancillaries /teacher editions. Some moms in the co-op are going to help me come up with an alternative since most curriculum is beyond my budget.

      Hope all is well with you!
      Sarah:)

  2. I am impressed with the aim to cut out technology – or diet it a bit! I think I would really struggle and feel too scared to try. I think its because I’m a stay-at-home mummy to my 6month old baby girl and I feel really lonely when I dont have facebook or my email or my mummy forum on…

    This is also doubly hard at the moment cos we’ve moved to a new city so I dont really have any friends yet either!

    • Jen –
      Praying for your transition to a new city! I homeschool my two kids (it’s my first year), and I often feel like i need some adult interaction too. I’d say if technology isn’t interrupting your family time or time with God, then no worries:) I had to cut technology because I’d often scroll through Twitter instead of reading YouVersion – or I’d be on my phone instead of talking to my kids or family.

      Thanks for commenting – it’s a nice reminder to us all that not everyone has tech issues:)
      Sarah:)

  3. Love this idea! The issue I struggle with is when my husband plays with his phone at meals. This past weekend we went on a trip with my dad and new stepmom. I just cringed when he was checking his phone directly across from my dad at the dinner table. I wondered what they must think and more importantly what my daughter (who is young but still very observant) is learning by him doing that. I don’t have a smartphone so I don’t have that issue (mine is the TV). Any suggestions on how to broach the subject without causing problems? I don’t want him to think I’m nagging but it is something I really don’t like. TIA!

    • Holly –
      This was one of my biggest issues. I’d be at a restaurant with my family – my son would be on his iTouch and the rest of us would be on our phones. We’d talk intermittently. I felt convicted that meal time – either at home or out – is sacred. It’s a time to really find out how my kiddos and husband are doing. It’s a time for us to all share. So, I told my family about my convictions.

      Maybe you should do the same. Out of love, not nagging, say to your husband that you love him enough to want to talk to him at meal time. And, you can’t talk if he’s playing with his phone. I also felt convicted that it was rude for me to play on my phone as my family sat and looked at me. So, maybe add that along with explaining (again, in love) that your daughter needs that time too!

      I’d also pray before I approached him. God will help you /give you the words. Pray for your husband too – that he’d see your love:) And, I’ll pray for you too!

      Sarah:)

  4. Jen –
    Praying for your transition to a new city! I homeschool my two kids (it’s my first year), and I often feel like i need some adult interaction too. I’d say if technology isn’t interrupting your family time or time with God, then no worries:) I had to cut technology because I’d often scroll through Twitter instead of reading YouVersion – or I’d be on my phone instead of talking to my kids or family.

    Thanks for commenting – it’s a nice reminder to us all that not everyone has tech issues:)
    Sarah:)

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  1. […] have written about my technology diet and my not to-do list.  For the most part, I have been successful.  But, it’s creeping back in, […]

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