On our way home from Minnesota this weekend, I dropped a bomb on my husband. “I’m going social media free this summer”. His eyebrows raised as he looked at me with bewilderment and held up his hand to see if I had a fever when I announced my news. I had been debating it for a month, but last weekend confirmed my need to disconnect with my phone in order to reconnect with my family.
Too often, changes like this start with a book. It is actually a book I read last summer, “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist. It’s a book about her decision to simplify her way of life. In turn she removes many distractions and starts saying “no” to many things that are taking away from her life. When I quit wellness coaching in April with the prospect of a job outside the home, I also had a desire to disconnect and focus on myself. The job didn’t work out, so instead I jumped from one thing (coaching) to another (blogging and influencing) and quickly found myself lost in a sea of seeking validation, likes, and glued to my phone in the name of growing my business.
I was explaining to my husband how I had been taking some personal inventory and found that I was sick of being in the same room with friends and family and all of us were on gadgets. How I felt like our most important relationships were suffering as a result of phone usage. How aggravating it was to try and talk to people when they were simultaneously texting and wondering if they were hearing a word. An overall feeling of lacking genuine connection and wasting so much valuable time on a device. Our house felt like it was in a constant state of chaos and I felt like I was constantly busy but never accomplishing anything. Social media scrolling is an easy, deceptive way to avoid real life.
That said, I want to share this cheesy poem I wrote 3 years ago when I had quit my MLM. Similarly, the business model pushed social media presence to be “successful”. This still hold true, 3 years later.
I wrote this for my kids when one day I was able to see clearly, that we were all missing out on life because of my lack of true presence. Not just me being there physically, but also emotionally present. I had lost my temper mid-post for getting interrupted again and I found myself face-to-face with a teary eyed little girl that was now completely silent. We are living in an age where we can get validation, a medical diagnoses, new recipes, news, laughter and even build businesses on the tips of our fingers we can easily miss out on what matters most.
As I looked into the little girls eyes who matched my own, she didn’t have to say a word for me to understand what she was feeling and wanted to say.
“Put the phone down mommy, and take my little hand. I know that you get lonely but this journey is so grand.
Put the phone down mommy, social media can wait. I promise that we’ll still have fun, trust me it will be great.
Put the phone down mommy, I know you have #momboss dreams, my brother and I are growing up fast; surely you can see?
Put the phone down mommy, watch me without the lens. This day will soon be over, this time with me will end.
Put the phone down mommy, please focus here on me. I’m about to make you laugh, can you listen to my story?
Put the phone down mommy, I don’t mean to bug. But if you look over here I’d like to give you a really big hug.
Put the phone down mommy, I know that life gets hard. That newsfeed isn’t important, your presence goes so far.
Put the phone down mommy, I really want to run! It’s better when you’re with me, let’s go have some fun.
Put the phone down parents, see what’s in their eyes, you’re pouring into tiny souls and creating better lives.”
At the end of the day remember that what matters most is your own beautiful life and what’s going on in your four walls. Don’t let someone else’s highlight reel ruin the beauty in front of your eyes. If your actions aren’t lined up with your priorities, make some changes.