This is not a post to make you feel guilty about the time you spend on Facebook or the number of photos you share on Instagram. No, there is enough mom guilt in this world already without adding our social media habits into the mix. Plus, these networks have provided us with an invaluable way to connect and share experiences and advice about parenting, and there is no shame in embracing that as a modern-day mom.
But what if one day it all becomes too much? Your overactive mom brain feels fully saturated and needs a break from being witness to EVERYTHING. The constant connection is actually making you less connected, and you yearn for the days when life was lived more and documented less.
I started to feel this way recently and realized it was time for a detox. One week to digitally disconnect from all social media. While I was on this mini-break I reflected on the reasons why moms need a social media vacation every so often.
It’s not that I want to turn a blind eye or leave myself blissfully uninformed to all the tragedy in the world. But as a mother, some days I am simply at capacity. By spending all this time consuming every heart-wrenching news story and negative post (and the subsequent rabbit hole of negativity within the comments), I was being counterproductive. My sympathetic presence on social media does not make an impact. The harder the world looks, the more I need to put away the phone, step away from the computer, and work on my own homefront. Give my kids more undivided attention and teach them respect. Hug them and make them feel safe. Do the little things moms do to make a small difference. If I have the urge to post, “What is wrong with this world?” on social media, I’ll know it’s time to get back to work again.
The comparison game
As humans, we are prone to documenting the happiest times, going back way before social media. Think about old photo albums — you won’t see tears and tragic family events. We cherish the happy moments. Unfortunately, the social media aspect breeds a more dramatic comparison game because we are subjected to the family highlight reels 24/7. If you find yourself constantly comparing your life to others, it may be time to take a break and focus back on yourself. Once I took a step back from the comparison game even for a short time, I realized that without an admission ticket to attend anyone else’s life, my own was going pretty well.
The time suck
I personally do not want to know how many hours I have spent on social media. It is certainly a productivity killer, and as a mom, we all know how precious our time is. We are juggling and balancing so much, that updating statuses and commenting on photos is the last priority to worry about. My logged-out time was insanely more productive, but the most important part was the time invested back into myself and my kids. It felt refreshing to leaving the phone behind and be more present.
After the first day of my detox (which was harder than I care to admit), I truly did not miss it, and it did not miss me. The social media world continued to turn as I went about my daily un-documented life. So for any moms who feel like you need time to reboot, give yourself a detox challenge. You’ll log back in with a different perspective on the value of these connections as a mom and likely in a better mood. Because we all know one thing to be true: If mom is happier, everyone is happier.