At the beginning of every year, I come up with something new I need to change. A new ‘new year’s resolution’. Most years, I make it a few days, maybe a few weeks. But, still, every year I find it fun to try to work on something new. In the past, my resolutions have stemmed around becoming healthy, losing weight, and reading more of the Bible. But, this year, I wanted to do something different. Something drastic. Something crazy. I decided to…..(drum roll)…..give up Facebook. For. The. Whole. Year. All of 2017.
I’m what you would call a Facebook stalker. I constantly go on and read other people’s posts, look at pictures, but don’t often post anything myself. When I do post, it’s normally a share or something amazing or extremely cute about my girls. Instead, I watch and read other people’s lives. And, I’ve noticed more and more that I have been comparing my life to other people’s Facebook lives. I must be doing something wrong because my daughter doesn’t like her school work. Or my 14 month old isn’t talking much yet. Or I never have a clean house. Or I never make homemade tortillas. Etc. Then, I realized that Facebook lives are either 1. The best of people’s lives OR 2. The worst of people’s lives. You never see the mundane day to day life. You don’t see parents repeatedly telling their children to clean their rooms. Or children constantly not following directions. Or the constant changing of diapers, even though you just changed it. Or the mess from the high chair (and child), right after that super cute picture of the 1 year old’s first birthday cake.
However, my favorite thing on Facebook is to read parenting and education articles, gather recipes, and get new ideas. I save all of these to read at a later time or to refresh my mind of what I’ve read. When giving up Facebook, I realized I would miss my saved links and articles most. So, I decided I would save them to my computer before entirely giving up Facebook.
So, on January 1st, I went on Facebook a last time. I posted to my wall that I was giving up Facebook for the year. Then, I opened all my saved items. I saved them to a Word document or bookmarked the link. My plan was to deactivate the account, but instead I decided to delete it from my phone and see how much it tempted me to go back on. If I was consistently tempted to go back on, then I would deactivate it. I was worried about losing all my pictures and past postings. I have used Facebook in the past to record funny things my children have done throughout the years.
The first few days were hard. I didn’t realize how much I opened Facebook up without even realizing it. I opened Facebook up, while waiting for my tea, while walking upstairs, while getting ready. I often unlocked my phone to open Facebook, then would realize what I was doing and closed it again. The first week was a definite eye opener for me. But, I learned something new. I learned how much of my time was just wasted on my phone. I didn’t even realize how much time was spent reading or scrolling on Facebook. I hate losing track of time, but I realized how much time I had lost before I gave it up.
Now, it’s been almost 3 weeks and I’ve learned so much more! I still think about it once in awhile, but I’ve found a better use of my time. I spend more time watching my girls play. Talking to them about what they’re learning. Doing crafts and activities. Knitting. Reading to my girls. Reading the Bible. Walking outside in the snow. Cleaning the house. Cooking homemade tortillas. All those other resolutions I wanted to do, but never had the time.
But, more than that, I’ve watched and assessed how my attitude toward life has changed. I pray and talk to God more. I read the Bible more. I incorporate God more in my discussion with my girls. I was never faithless with Facebook, but I definitely incorporate more of my faith in discussions throughout my life.
My 10 year old noticed. She noticed that she doesn’t get away with as much anymore. I notice when she doesn’t clean her room as well as it should be. I notice when she hasn’t done all of her schoolwork. I notice when she’s been spending a little too much time on the computer. I notice the paintings she’s been doing. I notice how well she’s playing the piano. I notice all the time she spends working on “projects.” I notice more in general.
I think my 14 month old has noticed too, in her own way. She noticed Mom getting on the floor and playing more. She has more undivided attention now. She eats more homemade meals and snacks now. I read more books to her. We’ve pulled out crayons and colored together. I actually watch her play more. We constantly have classical music on in the background. I listen to her laugh. I love coming up with new ways of making her laugh. I notice her and try to appreciate her more in the moment. Rather than overlook sweet moments.
I don’t know that giving up Facebook is right for everybody. But, for me, it has made a huge difference. But, I think what’s made the most difference is obeying God. God has been laying it on my heart for awhile now that I needed to do something drastic. But giving up Facebook was too much for me. Now that I’ve listened, my eyes and ears have been opened more to Him. So, for the 2017 year, you won’t find me on Facebook. You can find me playing with my girls, actually reading a book, writing more, listening to classical music, outside going for walks, cooking with and for my girls, reading to my girls or taking them on adventures. Goodbye Facebook. Maybe another year.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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