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Less Social Media {Day 12}

Less Social Media | Reasons to Spend Less Time on Social Media | Time Management | Happy Life | Life Goals | 31 Days of Less & More challenge

This is Day 12 of our 31 Days of Less & More challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day 1, then visit the Overview Page to see the entire series.  

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One of my main regrets in life is giving considerable thought to inconsiderate people. — Jarod Kintz

We’ve made it one-third of the way through our 31 days, and today marks a shift into Part Two of this series, which will focus on creating less stress but more peace in our lives.

What better place to start than social media?

Now don’t get me wrong, I actually adore love social media!  I could happily spend hours perusing the many wonders of Pinterest, collecting recipes and craft ideas and tips of all kind.  I love keeping up with all my friends and family on Facebook, and I’ve found that participating in Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with colleagues or people who are striving for the same goals.  And who doesn’t love Instagram?  Even my seven-year old is hooked!

No, the problem isn’t really social media itself, but often the amount of time that we devote to it.  Modern culture makes it all too easy to substitute superficial Facebook friendships for real life relationships.  Even worse, we maintain online “friendships” or worry about trying to impress people we often don’t even like.  Even worse, we get annoyed or depressed when our life doesn’t stand up to the Pinterest standards of perfection, or when the status updates from those same people rub us the wrong way.  Why?

The more I’ve thought about this lately, the more I’ve realized something needs to give.  While I still slip far more often than I would like to admin, I have found that implementing three simple rules have helped immensely in reducing my social media overload:

  • Set the timer.  I try to give myself 15 minutes in the morning for browsing Facebook & another 10-15 minutes in the evening, and I set similar limits for Pinterest.  When the time is up, I get off, no questions asked.  At least in theory.
  • Turn off all alerts & notifications.  This is such a simple solution but can make such a big difference!  I found that as soon as I stopped being alerted anytime I had a message or a friend request or I was being tagged, the temptation to go and look simply went away.  I also turned off all group board notifications, which allows me to participate on my own schedule, not someone else’s.  Yes, I might miss an interesting conversation every once in a while, but that is a risk I am willing to take to maintain a little sanity.
  • Be selective.  The last time I checked there were no awards for the number of Facebook friends you have or the number of groups you belong to.  Choose quality over quantity and limit your friends and groups to those people you would actually want to spend time with.  On my personal page, I don’t usually accept friend requests from anyone I haven’t met in person.  I have also unfriended a few people and unjoined groups for a variety of reasons.

I promise that you will never regret the time you didn’t spend on Facebook.  Spend some time with a real-life friend instead!

Be sure to read Edie’s corresponding post, More Friendship.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: 

Do an internal Facebook audit.  Are there so-called friends in your feed who are driving you crazy or causing you stress?  Un-friend them.  Remove yourself from groups you’re not interested in, un-like any pages you are no longer interested in, and turn off all notifications.    Then do the same for any other social media networks you participate in.

Now, spend some time thinking about the people in your real-life circle.  Think of two people that you love and respect that you’d like to cultivate deeper friendships with and write them down.   Pray for that person, invite them for coffee, send notes of encouragement or short texts or emails.

 

Less Social Media | Reasons to Spend Less Time on Social Media | Time Management | Happy Life | Life Goals | 31 Days of Less & More challenge

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Do you ever spend too much time on social media?  What are some ways you can connect with your real life friends instead?

13 Comments

  1. October 12 at 08:42AM

    This is such good advice. Just the other day, I turned off all my notifications from facebook. I no longer receive all those emails which make me want to immediately log on and check things out, and as a result, I’m on facebook so much less! I did the same with Pinterest awhile back as well, and I spend so much less time on there. I used to get on to look up one specific things, and then ended up randomly browsing the humor board for far too long, but no more!

    It’s a great feeling to slightly disconnect from all social media! Not totally, but slightly! 🙂

  2. October 12 at 09:06AM

    I spend too much time on blogger…
    Oké, I ‘ll try it with a timer!

  3. October 12 at 12:40PM

    One of the best things I did was download the stay focus app from Chrome were I could set time limits for certain sites, Facebook and Pinterest included. It has helped me so much being intentional about the time that I am able to spend online. But I do need to go through my friends and delete some, especially those that I haven’t even interacted with since high school! Great reminder today, thanks for sharing!

    • October 12 at 04:22PM

      I need that app! Thanks for the suggestion.

      Yes, I frequently fall prey to going online with a specific goal but getting distracted by all the other temptations (Pinterest) out there. Setting a time limit would be a big help for me.

  4. October 12 at 07:28PM

    Great post! I agree and struggle with this, as many of us do. I have done a friends audit on FB several times and feel like it’s basically down to close friends, family, and a handful of less close friends but those I actively want to stay in contact with. It works for me right now.

    Re: Instagram, I am not on there or Twitter but I do think there can be some harm. Maybe it’s not just how much time we spend on social media but what message it sends. Taking selfies all day and posting them to Instagram, FB, or whatever isn’t exactly humble. I love seeing people’s pics of their adventures and their family and their dog doing something silly, we all do. But I do think it sends a mixed message to our children about how “important” we each are when we’re always taking photos of ourselves and sharing them with others. Food for thought…

    I’ll be taking your timer and notification settings advice – good ideas!

  5. Lisa
    October 14 at 04:03PM

    Boy…am I super convicted. I’m a few days behind on here, but God’s timing is perfect. Today was exactly when I needed to read this post. I am going to turn off my notifications and I am going to let some of my friends know that I won’t be readily available all day long. My husband will be overjoyed.

  6. October 14 at 06:25PM

    I did a facebook friends audit awhile ago, and periodically do so, so the people I’m keeping track of are the ones I really care about. It is freeing and makes a big difference!

  7. October 14 at 08:52PM

    So I know this may be hard to believe but I’ve never had facebook, twitter, instagram etc….. Not that I have anything against social media, I just have never felt the desire to set one up. I most enjoy chatting with my best friend on the phone and meeting up with friends for coffee to catch up. I still don’t own a smart phone either, my husband tells me pretty soon my phone will be obsolete:) I’m a stay at home mom and I work part time from home so I’ve never found the need to have one since my computer is aways close by. Although there have been times I’ve been out and it sure would’ve come in handy. Maybe I’ll get one soon 🙂

  8. Supriya
    October 15 at 06:35AM

    Nice article Ruth…! Just to the Point.As I am working I basically dont get time for Social Media.But anyways I practice these things you mentioned except Notification. I’ll definately do that.
    Also ,I am planning to quit my job and planning to be a home maker full time. :).

  9. October 29 at 01:28PM

    Thanks so much for this post. I needed a great reminder to help me resist the temptation!

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