Kristi McKeag Photography » Photographer Blog

Breaking Bad (Habits) | Put your phone down |Social media

Does anyone else struggle with constantly being on social media?  Maybe borderline obsessed?  Dare I even say addicted?  I have been struggling with this for quite awhile now and I can honestly say, the struggle is real!  I had been thinking about it for the past year that I just wanted to not constantly be on my phone.  It is all the time!  Like, ALL the time!  It’s the first thing you do in the morning because the first thing you think about when you wake up is “What is everyone up to today?”, or “What do I need to be doing today?”, or “What am I falling behind on today?” or “I wish I was there!”.   And then all of a sudden the moment of feeling defeated has happened and you have a hard time picking yourself back up for the rest of the day?!  Then maybe you get up to take a shower and check it again.  And then maybe breakfast and coffee and yup, checking it again!  Then maybe on your way to work, at work, checking your e-mail, in Target, picking up your kids from school, walking to the next store at the mall, sitting in class, walking to class, even while you’re talking with your friend…whatever it may be, it’s constant!! And it’s the last thing you check before you go to bed?  Ever sit and wonder, WHERE did my day just go??  What did I even do today?  And then when you really think about it, you really, REALLY,  spent the majority of it constantly checking your phone and hitting refresh and being so OBSESSED with what everyone else is doing instead of doing what I SHOULD be doing!

Am I completely alone in this because this is how I have been feeling!  PLEASE, tell me I’m not the only one!!

And wait a minute…WHEN did this happen that social media over took our lives?  That THAT’S the FIRST thing we think about when we get up in the morning???  And when we go to bed at night??  What happened to actually sitting down and having a real conservation with the love of your life that just happens to be sitting next to you?!  Or hey, actually truly sitting and watching how your daughter can all of a sudden write letters from the alphabet and be so excited about it?  Has this really what it’s come to?  Social media obsessed??

And don’t get me wrong, I do love social media!  There are so many greats when it comes to social media too!! :-)  …like being able to keep up with friends and family that you don’t see often, finding new friends that become real life friends, encouraging others, finding inspiration, connecting with so many, learning something new, finding a new favorite quote, dreaming big, laughing so hard because of a video you saw, seeing something that made your day, or brought you back to who you are, and even just smiling because something brightened your day!  But it is so easy to feel defeated, discouraged, jealous, and all of those feelings that you may experience but someone once told me, it’s not real life and it can be gone in an instant.  And you are not alone!

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(**And P.S-Taking a picture of a phone screen and getting it to come out accurate is hard!! :-) )

I started thinking about this a year ago and it’s still on my mind constantly!  I watched a group of girls at a restaurant last year that were probably in middle school and I found myself speechless. Starring at them, like literally stopped and starred and was obviously in my own little world because I was holding up the line waiting to order, but you know what, they wouldn’t have even noticed!  There were four girls sitting around the table and they were all on their phones…not looking at each other, just texting away, and taking pictures of themselves and laughing at their phones, THEIR PHONES!!  I started to get a little scared because I could not believe that none of them were talking to each other, let alone LOOKING at each other!  This went on for about a good 10 minutes!  10 MINUTES that they didn’t even look at each other except for an occasional look up, at least with a little giggle, to show each other what they had just sent someone else.  Then the communication studies major in me started, will they be able to interview for a job down the road?  FACE to FACE?? Can they even talk to an adult, let alone their friends using good eye contact?  Can they have a real conversation??  Like a REAL conversation??  Not just a short, oh I heard you, I listened for five minutes, and then it’s back to your phone but a real conversation??

When was the last time you were tuned in to a conversation?  Like, really paying attention…and WANTING to know and take in every minute of whoever you are talking to’s words?!  Or what they were doing or trying to show you? Like, (wow, I feel like I am back in my public speaking classes for the amount of times I have typed “like”, in this post:-) ) really put down your phone, or even, oh my goodness, even left it in the car and was really present in what you were doing?  Have you really been present??

Because then it hit me that I wasn’t.  It hit me HARD!  Right in front of me.  My heart sank and I pretty much just wanted to cry for days thinking that I had been such a horrible mom because I almost lost an entire year paying more attention to social media and caring what everyone else was doing than my own daughters!  The daughters that I wanted more than anything else in this world!  And the moment that your three year old looks at you (which you miss because your not paying attention) and tells you, “No, Mommy.  You missed it because you were looking at your phone.” or even just says, “Mommy, put down your phone!  Watch!”  and you still don’t and she has to repeat it, is heartbreaking.  That I had to be told by my daughter to put my phone down, just speaks in itself!  And I know how she feels!

I still cringe and get angry sometimes when Matt comes in the door and has only been home for ten minutes before checking everything on his phone after being gone all day.  I just want to yell at him to get off his phone when in reality, I am really being a hypocrite!  Because we are both guilty of it.  We both do it!  I found ourselves doing it with everyone!  Friends, family, being in the car for the few minutes that we could have been talking to the kids, date nights (although we did get better at this!), or just having a few minutes with each other, we were constantly checking our phones!  When we are visiting with family, and even ones we don’t see often, instead of really being present, we are more concerned about what everyone else is doing!  And that’s just not good.  It’s not healthy!  At least for me!  Which is why being intentional has become my 2015 word!!  To really being intentional with what means the most to me!  And that’s relationships!  Being a people person and always love talking to people…new friends, old friends, family, whoever it may be, I am truly the happiest when I am surrounded by people!!

So use it for all of the things you love!  But not all day!  Make time for a life!  The amazing one right in front of you!  Get off your phone and pre-schedule posts and schedule time to reply or comment on social media!  Like maybe an hour in the morning and then maybe half an hour or another hour in the afternoon, and a half an hour at night…or something that works for you!  This is what I am going to try and do so that my kids don’t remember me as their mom that was always glued to her phone but the mom that really, truly cared about everything, even the littlest things that I did!  And that’s the truth!  So here’s to pre-scheduling posts (once I figure out how to do all of that thanks to the amazing Natalie Franke!), being intentional in my everyday, scheduling time to check and comment on social media, not feeling defeated, and making things and real relationships happen!  To limiting social media to not every minute of the day and being efficient!  And here’s to real conversations!  And not being overly obsessed with social media…in the not so healthy way:-)

  • LOVE this post. Such a wonderful reminder, especially when we’re with our kids. I always tell myself “you’ll never get this day back”, and put down my phone (unless I want to take a picture of them), and try really hard to be off when they’re awake!ReplyCancel

  • Sara

    I so get this. I reached a point where I realized that I could not spend the majority of my time trying to keep up with 500 people who I like but do not see in my “real” life. I had to make some big changes when it came to facebook. I always thought scrolling facebook was “relaxing” (and am still guilty of thinking this way) but as you said, facebook can really make people feel discouraged. When people say, “Oh your life seems so perfect” I think, “You mean my facebook life? Isn’t everyone’s life perfect on facebook? That’s not real life!” ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    Thanks so much for the reminder and encouragement to spend less time on social media :)ReplyCancel

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