Zach and I often discuss social media and the impact it has had on society. Although there are some positives, we generally think the negatives outweigh the positives. I have tried to distance myself from it numerous times, am always happy with the results, and then for some reason I return. It is a habit more than anything I think.
Tonight, I read an article (on social media, ironically), that encouraged moms to enjoy the little things more, written by a mom that had lost her four year old in a car accident. I cried. I thought of how heartbreaking that would be, and I thought of Terran's fits, whiny-ness, and desire to have a constant playmate. I believe the fits and whiny-ness are a cry for more undivided attention. I thought of his pure delight and utter happiness when I donned a superhero cape with him and fought bad guys in the basement. I thought how those kind of moments are so much more important and meaningful than the status updates and pictures of other people's lives that consume my time when I am on social media.
I thought of the baby books I want to create, the photo albums of vacations I want but have never done. I realized that my time is already stretched thin, with meal-planning and laundry, building Lego towers and calling the washing machine repair guy. I don't get enough sleep daily, but I get caught up on other people's lives daily. I am constantly coming across new recipes and creative things for kids to do, but I don't incorporate them nearly enough.
As I continued down this road of reflection, I remembered that I fail to read my scriptures, and considered that if I take my habit of pulling up Instagram or Facebook and instead read a few verses of scripture, my daily life would improve.
All of these thoughts and more led me to the conclusion that time with my children would be better spent without a screen in my face. My day to day life would be better if I greatly eliminated social media. Because there are positives, I think that once a week would be sufficient time to benefit from the positives and help eliminate the negative. I can focus my mind and my fifteen minutes here or there on more inspiring and important matters.
What I want is a life where I do not have regrets with how I raised my kids, I do not feel like I could have done a better job. Some may say that is impossible, but I think the small choices I make each day can make it possible. Screen time and social media contribute way too much fuel to the self-doubt, comparisons, and wasted time that causes those regrets and makes people think they aren't doing good enough. And to be honest, it not only makes people feel that way, it makes it true. If we are spending time and energy on things that don't matter when our children need us (and I believe their "needs" include non-distracted play, acknowledgement of accomplishments, and true interest in their moments), then we aren't doing as good of a job as we could. My kids are my world, they deserve to feel like it and believe that. From this day on, I strengthen my resolve to limit my social media to be a better mom.