Social Media – Inspiration for Finding Your Balance

Written by monthly contributing writer, Trina Holden.

My addiction was out of hand. Though I knew it was unhealthy, I indulged multiple times a day, couldn’t go 24 hours without withdrawal symptoms, and constantly made excuses for my habit.

A Confession…

My vice? Social Media. This tool – wonderful for networking, business, and ministry – was taking more from me that it was giving. It was stealing vast amounts of time and leaving me stressed and burnt out. I knew I wasn’t the only one with this problem (I could name plenty of people who were worse than me – one of my many excuses!) but I didn’t know what to do about it. I needed to use this tool – how was I to keep it in balance?

An Experiment…

Then I heard about a friend who took a month off Facebook. Just the thought of such a sacrifice caused my typing fingers to start twitching nervously. That was a sure sign to me that my addiction was out of hand and needed to be addressed. So, I took the plunge and – without even saying goodbye – I gave up facebook for a month.

It was an incredible season, opening my eyes to all I was missing in real life when I let myself get sucked into the virtual, synthetic “Home” of my facebook page. Facebook seems designed to distract, to never let you finish a thought or task, with so many links on every page pulling you further and further into its time-sucking, mind numbing, stupor inducing  grasp – Ahhhh! Taking a break helped me regain vision and balance in my online time.

A Commitment…

Even as I realized the need to stop letting facebook use me, I was learning how to use social media to market my business, glean valuable information, and find mentors for everything from blog-building to mothering.  In fact, since my fast, I’ve re-entered facebook, joined twitter, and am more committed to my online presence than ever. This  presents the challenge of staying in control even as the opportunities to get sucked in and waste time have multiplied. It is a constant battle, requiring regular re-evaluation and lots of prayer, but I’m committed to the challenge of finding balance in this media-saturated world.

Here are some practical ways I manage the tool of social media…

  1. I only visit my personal Facebook page three days a week. Do I miss stuff? Yes. Has it killed me? No. As fun and fascinating as facebook can be, I’ve never read anything I couldn’t live without or couldn’t have learned by calling a friend.
  2. I do the same thing with Twitter – every other day. Another incredible tool, another dangerous time-waster.  I figure, if something is really good, it will make it to my feed eventually.
  3. I read my favorite blogs through an RSS feed (essential for saving time) and constantly sift through the blogs I subscribe to, keeping to a lean list of the very best blogs for me to expose myself to in this season. (Lindsay taught me this)
  4. At least once a week (usually on Sundays and lately, at least one weekday) I stay off the computer for the entire day. I schedule posts for my blog in advance, and let email go for a day. This gives my mind a chance to breath, refreshing and sharpening my vision for all areas of my life.

The Fruit…

These simple boundaries have been very effective in keeping my online time balanced and productive. I’ve experienced much personal growth in the past year, due in large part to my online mentors and research. Also, my schedule has been freed up to invest in real life relationships. After, all, that’s what we’re really called, to, right? Besides the pivotal relationships of being a wife and mother, we need the honesty, accountability and fellowship of real-life friends. Face-to-face trumps facebook every time.

A Challenge…

  1. Just for a day – Track how much time you spend on facebook or your favorite forum or networking site.  List 3 things you would rather have done with that time. Tape the list somewhere you can see it whenever you log on.
  2. Do this test – scroll through your RSS, Twitter, or Facebook news feed and take a survey of all the the news that is actually relevant or of personal interest to you. Take it a step further and judge how much content actually enhanced your relationship with God or inspired your unique calling or passion.
  3. This week - Choose one of your online friends that you have an email or phone number for (or live within driving distance to!) and make the effort to contact them on a more personal level.  See what kind of fun and fellowship ensues!
  4. Take a trip – go to a really popular blog in a niche you enjoy. Take the time to check out the links the author recommends. Compare the enjoyment and input you receive from purposeful reading to an hour of casual blog-hopping or browsing your facebook feed.

It is my desire that my computer time glorify God.  It’s so easy to lose sight of that goal and slip into casual interaction and low quality input. I pray these tips can inspire you to use the internet wisely, to build up your home and deepen relationships.

What do you do to keep perspective, manage your time, and make the most of social media?

Photo Credit

About Trina Holden

Trina enjoys offering hospitality from their 1800’s farm house in Upstate New York. She loves to encourage women to nourish their families, celebrate the journey, and choose to thrive at TrinaHolden.com.

55 Responses to Social Media – Inspiration for Finding Your Balance

  1. Dhanya Smtih August 25, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    I love this post!

    Recently I felt the Lord laying it on my heart that I needed to stop using facebook. I sat on that for a few weeks, reluctant and still I felt it so I knew I had to obey. Even then my rebellious nature couldn’t give up entirely and so I created “Facebook Fridays” as the only day I go on facebook. It’s been over a month now and I love it, I don’t even really want to go on on Fridays and it has freed up so much time for me to devote more diligently to serving my family.

    You’re right that it’s designed to distract… scary thought. God Bless! <3

  2. Megan August 24, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    I was so motivated by this. Thank you for sharing!! As a result, I have decided to take a little over a month off social media. It is what it takes to break the addiction!

  3. Carrie Elsden August 17, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    This was a great post! You’re right, when I’m physically away from computer access I so enjoy the peace I have and the time for other things but when I’m home I continually find myself wasting time, popping in to check everyone’s updates several times daily. I know this is an area that needs some change in my life and you’ve given me some great suggestions for making that reality. I also find that my thoughts are more scattered and restless, likely because I’m allowing that in through the insatiable need to check in again and again. I know it’s time for a break as I find myself thinking in sound bytes as one might type in a status update.

  4. Ansley August 11, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! It hit home very deeply. I have discovered this past week that I have been experiencing some really bad anxiety attacks. I kept searching for reasons why. Then it dawned on me that it is the amount of time I spend on social media. I get caught up in things I shouldn’t. I let those things pull me in when there is no reason for it. I let the comments and opinions of people I can’t even see affect me on such a deep level that it would send my heart to skipping. I know I am addicted to facebook. It’s horrible. I can say that the week I was away at the beach away from the internet I did not have one single attack. I do think social media can be used for good, but it can also be used for bad. You have given me a lot to process. Thank you!

  5. Rosilind August 11, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    This is such a great post that I felt it deserved to be passed on. I gave you a shout out here: http://jukiczr.blogspot.com/2011/08/thoughts-from-this-lazy-blogger.html

    This was incredibly thought provoking!

    • TrinaHolden August 12, 2011 at 4:56 am #

      Rosalind, thanks so much!

  6. Aaron Eden August 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Trina, I can totally relate with your experience… and with Google+ to add on top of your social calendar, just how’s your social media sanity doing these days? It can be a nightmare to keep all your personal accounts running seamlessly and just imagine if you’re a social media marketer or a small business owner who’s running multiple accounts? It used to be a big burden for me until I had to customize a tool that will free me from all these posting chaos, so that I can spend those time instead in listening and talking more to my peers online. I’m glad I did and since then, I’m following the 80/20 rule of social media – as in 80% conversation and 20% automation. The reward? I get to meet like minds and geniuses who I never imagine ever meeting in my entire life, online or offline. By the way, I love how you survived a month without Facebook. In fact, there’s this viral vid on YouTube about a ‘Man Without Facebook’ which is quite hilarious.

    • TrinaHolden August 12, 2011 at 5:00 am #

      Aaron, I’d be very interested to know what this tool is that helps you automate. Because I’m right there – small business owner and social media marketer. If it wasn’t for social media being a tool I use to help supplement the family income, I don’t think I’d be on at all – it can get overwhelming at times!

  7. TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Just wanted to pass on this resource for those mammas out there, like me, who are using blogging and social media to supplement the family income –
    http://www.facebook.com/theorganizedblogger
    I’m looking forward to implementing her ideas when her book comes out!

    Also, don’t forget to make use of the settings on facebook – you don’t have to delete people if that makes you feel uncomfortable – just block people or apps from your feed until you home page only features what you really need to know (for me this is family members and relationships I’m trying to cultivate to the face-to-face level!)

  8. Audrey August 9, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I LOVE this post! I, too, struggle with social media. It is SO addictive! I could easily piddle away days on facebook and twitter and blog reading. I have recently started only turning on the computer when I need to (like today, my husband called and asked if I could look something up for him). Sometimes I will go 3 days without even turning it on. It helps that I have internet on my phone (so I can read emails whenever I’m waiting in the car, etc. without getting sucked in….. and I hate the internet on my phone, so that helps!), but I have let everything go–I ONLY check the top news on my facebook, and I currently have 719 (!!!) emails in my inbox of blogs I have subscribed to and then haven’t gotten to read (or other things), and I’m not terribly worried about it. I honestly don’t even miss facebook that much when I don’t get on it for a few days (and I NEVER get on twitter anymore, I don’t miss that either), which proves to me the uselessness of it!

    • Audrey August 9, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Also, I signed up for RescueTime Robot…. it reports how much time I’m spending (or wasting!) on what sites. It sends you a summary every week. Boy, was that an eye opener!! I’ve gotten it down from about 20 hours a week on facebook (!!!!!) to 4 hours a week. RescueTime has really helped me keep my internet time in check!

      • TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 4:20 am #

        Audrey, thanks for sharing this resource – that sounds easier than manually logging my time as I was doing for a time.

  9. Lacey Wilcox August 9, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I needed to read this today. Such great truths here, and such practical help. I think one of the reasons I don’t balance those things like I should is because I feel like I can’t–that if I don’t, everything falls apart. Not a very faithful approach, is it?
    Thank you for writing this.

  10. Shaye @ The Elliott Homestead August 9, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    What a great and timely post! As I’m in the middle of trying to switch my blog over to WordPress, I found myself completely drained, frustrating, and grouchy. Not the spirit I should be reflecting. After asking for forgiveness from my husband, I decided that if I was going to keep advancing the blog…I was going to need to ask for help. Using my time smarter has enabled me to free up time for the things I should be concentrating on. Thank you for your encouraging words!

  11. [email protected] Today August 9, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    My friend and I were just discussing the need for a schedule, some kind of guide so writing time doesn’t get swallowed up by all the other goings-on around us without sacrificing relationship. Ah, balance, it has been our goal for many years and it seems it is always in need of tweaking as life does not relent its changes.

    Great post, thanks for the reminder we are not alone.

  12. Charise Cole August 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    One of the things I have done is to make a file index full of the names of all our friends and family. Each day I pull out a new name and visit that person’s Facebook page and pray for them and their family (if they have one). Then I will tap them a message telling them that I prayed for them that day. It’s a nice way to keep up on folks (one at a time) and allows me to bless them in some small way during my day. This typically takes me only 5-15 minutes a day.

    • TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 4:48 am #

      Charise, this is a PERFECT example of using social media as a tool. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Cris M August 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    im a stay at home mom, my to do list is sometimes too long for a day. Facebook is my” i need to get away for a moment..my me time so to speak..and same with reading. Yes, i get stuck with it too. But i dont dwell in it..meaning..i can change it the next day..i can do better with my time. On weekends i do my best to log off. Sometimes i fail, but I wont stop making changes..Love the message on this blog. as always!!

  14. Jessie August 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I found this post really encouraging and challenging, especially your closing thoughts, “It is my desire that my computer time glorify God. It’s so easy to lose sight of that goal and slip into casual interaction and low quality input.” I find myself pretending it’s okay to be mindless in internet time, and feel so much freedom and strength in the moments I consciously evaluate, “do I actually want to check facebook right now?” As simple as that may seem, there are moments when I’ll stop mid-login and realize that there is another way I can spend my time, so many times in a way that won’t end in dulled thoughts and distraction. Thank you for this post. I hope that it inspires many to find balance in this area of life as well as others!

    • TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      Jessie – facebook has the same draw for me – just a little ‘down time’. I’ve been challenged lately to ask myself “why am I logging on?” each time I get on the computer (not just facebook). If it’s for selfish reasons, I need to step away! That’s a sign I’m getting sucked in again. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this issue.

  15. April Hodson August 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    AMAZING post! Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and the blog is getting popular faster than I ever imagined, but sometimes it’s at the expense of good house keeping and parenting. Finding balance is such a challenge, but the tips and insights in this post have been a refreshing reminder and encouragement for me. So very glad I stopped occasionally lurking and actually subscribed to Passionate Homemaking!

  16. Steph August 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    What is truly eyeopening to me is that when I fasted from facebook for a week, I found other distractions to fill my time. The issue of facebook may just be the top layer of the larger problem-time management. I just graduated from undergraduate school. I prided myself in my amazing organization and time management skills as far as school responsibilities went during the school years. But when it came to “me” time, I wanted to decide what I was going to do. And that is when facebook became too much…too much of my socializing was computerized. We are all humans in the workings of sweet righteousness.

    • TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 4:56 am #

      Steph, you are so right – if it’s not facebook, it’s easily another form of media. That’s why we have to get the the heart of the matter – asking ourselves, or even better – God, “why am I here? what am I doing?”

      “Humans in the workings of sweet righteousness”….beautiful

  17. Nola August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    This post is another good reminder for me why I don’t want to ever get facebook. I don’t have it, I don’t want it, and I never had it. People don’t understand that…and I’ve actually had a few “friends” not connect with me anymore since I’m not on it. They told me that I need to be on facebook since that is how they manage their friends…sad…but I guess then if I am not that important to them then so be it I will invest in the friends who want to be with me. If and when they want to reconnect I will be here. I don’t even know what some of the social media terms are…and I don’t have any of them. I don’t even have my own blog… I just read a few blogs that I find encouraging. But even then I sometimes find my time spent just reading blogs to be too much. So its not like I don’t struggle at all. I have to find a way to figure that one out. I’d really rather connect in real life but it doesn’t seem to work that well. There aren’t many homemakers to connect with! I do find that its encouraging that there actually are some out there by going online. But it definately can eat up time and I need to figure that one out better.

  18. Lisa August 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    This was an interesting post to me. I was greatly encouraged when I read that you took a month off Facebook and how you described the positives of your “break”. I was so sad to hear that you’ve decided to go back to Facebook! Seriously sad. I can’t imagine what could be so important on Facebook that you can’t accomplish “off line”. I’m so sad for how much precious time is taken away from your home, husband, children, ministries and real life relationships!!! I want to encourage everyone to step away from the social networks and instead focus on how God wants to use you in the lives of others . . . in real life.

    • Nola August 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      I agree totally. The only sad thing is that my family is finding that people are “too busy” to often connect in real life. I am finding this in AND out of the church. I will keep trying but its hard sometimes when people say they are “too busy” but they spend a lot of time on facebook, internet, TV etc. I think that the internet has become the new TV in some ways.

    • TrinaHolden August 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      Lisa, you may find today’s post on my personal blog encouraging. My primary goal in facebook is to foster fellowship in real life – which is how we ended up hosting overnight company two weeks in a row – people we met online and then in real life!
      http://www.trinaholden.com/2011/08/irl-in-real-life-adventures.html

  19. Lisa D August 8, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Thanks so much for the wisdom, this very thing has been on my mind.
    I blog for my family that lives away, so to make a balance of blogging I work on the blog once a week – preparing several posts – then I schedule them to post every couple of days. It has been a blessing, although it worried my mother and she called to make sure everything was OK.

    FB is another thing that will be getting a little paring down. I went through and deleted several friends, and my next “budget cuts” will be the time I spend on it. I have given myself two times a week that I can check it, then it is off limits.

    We have our first year of “official” homeschooling coming up and I think limiting social media will be a blessing!

  20. Daniella Peterka August 8, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Trina this is an awesome post. I keep commenting on everyone else’s comments, too, because it’s something that I’ve been pondering for weeks now (you remember our own email conversation some months back about the results of your time away from Facebook…). I’m so glad you shared all this, and I’m grateful for everyone else’s comments as well. Seems clear, the Holy Spirit is leading us ALL in the same direction, with the outcome perhaps being a little different for each family based on their lifestyle and needs (I may end up using facebook less because I don’t have a blog or a business, but that will be good and right for me, yet another woman may use it a bit more for her blog and business, and that will be right and good for her). May we all be open to what God asks of each and every one of us! God bless all of you ladies, thank you all for sharing your words of wisdom and being encouraging!

    • TrinaHolden August 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      Daniella,
      you are so encouraging! thank you!

  21. Kelsey August 8, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Item #2 on the challenge was awfully convicting. Out of 100 posts on my News Feed, only 18 were relevant/interesting to me, and only 9 were inspiring or God-honoring. I think this is definitely a sign that I need to make facebook less of a priority.

  22. Sarah August 8, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I would get off facebook, but I use it to post videos of my kids and pictures from family vacations for my family (who live far away). Grandma requests videos of David if I have not put any up for a while. I love that I can use the net for this purpose. I have not found a website that compares with FB speed or capacity for hundreds of videos and photos…if you know of one, please share!
    I deleted over 100 friends last year, as I was making the transition from working full time to staying at home. I just got so lonely and realized I was spending way too much time with my online friends. I really keep it as basic as I can…but then I had to explain when many of those friends requested to be my friend again, and I felt terrible. How to explain? “I really don’t care what kind of shoes you should wear or what you are doing this weekend…”
    But I also have the nagging guilt that I spend way too much time just surfing…does Michelle Duggar serve in her church…how to increase my chances for a VBAC…random things to look up while my husband is sitting right next to me. Then when he gets on, I get jealous that we’re not “connecting.” I really feel like the internet and tv (what little we watch) really does suck the life out of your important relationships.
    Even right now, I know I should have my quiet time, but I’m paralyzed by this screen…

    • Daniella Peterka August 8, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      I feel the same way… I try to keep as basic as possible, but I am grateful for the few (I should take note of my choice of words: ‘few’) times facebook has been a blessing to share photos and updates with close friends and family. I am currently pondering going to the 3 days a week, or every other day checking facebook rule in our house too…

      …and also my husband and I are planning to consolidate our facebooks into one page, as AndrewandDaniella Peterka, (really, he doesn’t use facebook anyways), and this would help guard against any unwanted attention or friendship requests from guys (old friends, school mates) that I really shouldn’t be friends with…

      Much to ponder and pray about! May we all seek God’s will for each of our lives and paths! Blessing to all of you!

    • L. Johnson August 9, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      With Facebook, I found for me that I was spending a lot of time glimpsing into the lives of others and making sinful comparisons to my own life. Satan was using it to draw me away from God and to brew discontentment in my heart as I believed the lie that other people have perfect happy lives and perfect happy families and that mine isn’t “good enough.” I was reflecting the other day on the fact that I only made these comparisons to the people who I never talk to in real life anymore…with my close family and friends, I knew that regardless of what they did or didn’t post on Facebook, these people are just as human as I am, and we all have our struggles. But a lot of people paint unrealistic pictures of their lives on Facebook, and if you don’t truly know that person, Satan can trick you into believing that their life is just better than your’s. Maybe I am the only person who struggles with this – in any case, I prayed about how this was affecting my heart, and the Lord gave me Mark 9:47, “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” I knew what I had to do – I changed my Facebook password to something I would never remember, wrote the password down, sealed it in an envelope with this verse written on the outside, and then I deactivated my Facebook. I thought maybe in a few days or a few weeks, I can scale my usage back and reactivate my Facebook again. It’s been over 6 months, and I haven’t even pulled that envelope out to even look at it and consider re-activating it. I have a Shutterfly page where I post pictures, and I e-mail the link to my close family and friends to share. I don’t keep up with people who I do not choose to have a meaningful real-life relationship with. When I talk to or see my real life friends, we actually have things to tell each other because we haven’t automatically found everything out already on Facebook! My life has been truly enriched. I do not believe Facebook is inherently sinful – I think we all have our limits, and may the Holy Spirit guide us to recognizing those limits and obediently submitting ourselves to the Lord. It is sad how Satan can turn anything into an idol and how he can use anything to draw us away from God. My new struggle is limiting the time I spend reading blogs and researching natural living…I think the most important thing is to make God our #1 priority…we will be less tempted to turn things into idols that way. Thanks for all the encouragement, ladies.

      • Jennifer August 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

        Wow, thank you L. Johnson for being so transparent with us, and so brave! I struggle with comparison a lot too…thank you for sharing your struggle and the victory God has given you over that part of it!

        This post and all the comments are so encouraging as we sharpen each other and seek to have Godlike priorities. Thank you ladies!

        • Jennifer August 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

          Err…and men? Maybe that was a wrong conclusion to jump to? Sorry! :)

      • Daniella Peterka August 10, 2011 at 7:11 am #

        wow- yes such encouragement! I realized reading your comment that I do the same axact thing. You put it so well. it’s the friends that I don’t keep up with via phone/face to face that seem to have such great lives and I feel envy some of the times (‘how bout that old friend who is taking a fashion class in Paris???’) But it doesn’t help my relationship with that old friend, it just harms my internal image of myself! great words of wisdom L. Johnson. Great verse too. I’ve been pondering that more and more lately, and thankfully God has given me wisdom to see some areas as being harmful to my spiritual life, and He’s helped me rid my life of such distractions. I think He’s gently moving me to question facebook… Thank you everyone, I am SO encouraged with MUCH to think about from all of your different perspectives!

  23. lyss August 8, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Okay, so maybe I’m a little slow with computers, but what is an RSS feed? How is it different than getting the posts in an email? How does it save time? Thanks, anyone!

    • TrinaHolden August 10, 2011 at 5:03 am #

      lyss – an RRS feed (like google reader) is like email for blogs – you can add all your favorite blogs and keep up with them there. I choose to read my blogs in google reader so that my email remains free of content I consider ‘optional’ when my time is short.

  24. Ashley @ Root and Twig August 8, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    About half a year ago, I gave up facebook for good, and after a few days I didn’t miss it really. Like you say, it’s so much better to spend time with friends the old-fashioned way– face to face over a steaming cup of something!

    The big time-waster I need to be careful about is reading other people’s blogs. I love them, and find them so useful, but it’s too easy for me to fritter away a couple hours hopping from link to link! My latest endeavor is to post my own blog only twice a week, and limit my blog-surfing to about a 1/2 hour a day (and not even every day). This is a fairly good balance for me, and I don’t find I miss doing it more. Like any addiction, once it’s broken for real, you don’t miss it and life just seems to open up.

    • TrinaHolden August 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      I’m loving hearing what other’s action plans are for balance – I know I’m entering into a new season with homeschooling my first and it will be time to reevaluate. I’m loving all these ideas!

  25. Sarah August 8, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    I fast from social media every Sunday and I love it. I will soon become a mama for the first time and I plan to add additional days to my time off!

  26. Jen August 8, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    This is the best blog i’ve ever read… Let’s put things into perspective, moms. Past acquaintances’ vacation pictures & random happenings in people’s lives with whom you haven’t spoken to in years… This is so not important compared to our own precious children. Thanks Trina. :)

  27. Rebecca August 8, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    I sometimes wonder if we shouldn’t step into a time machine ( figuratively) speaking and go back to a simpler day when time didn’t go quite so fast. Ever wonder why that is? I think it is because of distractions that keep us in a warp. We look up from our computers and can’t believe how much time we’ve spent there. How much better to have used that time in fellowship with our children – looking into their eyes with more than feigned interest.

    I have no facebook or twitter accounts yet I find email and the few blogs I read take more time than they should away from my responsibilities as a wife and momma. There are honestly times when I wish I could unplug entirely for not just the suggested month to six weeks. That ALWAYS leads to a sucking back in to the addiction. I can’t help but wonder if we mommas of young ones might should unplug for the entire season of mothering and minister to the needs of those completely dependent on us. Relationships? How about we try real ones with family members and real life friends from church etc… Just thoughts…not judgements. I only want to throw out a little food for thought. I for one hate the feeling I have just letting the computer zap my time away. It makes me feel sick with guilt. I take that guilt as the Holy Spirit whispering to my conscience that perhaps I should listen and obey. I am feeling a move toward unplugging altogether for the season of mothering young ones. A sacrifice? Yes. Would it be worth it to be fully present for my children with no regrets? Definitely! Will all this social media stuff be around when we come back up for air? You can count on it and by then, it just may be the right time for you to partake and to contribute.

    • Daniella Peterka August 8, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Great words! I so enjoyed reading everybody’s comments! This has all been inspiring! I agree that I feel too that whispering, the Holy Spirit nudging me, asking, “is this leading you closer to Me?”….. I am considering giving up FB too, and having just a FEW select favorite blogs that truly inspire me to mother wholeheartedly and spend my time wisely and do creative projects with my children….the rest just waste my time (even if it’s so fun to read a million different posts and thoughts at the moment!…)

  28. Heather August 8, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Several months ago I took the plunge and deleted 800 of my nearest and dearest off of my friends list. Then about a month after that I decided to do away with the rest of the 140 friends I had and just deleted my facebook account. It was a great time for me, but it did cause all of my family and friends (the ones I talk to on a regular basis) to wonder why I had deleted them from my friends list. I ended up having to tell a million times that I deleted my account…no one could understand why. Recently I joined Facebook again. Mainly because I wanted to follow some pages, and you need to have an account for that. Now I have those few people I actually talk to in the real world as friends, and I find that I don’t use the account anymore…because I just pick up the phone instead of posting to their wall if I want to talk to them. I think there are a lot of great advantages to social media, but it really can suck you in and leave you outside of the real world if you aren’t careful.

  29. Carol J. Alexander August 8, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    This is such an awesome post, Trina. When I find myself letting the computer use me rather me use it (it is a tool, you know), I will ask myself a couple of questions:
    1) Am I tempted to check in on my email and SN sites before I spend time in God’s word?
    2) Am I telling my children, “Just a minute” a bazillion times a day because I cannot detach?
    3) Am I doing the basic of homekeeping?
    4) And most recently, am I going to let those peaches rot while I follow Twitter or am I going to turn off the computer and can them?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • April Hodson August 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      Wow, convicting questions that I really need to be asking too, Carol! So helpful, thanks for sharing!

  30. Melissa August 8, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    What a wonderful post. I signed off of Facebook for the summer, with the intentions of pouring more into my real-life relationships and trying to remain present with my little ones during the day. The idea of it felt so absurd and impractical when I first considered it that I tossed it back and forth in my mind for some time before ignoring all of the reasons not to and just deciding to do it. I planned on “going back” after the summer. But the time away has just been so good. I noticed a couple of things. First, I owe my children this amount of focus all of the time, not just for the summer. Second, what I really felt the most attached to with Facebook was not the deep friendships, but the gossippy desire to just know what was going on and to not miss out on any fun news or information. My world has gotten smaller this summer and it has been just right for me at this time in my life. And since Facebook was just part of my problem, I organized all of my “Favorites” into a few categories – one of them being blogs and sites that I wanted to visit daily (this is one of them). My goal is to go down that [short] list in the morning and then stay away from the computer for the rest of the day unless I am doing something to directly enhance my homemaking/homeschooling (looking up a recipe or learning something new with my kids). Anyway. Thanks for the great post!

    • TrinaHolden August 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      Melissa, your heart for your kids is inspiring! And I love your action plan for keeping things in balance in your life. Thanks so much for sharing what works for you. I’m takin’ notes…

  31. Kristina August 8, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    Thank you so much Trina for this post. This has been coming back to me everywhere I go. I am seeing how bad it is to spend soooo much time on the computer! It is truely addicting! It is like one minute you think”Oh I will just go check this out and then an hour has passed!”
    I was the same way Always have excuses for why I am on here. Blooging has been my BIGGEST down fall. I am ALWAYS having to check and see who has posted something. I have desided that Iam going to just use the computer once a week! This is going to to hard but it is MUCH needed!
    Thanks so much! :)
    Love ya!

  32. Kadee August 8, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    I gave up Facebook for Lent this year. It was hard at first, but at the end, I considered giving it up entirely. I found it…freeing, and not just in relation to time. I did go back, but am ready to take another 6 weeks off again.

  33. Cheryn August 8, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    This is an excellent post, thank you so much! The multi-media bug is like a plague sweeping the Western world. I hate what it does to my life, yet my additction is next to impossible to curb! Take into account that all my family lives at long distance, most of them over seas, and the most effective way to keep in touch is online. I often can’t be on at the same time as them for Skype, and calling by phone is way too costly, so off to Facebook I go – sometimes, it’s the only connection to them I have! Therefore, I can’t honestly see myself giving up Facebook for a month, but I do really like your idea of staying away from the computer for at least one day a week.

    • TrinaHolden August 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      Cheryn, I think many can relate to your position – facebook is sometimes the only way to stay in touch with certain people. I joined facebook originally to be able to keep in touch with my brother – thanks to facebook I got to see pictures of his graduation from marine bootcamp (whoo-hoo!) though I couldn’t be there in person. I think we just have to keep reminding ourselves to use it as a tool, rather than entertainment.

  34. Mandy August 8, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    I made my list of things I’d rather spend my time on…great idea! It’s so easy to get lost in the constant media available to us. Thanks for the common sense advice!