A picture is worth a thousand words.
A thousand precisely curated, perfect shot, filtered, very intentional words.
It’s been one month since I hit the delete my account button over on Facebook. There is a 30 day waiting period to make sure you are absolutely 100% positive you want to quit. Only once did I want to log in because there were pictures posted of my son’s all star football game (only available on Facebook). Instead of logging in, I tapped into my resources and had my sister go to the page and send me the pictures of him.
I beat the system!
Social Media Controlled My Life
For 14 years, I was active on Facebook since the time when you needed a college email to log in. I knew the ins and outs of how to beat the algorithm and stay at the top of people’s feeds. Meaning if you didn’t spend a lot of time on the app, your engagement would dip down and so would your exposure. And God forbid you took a break to be with your family on vacation or be present in life.
When I was on Facebook, I needed to capture everything that was happening around me. In my extremely active phase, I would document every thought that came across my mind. My goal was to get likes and comments to increase my engagement with my “friends.” It made me feel part of a community because other moms would totally get what I was saying. I knew that the more people who saw my posts, the more I would pop up on their news feed.
What I failed to see was how it was affecting my work, family and self.
Capturing every moment is a big distraction to our life’s work. We lose all sight of what is important because we are more focused on how our posts will be received by others. By not being on Facebook, I have found my presence on other platforms has decreased. When I do post, it’s because I have something intentional I want to share that has been on my mind for some time. My goal is not to add to all the noise that is constantly coming at us.
Do Not Hit The “Share” Button
Lately, it’s been harder for me to post on Instagram because I haven’t been taking as many pictures. I love documenting our lives but not all pictures are Insta-worthy. Recently, my camera roll has been a lot of shots of my kids with missing teeth. No one wants to see that bloody mess over and over again. With four kids, we lose a lot of teeth.
It’s not that I don’t like taking pictures. Actually it’s quite the opposite but when I’m more focused on getting that perfect shot I’m not in the moment. My brain goes straight to how can I style this on Instagram or will this picture fit a blog post I’m writing?
Instastories is the same way. Most of what is on my stories are videos of me sharing something I find interesting or screenshots of the next book I’m reading. My kids do a lot of funny video worthy things but usually I’m not quick enough to hit record. When I want them to repeat what they did, it’s not as funny, nor is it authentic anymore.
Much of our lives are not picture worthy and indeed are very mundane. I don’t even want to post pictures of my kids reading, playing video games, doing dishes, playing slime or doing homework on the computer. There’s nothing exciting about that.
Live In The Moment
Since hitting the delete button on Facebook, I have felt no remorse in my actions. Social media is a distraction that stops you from doing the work you were meant here to do. I love taking lots of pictures for our memories but not in order to sacrifice being present.
After dinner the other night, as we were cleaning up, my husband put on some music. The playlist had a bunch of songs we love, so we stopped to take a dance break. We were all so in the moment that we had lost track of time. It wasn’t till I paused for a potty break that I noticed it was well past bed time.
At no point during our “party” did I think, “Oh, I should grab my phone and record this.” It wasn’t till after the kids had gone to bed that it dawned me how much I have changed. Previously, I would have stopped myself from being in the moment so I could broadcast our silliness to the world. But now, I’d rather be an active participant in our lives instead of watching from the sidelines.