Declutter your Mind by Limiting your Time Online
Our phones are great tools but very poor masters. We ought to be the masters of our devices, not enslaved to them. You might be thinking – I’m not a slave to my device and that’s fantastic if you’re not. However, what do you do when your phone lets you know that you’ve received a message, or another notification? Do you have a quick look or do you leave it until you’ve finished what you’re doing? Could your social media habits be contributing to your cluttered mind? Whole books have been written on the topic of social media and its effects on us. I’m only going to briefly touch on one aspect that contributes to our feeling bad about ourselves.
One question we should all ask ourselves is: “Do I compare myself with others?” I’m going to suggest that we all do it at times. We might look at posts that portray impeccably groomed, fit, active parents with their well-behaved children in totally organised immaculately presented homes, and well – their holiday shots are something else! Now if we’re inspired that’s good, but more often than not, we start to feel as though we’re falling short. My hair’s a mess, the partner has a paunch, the kids don’t stop, and I won’t even get started on the state of our home….holiday – what holiday?
Why do we do it? Why do we spend way too much time scrolling and comparing ourselves with people we mightn’t even know? As you well know, very few people are going to post about their failures, setbacks or disappointments, so what we see when scrolling through our newsfeeds is significantly unbalanced. We know that they’re only portraying a thin sliver of their lives, but we still do it. I have heard that the part of our lives that we share on social media is likened to the “highlight reel” not the full “movie”. I think that’s a pretty accurate description. *
What can we do? Be intentional about whom you follow. If following someone leaves you feeling discontented with yourself, your family and your lot in life, stop following them. Feelings of inferiority add to our cluttered minds. We often live vicariously through other’s experiences, but rather than do this, why not create some memories of our own? We can do this by taking breaks from social media and prioritising offline time with our loved ones.
ABC TV has been running a series called “Back in Time for Dinner” where a modern day family (Dad, Mum, 2 Teenagers and a primary aged girl) lives as people did in earlier decades. This means of course, there’s no personal devices. One comment that the teenagers keep making is that they’re getting on so much better and really enjoying doing things together.
Have you tried taking a whole day away from technology yet?
* (This is a major problem faced by many of our children and teens when online. “Influencers” share their “lives” with shots and posts that are completely set up, but our young people think they’re portraying their real lives. An influencer who receives an incentive from a cosmetic company is not going to post anything that portrays her looking less than perfect. Our children need to know it’s okay not to follow anyone who makes them feel dissatisfied with their lot in life. Parents need to be aware of whom their children are following online.)
(If you have a topic that you’d like more information about and think might interest other parents, please don’t hesitate to email me with suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.)