Can you picture your life without social media?
I was in a 5th grade classroom the other day and the students were having a discussion about how different life is now compared to life during the Colonial Time period. They were instructed to think about the one thing they would miss the most if they had to leave their current life and go back in time. Literally every response had to do with technology – they said they’d miss TV, video games, Instagram, texting, and not being able to see their friends on Facebook. While hearing this didn’t surprise me much, what did surprise me was my own immediate, almost instinctual, response of ‘the internet.’
The exercise got me thinking about how different my life would be if I were to go back in time myself; or to at least take the internet and social media out of the equation. Let’s be real, I won’t deny how much I enjoy a good Amazon Prime shopping spree while I’m wrapped up in a bath towel because I refuse to get dressed—but I can certainly think of a few ways my quality of life may be improved without immediate access to anyone and anything that the internet provides.
Pressure to be the best mom, pressure to keep a picture-perfect home, to balance the amount of work/home activities, to keep up with my DIY Pinterest projects, and do it all without having a mental breakdown. I very much understand that I place most of that pressure on myself, but there used to be a time where I didn’t know
everything all the ‘perfect’ things about everyone. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap with social media. The seemingly perfect photos that everyone posts and it’s even harder sometimes to remind ourselves that they’re just photos and one tiny moment in time.
I wouldn’t be convinced the world is crumbling around me
My husband and I have had countless discussions about if the world around us is actually getting worse or if we just hear about things more often simply because of ease of access. I can remember when my parents would watch the news after dinner and read the newspaper and that was it. Now our news, ‘fake’ or not, is so embedded within our social media it’s nearly impossible to avoid it. Not only are we bombarded with awful story after awful story, it’s our job now to decipher what’s real and what’s not and it’s mentally exhausting—especially if you’re someone who reads comments!
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
It seems to go without saying, especially within the mommy social media world, that everything must be well photographed and even better documented with a cute or witty caption. As a recovering perfectionist, this is one more ‘pressure’ I end up putting on myself. I will over-analyze photos to the point where I find every reason to not post versus why I should. It’s an awful habit I’m trying to break. On the flip side, you don’t want to be ‘that person’ who overshares with picture after picture. You can’t win sometimes!
I could meet people the old-fashioned way
…whatever that is, anyway – ha! Facebook and Instagram were part of my life long before becoming a mom, but once that door was opened, I realized how many groups exist. While I can honestly say I have met some of my very best friends within the online motherhood community, there is something to be said for having conversations or coffee with people, face to face. It honestly seems at times that some people are afraid to speak to others unless they’ve fulled vetted them online, making sure their Facebook and IG meet their standards for someone worthy of joining the playgroup. Making mom friends seems like dating half the time and, it’s exhausting.
People may be a little more patient
The internet, iPhones, and all our social media apps have created a culture that is laser focused on instant gratification. So many people need something this very second and when they can’t get it, spiral into an upset mood because of the delay. I’ve seen this trickle down with students at school and other toddlers when I take my kiddos out to play. I’ve caught myself upset when I can’t find what I’m looking for the moment I want it, and have to remind myself (and my preschooler) that it’s privilege not a right, and sometimes things just don’t work the way we want it to—the world won’t end.
Despite some of these frustrations with balancing the internet and social media in my own life, I can also easily call access to it a blessing and something I’m extremely thankful for. I’ve met some of the most amazing mothers and friends online. Have the chance to keep up with friends I may otherwise not have. Gain quick access to doctors and medical advice when it’s needed and again, not much beats shopping while you lay around in your undies drinking coffee at home #thankyouAmazon
Do you think your life would be improved at all without the internet or social media? Is it a must have for you? Let us know in the comments!