Social Media: Positive Or Detrimental For Women?

by January Harshe on November 24, 2014

evie marie photographyBefore Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we didn’t let so many people into our lives. Our personal space.

We didn’t fight about whether we were lying to our kids over Santa and the Easter Bunny. I’ve seen vicious arguments on this topic. If you don’t celebrate childhood magical creatures you are not giving your child the wonders of being kid. If you do, then you are a flat our liar and teaching your kids to lie. Seriously? Never ever had I seen mothers argue over that before social media. Absolutely ridiculous.

We didn’t get into debates that took up hours of our day. Admit it. You’ve lurked or debated something and wasted way too much time doing so. And for what? Did anyone change their minds? Did you feel better? Did peace come to the world? Doubt it.

We didn’t look for validation from so many. Since when does it matter what someone YOU HAVE NEVER MET thinks of anything you do in your life?

We didn’t take so much into our brain at once. Status updates, links, articles, news, etc. It’s more overwhelming than we realize.

We didn’t nitpick, argue, and judge Every. Little. Thing. Women needs support, not this garbage.

What did we do before Facebook? We had playdates with like minded friends or even friends who did things different but respect each other. We fed our kids, played with them, watched too much daytime TV, cleaned, shopped, talked to friends and family on the phone or email. We Googled for information on baby foods and read articles on vaccines. We turned to wise women and a few close friends for their thoughts, experiences, and guidance.

Social media is part of my job. Between you and me, I hate it. I despise social media. It’s the simplest way to reach more people and as long as I can justify that I am reaching and still helping thousands of people, it wins and remains in my life. BUT when I step away, take a break, do less, *I* am so much happier. At peace. There is no denying the difference. It’s why I do events. Face-to-face interaction and change in the world is so meaningful and keeps me going with the social media/blog side of things.

I know there are benefits to meeting more people you wouldn’t otherwise, staying in touch with people, and having more info/support readily available. I get it. But at what cost?

evie marie photography

Do those things and step back and live your life without constantly checking FB on your phone. You’ll be so much happier. Let’s say you take the app off your phone for 24 hours. It may go something like this:

First, you’ll realize how addicted you are to checking in.

Then, you’ll realize how it gets easier to not check in.

You will go from feeling the addicted need to check in to feeling an overall feeling of calm and peace.

You will find other things to do like pick up the house, watch a show, take a bath, shave, do a project you’ve been putting off, an activity with your child, or a meaningful phone call with a friend instead of FB chats.

You will then go back to Facebook and realize you missed NOTHING. It’s all the same. You can catch up whether it’s been 24 hours or 24 days. We miss out more on life be being sucked into social media than the other way around. 

You see, social media takes more from you than it gives you when it’s used in such a way. When it is used as a tool to check in with friends/family and ask a question (resource) here and there, it can be a great. It’s up to use how we use it. The saying “Less is more” accurately applies here.

The longer you go without it being a constant in your life, the more meaningful your life and relationships become again. A bold statement? Maybe, but it’s true.

I challenge you to take a 24 hour break. Can you do it? Let me know how it goes if you do.

evie marie photography

 

Images by Evie Marie Photography.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke November 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

I completely got rid of facebook because of all this. Not to mention there’s no real privacy on there anymore 🙁 They need to bring back the old privacy settings.

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Lida November 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Amen!
Thank you for saying it, just the way I would have liked to put it. I one day realised how much time my two precious boys are spending on their own, entertaining themselves, while I was busy on Fb. So I stopped. It started out by checking only when they sleep, and now…..I don’t even care anymore. Same trends, same people, and the same old things are being posted.
My boys and I are now DOING things together. We ride piggy back, we visit the farmer down the road to ‘greet’ the farm animals, and walk away with hands full of organic apples. We discover the variety of mushrooms growing in the woods……and quite frankly….that is soooooooo much better than checking what other people do.
And if I put my boys to bed at night, I know that I am using the time we have together wisely. Making real memories, instead of wanting to see where other people eat, what they do etc. And that is more rewarding and precious than anything else in the social media-overloaded life!

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Riley November 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I completely agree with this post! On a side note though: My mom told me and my four sisters that Santa and the Easter bunny weren’t real as soon as we were old enough to actually understand Christmas. I never met anyone else whose parents did that, and I feel like I missed out on the magic and wonder of childhood. I don’t have happy memories of Christmas as a child. My husband has amazing memories of it, and him and his brother still look at life through a childs eyes, and they’re 23 and 20. I’m very jealous of them, and we’re going to let our kids have that magic. I’m not saying my mom was wrong, but everyone needs to make the choice that is right for them/their family.

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Hailey November 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Oh how timely your post is. I recently wrote my own post on my (mostly) neglected blog about taking a facebook break. http://hopeinourhome.blogspot.com/2014/11/quitting-facebook.html

I stayed off for two weeks. I haven’t fully decided if I’m happy to be back or if I would be better off deleting all together. I enjoy facebook for the same reasons as many others, its fun to share pictures and life with my friends and family that I don’t see on a regular, daily basis. The flip side is exactly what you describe, we allow SO MANY PEOPLE to be invovled in our lives through social media. Even though I feel I’m selective about who I “friend”, there are still people who make it to my friend’s list that probably don’t really need to be there.

Definitely a love/hate relationship!

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Marjolaine November 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I am about to give birth in a few days and I just deleted the Facebook and Messenger app after reading this. I hesitated thinking I’d need it at the hospital to post pictures of my baby but then again, the people that matter, I’ll be able to call them and they’ll come visit so who cares if Facebook gets pictures of my baby a few days after she’s born.
Thanks for this reminder that real life is so much more important! 🙂

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Naomi Chance November 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm

You are a very wise grasshopper! 😉

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Abby November 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Great post, January! I couldn’t agree more. A few years ago I made it my New Year’s resolution to go a year without Facebook. I didn’t miss one day of it! I got back on when I got pregnant but I’m off again and am better for it. Contemplating taking a leave of absence from IG (the only other social media I’m on) as well. Cheers!

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Cara November 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I took a month long break from facebook that was GLORIOUS! When I decided to go back to it, I did away with people who I didn’t know, who weren’t in my life or I hadn’t talked to in forever! I also did away with companies who were annoying with their advertisements. I vowed to not let it control me. I have a problem with comparing and feeling like my life was boring or ordinary, and was fuel on that fire for me. It was relieving to get away. It is a necessary tool for communication (especially with a lot of my family) but I always pray that it be put in its rightful place. Thank you for sharing your view….I agree with it 🙂

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Jade December 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more January!

I have tried for years to get off Facebook. I find myself deactivating every few months to take a break, not only to feel human again but to get away from all the negativity it produces. People find it easier to argue and offend others over Facebook.

I keep looking at my friends list, hovering over people I haven’t seen in years, I’m not likely to ever catch up with and that I barely speak to and yet I still can’t (Haven’t got the balls to) delete them. It seems ridiculous.

I prefer Instagram. I can share a million photos of my little boy and only like minded mums follow me so I’m not annoying anyone with my baby spam! Also the privacy settings on Instagram are great. Not a follower? Can’t see anything! Love it!

Keep up the great work January – you are amazing!

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