Dear followers (all 3 of you),
Today I declared, No more Instagram or Facebook on my cellphone! Honestly you all know the surface level explanation of “why?” You’ve seen the videos of people missing all of life’s treasures because they are too captivated by their device to be captivated by real life. But may I just point out how ironic it is that those “social media is bad” videos are circulating on the very social media networks that exasperate the problem. I agree with this surface level explanation as to why these networks are distracting us, but it is not the WHY in my decision to delete them. Here is what ultimately lead I my decision.
Time: My time is precious (as I assume yours is too) and I’ve been letting social media literally STEAL a whole stinking lot of it! I’m a stay at home mom, so often it seems like I have a lot of extra time to waste on social media. But in reflection I know there were many ways to have much better used that time.
Exhibit A Time with my kids:
My kids already get the bulk of my time and attention, but what kind of time is it? It’s definitely not undivided time! It certainly isn’t productive time. And usually it’s time I’m distracted by whatever is happening (or not happening) on my cellphone. My kids deserve not just time (quantity), but time QUALITY!
Exhibit B: Time Working I can convince myself til’ the cows come home that I’m “working” when I’m on Instagram, trying to promote my business. But I have to be real honest with you, and honest with myself, social media HAS NOT prospered my little online business. Maybe this means I need to give up my business altogether, or maybe it means that I need to dedicate my work time to MORE PRODUCTIVE ways to grow, publicize and advocate for my business. (Case in point, blogging- but more on that in a bit).
Exhibit C: Time Learning it has been a long time since I have done much for my own mind. As a mommy I often feel like a zombie, and I truly think the feeling has been exasperated because of the amount of mind numbing time I’ve spent on social media. It would be nice to be able to read a book, heck it would be awesome to just keep up with my daily bible readings and devotions, that I claim to run out of time for. Sadly there have been a couple too many times that I’ve intended to opened my “Bible App” and gotten distracted by the magnetic pull of Instagram (which I haven’t checked for a whole 30 minutes!).
I consider myself an intelligent person with ideas, and dreams, and wonderings that deserve the time to be explored and cultivated!
Exhibit D: Dutiful Time
I just love the feeling of a clean house, dinner on the table, laundry folded and put away! Don’t you?! And although I love this feeling, it is rare to complete these tasks all in a days work. Again, there is so much time I DO have to do these things, and in doing them, feel less stressed and anxious about the growing list of “things to do”. It’s time for me to finally check off my daily “To-Do’s” rather than putting them off with another pointless post from a stranger only to satisfy a fleeting whimsy.
Relationships: One of the biggest detriments to social media, as it pertains to my life, is that it has created fake friendships, surface level relationships, and perhaps even alienated people that I DO care to have true friendships with. On facebook, the majority of posts on my news feed are from random people that I barely know, and certainly never see in person. Yet, I find myself way too emotional and involved in what they say online. I can get upset over someone’s view point or I can feel jealousy based on a single picture. When it comes to actual friendships online, I communicate more regularly with those friends in comments and photos then I do in actual conversations or face to face interactions. I DO NOT want hundreds of superficial relationships. But I would be ecstatic with 3 or 4 deep and meaningful ones! I hope that I am still able to see all the sweet pictures and milestones of my friends and their kids and their beautiful lives, I just hope to be able to do it in a more personal way. With pictures adorned on the walls of their home, and with friendships close enough that they think to text me a picture of their life personally. Now that would be something to brighten my day!
My Children and their Childhood Another aspect about this social media age is it’s effect on my children and their generation. I am in a unique generation where I can see the before and the after of this whole technology boom. I grew up with at first a black and white tv which morphed into a color tv and VCR to watch videos on. We didn’t have cable and watched a small amount of tv in general. I learned the computer in elementary school and in middle school we got dial up internet in our home. My parents had cell phones when I was a kid, but I didn’t get one until I was a junior in HS and was given sisters hand-me-down when she went on to college WITHOUT a phone (yeah! Imagine that!). In college text messaging and Facebook entered the world, followed by picture texts, videos, iPhones, apps, twitter, Instagram and MORE! All that to say I can see the cause and effect of the technology on childhood. My 2 year old, who is being raised with no concept of a life before, cabel tv, internet, cell phones, ipads, dvr’s, video games, etc., is able to watch Mickey Mouse whenever her fancy. If we are out at the grocery store and she starts whining because she wants to watch “an episode” on my phone, I of course cave in. Why? Because it’s a whole lot easier to shop while she is entertained on the phone. But what a HUGE determent to my child and MONUMENTAL parenting flaw on my behalf! I loved going to the store with my mom as a kid, running around, trying to slip in all the sugary treats before my mom would notice. It should be an easy way of life to return to, but when you have the world of information in your pocket, and a “babysitter on demand”, literally, it would be foreign to go back.
My childhood was full of Playing outdoors, exploring and creating. My kids deserve that and more!
Creativity: Speaking of creativity. Social media seems to actually limit it. What it does instead, is create inbreeding, copying, envy, and a spirit of trying to outdo one another. To truly find creativity again, I need to stop trying to be like those that have the appearance of having creative success, and get back to the true creativity in my mind. There is a difference between creating out of inspiration and creating out of desperation. Creating out of inspiration comes from a thought, an adventure, and experience, something personal and unique. Creating out of desperation is what I consider creating from something you have seen someone else create (whether out of their own inspiration or desperation, either way, it doesn’t matter). Basically, this includes following fads, copying things that you “like”, trying to out-do someone else, copying, and just being plain desperate. Lately, I am totally guilty of creating out of desperation. And I am very sure it is driven by instagram and a desperation to somehow measure up to what everyone else is doing, what everyone else finds acceptable, cool, unique, trendy, etc. It’s time for a wake-up call and find my own voice, creating for me and no one else!
Why Is Blogging Okay? Blogging is a source of social media I suppose, but I also find it to be more intellectual, and more worthy of my time. I am creating when I write. I am thinking deeper when I write. I am composing purposefully when I write. I am expressing when I write. I am doing much more than sharing a single picture in hopes to get “likes” and gain followers. Plus there is the fact that I don’t have a network here on my blog, so that helps too 🙂
I will be sharing projects, pictures, ideas, and more on my blog. So if you are missing my old instagram pictures, if you want a glimpse into my life, then you can find me here!
My Hearts Desires: If you know me, you know that I have a bachelors degree in interior design and that it is where my passion lies. Over the past 9 years practicing and learning the art of design I have been highly creative and felt huge accomplishment in doing so. I have worked for others and worked for myself. But in the past few months my heart for design has taken a major hit. In trying to market my own business, I have never felt so low about my own abilities. I have felt under appreciated and taken advantage of. It is no one’s fault but my own, for letting envy, and social media effect me so deeply. I am not a person to toot my own horn, but I can honestly tell you that I have always found great pride in my design ability. I have always been at the top of my class, highly recognized for my abilities and point of view. In college all of our designs were derived from concepts, and somewhere along the way, the only concept I have been using to design is acceptance. Sadly, searching for acceptance just makes me feel less accepted all the time.
In architectural history, one designer in particular always stuck out to me, Dorothy Draper. Yes, I loved her style, and yes I loved that she was a woman. I also loved her story and how she rose to be an interior designer. But what I loved the absolute most about this woman can be summed up in this, “Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Dorothy Draper
^Greenbrier Resort Interiors by Draper^
I have never identified with a quote so much in my life. No more instagram or facebook to “show off”. I am ready to regain my integrity, knowing that there is no one out there to see me do it!
I may be all alone in the world without social media, but I am hoping that the opposite becomes true. I hope to finally be fulfilled in time, relationships, duties, and my career aspirations! I’m going to look toward my interior design ancestors to make my dreams a reality. Can’t get much simpler than these words by designer Elsie deWolfe. “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”