In constant pursuit of coffee and Christ

Monday, October 20, 2014

Social Media Part 1 - Our Weekend Without

I remember my very first day on The Facebook (as it was originally called) back in 2004. I was greeted by a very two dimensional blue and white page with designated areas for your profile picture, about me section, and the ability to connect with students from your university as well as select others. You were not permitted access without a .edu email address. Everything you could possibly imagine doing on The Facebook could be accomplished in under five minutes - and that was if you were really bored and needed to stretch your time. Soon I was connected with over 500 students, all of whom I knew personally through a shared class or exchange of an originally overpriced, underused, text book. There were no hours spent scrolling through the news feed, no games to play, etc. just a clean and simple way to connect with other students.

The Facebook 2004

Ahhh... back when life was less complicated. 

Today I not only maintain my Facebook account (they dropped the "The" back in 2005, probably because nobody ever said it) but also spend time on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat. I am almost always involved in one or more of these forms of social media. Now, I will say, that it is not always for personal reasons but because I am a Scentsy consultant and rely heavily on the involvement of others.

Family time is precious in this household. Rarely do we have an entire weekend with no commitments. When we realized how little Ben would be home for the month of September, and how hectic all of October was destined to be, we decided to set an entire weekend aside to just be "us".

As Friday approached I started thinking of how nice it would be to have as little distraction as possible for our family weekend. After checking to see what Ben thought, we agreed that we were going to un-plug from all social media starting Friday afternoon. We let our friends and family know that all communication would need to be via phone and then completely un-installed social media from our lives. 

Friday night was football night! Ben played TE/DE throughout his high school years so deciding to attend the homecoming game of his alma mater was a give in. While at the game we were completely focused on being together, letting our little man be as involved as possible in all that was going on.

Barrett on the field with daddy 
We walked a few laps, reminiscing about our high school days and how much we've missed the field. I attended every game I could, sitting in the same general spot on the bleachers and at half time enjoying a sour apple blow pop. 
Sharing momma's sucker 
Not only was this our sons first football game, but his first taste of halftime tradition.

Saturday we left Bear with grandma and headed off to one of my most favoritest places, Cedar Point.

The Gatekeeper

Without the distraction of social media, we talked the entire drive, both ways. In place of browsing through news feeds and pictures while standing in line we talked, we stood in silence observing everyone else being "together alone" or "alone together" or however you want to phrase it when nobody is paying attention to anyone else because they're staring at their phones. For an entire 15 hours we only looked at our phones to check up on our boy or for directions to Starbucks. 

The Mantis
Sunday after church we ran home to grab our sweet boxer girl, Sydney, then off we went to our favorite orchard for apple picking, Branstool Orchards. Barrett was able to pick his own apples, with some help from daddy, and we all enjoyed the perfectly sunny day.

My little family 

Bear and the first apple he picked

After an entire 48 hours (plus a few on Friday) without any of the distractions we have come to welcome into our lives, I can honestly tell you that we did not miss social media at all, and I don't think it missed us either. 

Monday came and with it the re-installment of social media to our lives. We aren't on nearly as much as before our sabbatical, and I intend to keep it that way. Now when Ben gets home from work our phones are placed on a shelf, where we will check them from time to time. Instead of being so concerned and giving so much attention to what's going on everywhere else I want to be fully present here, in my home, with my perfect little family. Don't worry, I'll still be bombarding your news feeds with pictures and video of my son and random facts about our day, just not as often. 

In the weeks since our little experiment we have made great sides in removing ourselves from being as dependent upon social media and even television (we don't have cable, just Netflix and Hulu and are still parked on the couch way too often!). The difference has been so refreshing!

Ben and I have decided to replace our TV time (normally about an hour after the kiddo is asleep) with craft time. I am trying my hand at wine bottle art and he has taken to stippling. We make tea, sit at the kitchen table, put on some music and let the creative sides of our brains take over. Conversation is fluid as we bounce ideas off of the other and will pause randomly to sing along to one of our favorite songs.

Even if you're not into arts and crafts, even if Football and amusement parks aren't your thing, I encourage you to "un-plug" for a day, or three. Be fully present in your here and now.

Who knows, you may just like it.

Messy fun is the best 

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