Too Much of a Good Thing?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sometimes you gotta be put in check. And sometimes the truth can be a little hard to swallow.  The other night my husband and I were sitting on the couch after we had put both kids to bed and I immediately took out my phone and starting browsing around on a new social media app. It was this app where you upload live 6 second videos.  My sound was up on my phone and my husband asked me what I was doing since he could hear me "listening" to the lives of others.  I explained.  He said in the most genuine voice, "Babe I think you are an amazing mother and such a wonderful wife but I would love it if you deleted the app since all it is, is another unproductive distraction and it's taking time away from you and me right now." 

I got super defensive.  This is coming from a man who is anti-personal social media.  He has never had a Facebook and refuses to get an Instagram.  So I chalked it up to him just not getting it.  But as I sat there I realized he was right. It is completely unproductive.  I deleted it and we got back to snuggling and talking like married people should. 

Now before you start thinking I am a hypocrite, I think social media is amazing when it is used in the right way (I'm a blogger for cryin out loud) but I do think there is a line that can easily be crossed without knowing.

Being a present mom and wife has always been my priority.  So I am making it a priority to not let distractions interfere with the most important people who are right in front of me "live."  And maybe it's okay for only me to know what Max was wishing for out loud as he blew out the dandelion. 

How do you feel about the evolution of social media?  Do you feel like it's a blessing?  Getting too personal?  Or all about balance?

33 comments:

Miriam said...

I agree with your point: social media is amazing but should not be within the top ten priorities of your live :-)

Hanna said...

I loved this Lindsay!! I too struggle sometimes in This department! I definitely think the social media thing gets out of control really fast!!! You have to have really good boundaries I think! I have deleted my personal FB account as I going it pretty toxic and way too time consuming! I try to do most of my social media stuff when the kids are sleeping but I too struggle with the balance of this. Great post!!

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

My husband is Mr. Social Media and for me- I pick my battle with social media.. :) and I always think too if you put it out there- it's out there and if don't want to share something then don't put it on social media. It's such a balancing act.

Jo-Anna@APrettyLife said...

I definitely agree with you! When I saw this Vine app come out and all the fuss and everyone joining it, honestly my heart sank. I thought...why another thing I have to do?! I have trouble enough with balancing my time between FB, Instagram, Twitter, the blog...gah! Sometimes, enough is enough for me, and I'm putting my foot down with new apps. I just can't do it. But maybe ask me again the next time some amazing new app comes out and I can't resist it, lol!
J

Clara Schoen said...

Amen to that. What a great reminder - I spend too much time on all the social media rather than communicating with the people right in front of me, especially my hubs.

Welcome said...

i think this post is amazing Lins and i think our hubbies are on to something, ; )
fb is not real/ and what is happening in front of a ipad or screen is intangible!

ian said is so nicely!!!

Lindsay said...

I struggle with this too Linds! LOVE hate relationship for sure!

Regina of Live Delightfully said...

So true!!!! A week or so ago when people were buzzing about Vine, I said no. No, I will not get one. more. app. just to "socialize" with people. I already have Instagram, Twitter, a blog and both a personal and business page on Facebook. If you can't keep up with me on one of those, well, then there's nothing else I can do for you.

I think social media is fantastic!! I live 12 hours (driving) from my hometown and my family. I live 9 hours (driving) from my college friends and my company's office. I work from home (for a company in OK) so sometimes... a lot of times... I can easily feel isolated and secluded, shut up in the house for days. BUT, thanks to social media, I can stay connected with the friends and family that I love, and some of my favorite coworkers. So social media definitely has a positive side. Definitely.

But, there comes a time when you can easily cross the line. For me, I set the line at the point of am I taking time away from my family, to connect via social media? Am I ignoring the kids, the husband, the home, to check on all my social media outlets? When I become more about connecting with people outside of my home than with the people inside, then I know I've crossed the line, and it's time to re-prioritize.

Sorry for the novella... but I definitely feel ya on this one! As a blogger, I feel so. much. pressure. to be on social media as much as possible. But I will only have this time in my life once, and I'd rather spend it connected to my kids and husband than connected to my iPhone.

Delightfully,

Regina♥

maria @ lift love life said...

I love social media but will catch myself not being "present" when I'm with my family. And that is such a huge turn off to me about it. It's all about balance, I try to only stay on it when it's just me and when I'm not with my boys. They deserve my full attention, not random strangers on a screen.

Tam Hess said...

Great post! A balance...like everyhting! If you can't keep a balance with something maybe you should cut it out, like you did. BUT for other things making sure you keep the balance!

Nicole said...

I just wrote a post on this (that I'm still tweaking). We were at the beach last week and did a self timed family picture. It captured my sweet family, and 3 innocent bystanders all on their cell phones! With the gorgeous ocean behind them! It just struck me that I bet I look like that most of the time.
I took everything except instagram off of my phone. I'm a homeschooling mom with a 3 and 6 year old and I was so, so often looking at my phone instead of what I should have been doing. Then rushing them through their tasks when the only reason we were pressed for time was MY wasted time.
I love being connected, but I have to be in control of it and not the other way around.

Erica Simpson said...

Feeling the same way.

Thanks for sharing from your heart. <3

Eleanor Rae said...

I feel the same - of course we would all love to know what Max was wishing for too, but that moment was yours, and it should stay that way :) Much love xxx

Mindy said...

Just another good reason behind me not owning a cell phone. The actual reason is the cost, but I know it's saving me from a ton of addictions. lol If I want to get on the computer, I have to walk to the bedroom. When I'm in the living room with the hubs, it's just he and I. Well, and the TV. Ha! But I'm not the least bit sorry that I don't have 35 different social accounts. Having those constant distractions from the fam can't be a good thing.

Stephanie May Anderson said...

Love this post. I recently made the very difficult decision to delete my FB account. I realized all I ever did was compare myself to other people (without even being conscious of doing it) and get annoyed with people who were posting multiple status updates everyday. I don't know exactly why it all came to a head, but it did and I deleted it! I've been so much happier. I bought stationary and started writing letters to friends, calling friends more, skyping with my family more, and spending more quality time with my husband. It is very difficult to disconnect and not everyone has to go as far as deleting their FB account, but it's nice to embrace "REAL LIFE" as much as possible!

Amy said...

Loved the honesty in this post.
I also love that y'all have built a relationship that you can communicate openly like that...most people dont.
:)
I think that there is a line where we go from being "invested socially" to "oh my gosh my downtime is consumed with social media". It's too much, and it takes away from personal relationships. I have to remind myself that it is OK to not check my facebook/twitter/instagram/blog every hour of the day and to actually live life. :)
Great post!

Eyelah said...

As I try to grow my business I find that social media is very valuable but as far as personally I have limited it greatly. I have a personal facebook account and I have slowly whined myself off of it. I noticed was getting more 'comments', 'messages' and 'wall posts' from friends and family than I was getting actual phone calls or even a text message. I have found that I was becoming more disconnected than I was actually connected. I still posts some status updates but they are primarily geared towards my growing business. Nice post on the subject.

Lauren said...

such a great post and this is the exact same reason why I basically disconnected from blogging & facebook & Instagram for the past month...best thing I could have done for our marraige & our family!

Brittany GraceAnn said...

yea... this hits home. my husband has said similar things to me. i always argue, "but i'm a blogger - i've gotta keep up!" but if i'm missing my family that is HAPPENING LIVE right now... than I am missing the MOST important part of my life. thanks for the reminder. thanks for your honesty. XO

Jessica Camerata said...

I think it's great he said this. I am a blogger myself, and I find myself taking precious moments away from my friends and family due to social media. We have to draw the line somewhere. And my somewhere, is Twitter and Facebook (and don't get me started on how much I hate Facebook anyway).

Amen to him for putting his foot down.

xo Jessica
www.mystylevita.com

Brynn Renné said...

It is so true. You are completely spot on with this post. I have been making an effort to leave my phone in another room when my husband and I are hanging out - otherwise it is way distracting and I spend the entire time on it while I am supposed to be spending time with him. Lame! However, yes, I do believe that social media is an important toolbox in the blogging world.

So, here is what it comes down to for me... I am working on laying down some "rules" around my social media use.

#1 is that live people always come first! And I do not need to spend every waking minute keeping up with Twitter, Instagram, etc...

#2 I will be personal in a "brand right" way - I do believe it is important, as a blogger, to give my readers/followers a sneak peek of the life of the girl behind the blog. I generally don't get too personal on my blog, especially with the direction I am going in this year, so I like to be able to share bits & pieces of my lifestyle - i.e. food, outfits, etc.
For example, on Vine - I won't be posting any 6 second clips of what I am doing out at the bar, because frankly, I don't really want to watch 6 second clips of what other people are doing out at the bar.
But I will post a 6 second clip of an outfit I put together to wear out for a party.

#3 brand building tool - although it hits as #3 on this list, this is actually my #1 reason for using social media at all. If I were not a blogger, I would never have a Twitter account, Instagram would rarely be used, I most likely would not use Vine & even though I do have a personal FB I already use it way less that my FB blog page. So, really, my key use of social media is to get the word out to market & support my "brand". My favorite part about Vine is that I can put together a 6 second clip of a how-to for one of my table setting posts and share the action behind the scenes.

So, with all of that said, YES! We could all benefit from being more diligent in creating a better balance within the many social media platforms. I feel good about my ground rules for myself, with my most important focus being on #1 :)

Wow! Sorry! I didn't realize how much I would say when I first started typing! Lol! Your post really helped me think through some of the thoughts around social media that have been buzzing in my head for some time now :)

Thanks for putting your honesty out there! You are one awesome momma ;) XO Brynn

Anonymous said...

Great post. I am a big fan of social media, some have even called me a "social media slut," and I have held social media manager jobs. There is so much good that SM can bring by disseminating ideas and making it possible to share in the details of our human experience with others. However, I think it has created a very unhelpful and potentially harmful illusion as well. There is a good TED talk about this by Sherry Turkle from MIT that hits the nail on the head for me: http://on.ted.com/Turkle

Anonymous said...

I think it totally distracts us from our priorities and families. I think a lot of people will have regrets when their children have grown and gone on all the time they spent with their focus on a screen. Just saying...

The Cyclists Wife said...

Oh my, I feel like I'm reading the same conversation that happened in our house recently. It does get in the way without realizing. I'm planning on taking a long break soon....

Leigh said...

I have just recently found your blog. I think you are truly fortunate to have a husband that would feel that way. I think social media is good and bad. For example, I found my best friend from first grade that I haven't seen in 40 + years, and I was so happy to find her. I do think Facebook is a time sucker. I am really loving your blog and recipes!

colleen said...

i try not to take on more than i can chew. i didn't download vine and i'm not on pinterest, two things that i knew would suck time away from me and i didn't really need (although pinterest may not count as social media). but it's all up to the person. someone may rather be on vine than instagram, and if they can handle both so be it.

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

My husband is exactly the same way....very anti social media. He doesn't get the thrill of seeing what's going on in other people's lives although he does undertstand how vital social media is for business & blogs but with some balance. I agree about the balance part. Facebook has been a wonderful tool for me for selling my invites but then it's like where does it stop? There's FB, Twitter, then Instagram, then Google +, then Vine....it all makes my head spin! Somedays I do have to force myself to stop and enjoy the moments and remind myself that a day with out posting, tweeting, etc....won't kill me.

SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth} said...

I think it is definitely about balance. For some, it is an escape from their reality ... I've watched more than one marriage hit the rocks because everything on Facebook, etc. seemed so much better than what they had at home. But, the social media apps aren't to blame in and of themselves ... just gotta find the balance, and remember to pay attention to what's going on in your "real" life.

Stacy Magruder said...

first of all I appreciate you sharing such a personal moment that isn't all sunshine and roses. I, too, have had this comment made from my husband during our end of night, post kiddo in bed time, and it stung a little. It made me realize we can become "addicted" to checking our FB, Instagram and whatever else. I only have those two social media outlets, and that is plenty for me. It just gets too time consuming. There are moments when I actually consider deleting FB. I still may. We all just have to condition ourselves to have the self discipline to stay present when we are with our families, especially children. I've been trying to limit play with my media stuff when my little one is sleeping...and its helping me to set limits. Thanks for bringing this up!

Heather J said...

Thanks Lindsay. Trying to pair down my social media addiction. It's getting a bit crazy with all that's out there and I don't need any more distractions from what is truly important. Plus my kids don't need to be any more exposed.

Heather @ Finding Beauty in the Ordinary said...

My husband is exactly the same way. We have to lead pretty private lives in general for his job, so add that in to the mix and he really hates social media. But more than anything, I think he hates how much it takes me away from him and quality time together. I'm trying to put away my phone entirely for one full day a week. It is helping so far!!! I also dropped my iPhone in the toilet last week and couldn't use it until it was thoroughly dried out and that was an unexpected break, too! Your husband sounds amazing and I thin it's awesome that you respected him and deleted it! Vine is one more thing that I don't need, too!!!

Mary said...

Totally agree! I think it's interesting that this isn't the first presence-related post I've read by bloggers in the last few weeks. Seems like all of us struggle with being involved and "in the know" verses being with the person we're sitting next to on the couch! My fiance and I are definitely second-screeners: we sit next to each other, watch TV, and play around online on our own laptops. Sometimes we look up and just shut our computers so we can spend time together rather than just sit next to each other! You're definitely not alone! :)

Devan N. Draper said...

I love this. I think I struggle with this more than my husband would say I do. He's never pointed it out to me but I can think back to some evenings after a long day of work and I am just sitting there on my phone. Sometimes my new baby will do something amazing and I'll go to take a picture only to think, "No, just enjoy it for yourself and see it with your real eyes." Great blog, I feel challenged for the better.

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