Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hi. My name is Jo and I'm a social media addict


Those of you that have been on the journey with me on Princess Warrior Lessons for a while now know the struggle I have with social media. If not, just briefly, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love social media because I love being social. I hate social media as I find myself wasting time on it unnecessarily. It sucks me in like a vortex.

Last year I actually unplugged from all social media for a while, and deleted my Facebook account. My boys threw a party at my decision. Social media had made me an absent-present parent. Here, but not really here.

Mid-December, after being off Facebook for 7 months, I decided to rejoin Facebook with the purpose of connecting with friends I have made on my blog in a more personal way. So I set up a Facebook page. I also manage another Facebook page for a community organisation connected with my church. I had been updating statuses via a third party application, which meant that I didn't have to go onto Facebook to update. But the application was limited in the fact that I couldn't share photos and links easily. So rejoining Facebook made this easier for me.

I started to add friends again to my personal profile, and found that after 2 weeks, I had fallen into the same old traps of checking Facebook way too frequently, that led me to the decision of deleting Facebook last year. I also found myself feeling jealous about people's photos and statuses and left out if I wasn't invited to a get together. Bottom line, Facebook brings out all my insecurities. I don't like who I become on Facebook. I unfriend-ed all but the people associated with the Facebook Page that I manage. 


I wish this wasn't so. I wish I could be on Facebook like a "normal" person and not have it effect me so much. But it does. The advice that I have received is "set boundaries" and  "use self-control". Both which usually find me condemning myself for being such a failure and not being strong enough. "You're such a loser", I tell myself. I have tried to set boundaries, and my self-control is weak. I seem to be an 'all or nothing' type of girl. I was actually much happier without Facebook....

The thing is, I am an extrovert. My work (homeshooling my children) requires me to be with my children all day without any contact with another adult for hours. Hence why the pull of social media is so strong for me. And because I don't plan on changing jobs anytime soon, I need to make some decisions to help me with my  social media addictive behaviour. It's not just Facebook that I struggle with, It's also Twitter.

Am I like an alcoholic? Do I have to just say for the rest of my life, "Hi. My name is Jo and I'm a social media addict", and never touch a drop of social media again? Do I need a 12-step program?

My only hesitation in deleting my Twitter account and my new Facebook Page, is that I have made so many friends on both Twitter and Facebook. In fact, I have made a new friend recently in real life because of a friendship I had made on Twitter.

But alas, I also know that social media makes me strive. It makes me strive in a negative way to maintain those connections I have made through social media. It makes me strive to keep up with the Jonses (whoever they are). The truth is, my blog doesn't really need a Facebook page. My blog is a hobby at this stage. I have no need to build a platform. If I deleted my Facebook Page and Twitter account, life would still go on. Not too many would be effected on the world wide web. And those that want to maintain friendships with me will visit my blog, or email me, or ring me. There are other ways to communicate and stay connected besides social media.

And so as I am at a crossroad. Dare I say goodbye to Facebook, again? The irony is, I have been asked to manage another Facebook page, because I am so good at social media. Managing another organisation's Facebook Page doesn't effect me. I can do this without falling into the insecurity trap, because it's not personal.


So here's what I've decided. Since I find myself having the same old problems with social media it's best that I say goodbye...again!

Because I don't want my son's remembering their childhood as having a mother who was glued to her phone or her computer...
Because maintaining connections with my husband and sons are far more important than maintaining connections on social media...
Because I would rather stare at these amazing incredible people.....


....than this!


Still taking lessons from the King,







39 comments:

  1. Yes, yes. You do what you must do.
    Because we love you... not your facebook or twitter page ;)
    xox

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  2. I am adding your blog to my favorites to help me keep in touch with you without the aid of twitter. Like Michelle, I love YOU not your pages! Love you bunches and bunches. Lee

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    1. Thank you Lee! 'll be dropping by your blog too to keep up with you. Love you my friend xo

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  3. You're amazing & brave! I'm thankful that God is bigger & smarter than social media & that He can make a way for His purposes & plans for our lives without it's help. It's just a tool & He has many many other ways :) I hope I can be as selfless & brave as you are, for my family too! Xoxo

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    1. Yes, He is so much bigger than social media. I am so thankful to social media for connecting me with you though in real life. Although I have a feeling that He would have made our paths cross despite social media.

      You have made my life richer already by being in it. xo

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  4. I feel the same way :) He loves us all too much (and our kiddies) for us not to have met. Pray for me as I make the decision as to whether or not to do the same. Xoxo

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    1. I will be sure to drop by your blog from time to time Jeanne xo

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  6. Jo, those gorgeous faces above are certainly worth giving up. Sadly, the whole social media thing is struggle for many of us. I think there is a particular pull for stay at home mums. The first year I blogged I had to really pull up and reassess my time wastage. Husbands and children are excellent at pointing out our shortfalls and addictions. I thank God for that. I don't read here often and never "met" you on FB so we can maintain that level of contact easily!

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    1. My husband and boys have helped me grow so much as a person. I owe them so much!

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  7. Ooops! I meant to say that those gorgeous faces are worth giving up Social media for :-)

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  8. Jo, I understand the addiction to social media. But before you hit delete,in the two weeks I have been 'friends' with you on FB, you have been a breath of fresh air. You have shared and spoken many (some only brief) words of encouragement that have poked me in the ribs with "see that, that's you. That word is for you!"

    I am selective of which blogs I read because they are my weakness. I could spend lots of time read and subscribing to blog pages. I have found, though, that your pages are refreshing and I can relate to some of the things you are going through, but you also write about hope in amongst these times. So keep writing please, and I hope one day we can meet over coffee. Thank you so much.

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    1. Oh Kelly! It makes my heart smile to know that I have posted things on my FB page that have encouraged you. It really does.

      Please know that I haven't made this decision lightly. I wish I could remain on FB, but I can't.

      I will definitely keep writing and would love to meet you one day over coffee.

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  9. So proud of you. You are doing the right thing for you and your boys.
    Love you xxxx

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  10. I get sucked into the social media as well. Not so much twitter - but facebook has definitely been my time waster. I actually unfriended about 50 people off my personal profile, because I only wanted to interact with those that I am in contact with in real life. I still have my page for my blog, but I keep coming back to the fact that life goes on if I don't update it regularly! I will be sad to see you go (again!) but I will still be reading your beautiful and always encouraging words.xx

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    1. Believe me....if I could stay on FB without it sucking me in, I would. See you on your blog Deb xo

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  11. Jo I now understand a bit more about why you find it difficult - being an extrovert.
    Do what you need to do as your family are much more important and precious.
    Our kids are good at keeping us accountable aren't they:)
    Good on you for being so honest and open about your struggles! It takes courage and I admire you for that!
    Xxx
    Rosemary

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. Sometimes I feel like people would be thinking, "What is she on about? It's not that hard?". Ha ha.

      So thankful that my boys keep me accountable. Thanks for your always encouraging words xo

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  12. I totally get it... I will continue to follow your blog :).
    Big Hugs, Friend!

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  13. I am actually on an internet fast as I write this. Oops. :(
    (But I am doing pretty good. I chucked facebook for the same reasons you mentioned maybe a year ago.) But I did so LOVE to blog. So, my goal has been to just check email (with blog comments getting sent to email) first thing in the morning, once during the day, once at night and keeping it to 5 minutes. Every once in awhile that includes checking out new posts...like yours today. I knew it would encourage me.

    See, I have watched myself become addicted. Many moms are in denial. They can't have conversations without running to tell people. Can't take pictures without planning on the layout they will present to people. I know.

    I have seen how quickly my kids grow up.How fast time goes. And recently God has whispered to me that He'd like me to sit and listen to Him more. When I've made that happen, He has said the most awesome things. And just watching the children, thinking of my man, and listening to God has been completely wonderful. It's like I am now capturing moments that used to slip away. It's like I'm cherishing instead of missing out. And it's like I'm walking in the spirit vs. the flesh. No regrets. Fully in the days.

    No, I don't want my family to remember mommy typing.

    I am an older mom, and I've raised children when technology wasn't part of my routine, and now when it is. Fact is, I loved the way it used to be without all the pulls. My thoughts and plans were home based. I was there. My husband always was my confidant and best friend. I was totally secure and 'into' family. Lots of time with Jesus. Some time with friends. Balance. Just speaking for me. I can't let anything master me, but Jesus Christ.

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    1. I yearn to go back to simpler times before social media engulfed our society Pam. I am working out how to do that. Deleting my Facebook Page and Twitter account is the first step.

      I find that there are too many voices speaking into my life when I am on social media and I am easily swayed.

      So glad you were encouraged by this, Pam. I am encouraged by your comment to listen to His whisper above all else again. xo

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  14. I have these same issues with Facebook... but only Mon-Fri when I am home with the kids by myself with no car. On the weekends when my husband is home and I am with the family (or working) I usually go at least two days without checking it at all or even wanting to. However my mother recently got onto me that maybe I should delete my FB account because of that OTHER reason you mentioned... I get way too jealous about other people's statuses/updates/pictures. Their house is nicer than mine, they are losing more weight than I am, they have a that real career I always wanted while I instead ended up a stay at home mom (who works a service industry job at night barely above minimum wage). I have actually deleted people off my account who did me no wrong at all simply because I couldn't handle my own jealousy. *smh*

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    1. We are convinced in our western society that we will miss out if we aren't on FB. The first few months when I deleted my FB ac last year I felt like I was missing out. But it is a lie. The next few months, I found that life without FB actually enhanced my relationships.

      I can't wait to get back to quality relationships again. Who really needs to know everyone's business anyway, right?

      I will not miss the green-eyed monster that emerges when I'm on FB one little bit!

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  15. Hi Jo! There is a great commercial on TV over here in the States...I'm not even sure I know what it is advertising. However, it goes something like this. There is a teen-aged girl complaining that her parents are old fashioned and don't know anything about social media. She says they opened a Facebook account but only have a couple of friends. She expresses that she is worried because they aren't involved and don't have any online connections to stimulate them, etc., etc., etc. At the time she is making these comments, she is glued to the computer, typing in her thoughts while sitting inside the house in her room -- alone. As she is typing and talking to the invisible audience (the TV crowd) the camera pans back and forth to her parents who are busy riding bikes, climbing mountains, dancing, hanging with friends and otherwise ACTUALLY out enjoying life. It paints a perfect picture...Unplug and start living!

    Blessings! Joan

    P.S. So glad you're keeping the blog as it is a great source of inspiration to so many!

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    1. Joan, thank you so much for sharing this! I love the thought...."Unplug and start living!"

      Thank you for always encouraging me. xo

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  16. Jo,
    you speak straigh to the heart.
    For me facebook sucks me in because the desire for company.
    Staying home can be a lonely route. Trying to find the balance is so hard.
    My husband is not a social man and has a job where he is so busy communicating with people he needs the retreat into his own head when he gets home, compounding the need for social interation. My answer to the FB dilema has been to have him change my password. I now have tou ask and justify each log in. sounds extreme, but is helping me balance my need for the interation and his need for solitude.

    You are an amazing, open woman. I appreciate the gifts God has given, the way you share you personal struggles in the hope to build up those around you. Thank you sweet princess, and I hope I am down your way soon

    Miss our face to face chats.
    Kerrie

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    1. Kerrie, I think that is so wise what you are doing with giving your husband the password. It makes you accountable.

      Can't wait to catch up you again face to face. You my friend, are amazing and I am so blessed to call you friend. xo

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  17. Your "addiction" is a reflection of the human spirit's need for connection. In today's world, all the face to face interactions that were a natural part of a normal day in the "old" days, have been replace by technological connection. It is so hard to find a balance. I hope if you cut the computer cord, you will find other ways to connect. And you know, as much as we love our children, moms need grown up connections, too. Good luck!

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    1. Hi Galen, I do hear what you are saying. I agree, the human spirit craves connection. Thankfully, I do have a church family and friends that I connect with face to face with several times during the week. I know too well that mums need grown up connections too! I have no intention of isolating myself.

      My addiction is that I feel the need to check Facebook and Twitter several times a day unnecessarily. This is very unhealthy and makes me very unproductive. My mind is always on Facebook or Twitter instead of being present in the moment.

      And I still intend to connect with people right here on my blog. Jo xo

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  18. I am so encouraged to know there is a kindred spirit out there when it comes to FB addiction!
    I found your blog last year when I kicked FB and we exchanged a comment on it. Last month I felt strong enough to rejoin FB, but it's been an up and down struggle, just like you described. I'm not deleting it again right now, but I am taking the app off my phone and considering other restrictions. You are in my prayers as I sort this out myself!
    http://theelizabethw.blogspot.com/2012/01/facebook.html (the update post)

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    1. Hey Elizabeth! Fancy meeting you here! ;) Jo, I deleted my FB last year, and I still go back and forth with myself over whether or not I should rejoin. Since I deleted it, I have moved and found myself missing my old friends, and missing those cyber-connections, as superficial as they are. As of now, I'm remaining steadfast. But I resent the fact that I even have this conflict in my life at all. :/
      Jennifer
      www.thefarriswheel.blogspot.com

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    2. Hello lovely ladies! Ah, 2 women who know my struggle well. Stay steadfast Jennifer! How are you going with adding more friends Elizabeth?

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  19. I posted this on my facebook page.
    Oh Dear...what does that say?

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    1. Heh heh! Oh the irony ;)

      I'm OK with others being on FB...just facing up to my weakness and admitting my addiction. xo

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo