Social Media – the not so hidden thief of time

2006: I made my first Facebook account. You know, back when you had to have a college e-mail to even sign up for Facebook.

2011: Bought my first smart phone. Downloaded Instagram.

2013-2014: Got a flip phone from my sweet momma friend (who also ditched social media years ago). Shortly after, I then of course, went back to a smart phone because well – isn’t it as necessary as oxygen????

Years within: Spent an absurd amount of time trying to develop a blog. Blogging (yes, this one too) is a complete waste of so much time and space and is absolutely unnecessary. There are always exceptions, however. Maybe you just need to get words out of your mind and onto “paper”. Or, if you like documenting something specific that is playing out in your life. I love reading things that are educational – like people who are building a house from nothing. I also like to support businesses like small farmers who are trying to build on the basis of something that is necessary to our lives. You know, food. That is different.

If you think you are in it to make money, turn away. It is now 2020 and every person plus their goat has a blog on every topic imagined. I am deeply sorry for being honest, but that post is not an original idea. Original to you – possibly – unless you copied another’s and then spun it as your own. Most likely, those ideas have been published already. If you really believe you have the extra time, go for it. It might just be me, but I don’t enjoy staring at my computer for hours with little to no return.

Mommas, this is for you. Unless you have ample extra time (or a new niche), it is, simply put – a waste of time. Time you could spend doing nearly anything else for your family. Use your life and your words as a way of encouraging others to spend more time doing things that really make a difference in this world. Words that TRULY matter. April, the world does not need another recipe. They can all be googled. It does need active relationships, active love, active time spent in real moments with real people – away from a screen.

2018-2019: Repeatedly thinking up ways to lessen my time spent staring at my phone and more time being a person actively living on Earth. Deletes and re-installs apps numerous times.

2020: Deleted all Social Media Accounts.

It might seem silly or discernible to some, but when you look within yourself, you too might feel the same way about how much time is spent mindlessly scrolling your social media accounts. This is a big deal, actually. An open and normal and hidden addiction that the majority of us face.

I made the decision to remove my accounts from social media.

Currently in my twelfth year of parenting, my third semester of nursing school, with a house remodel, homeschooling four out of five children, daily parenting, wife-ing, and coaching for our satellite swim team five days a week – I am far too busy to allow negative phone habits consume important moments of my day.

Moments when I can look at my children rather than my phone.

Moments when I can study Cardiac Rhythms and Hemodynamics rather than a person’s “best self” they put on Instagram.

I refuse to allow my silly negative habits form themselves in my children because I don’t have the strength or willpower to remove them.

They will be adults too soon, and will have the decision to choose whether or not they have a presence on social media, and I do not want my own mindless scrolling behavior, which they have seen since I purchased my first smart phone in 2011, to influence their choice.

How many minutes, since that day, have I wasted on this beautiful Earth simply staring at my screen? Wrecking my neck muscles. Ruining my posture. Causing weight gain and muscle atrophy. And worse, neglecting my kids.

No, not the same kind of neglect you see when DCF is called due to lack of food, unsafe living conditions, etc.

The kind of neglect where attention is deprived. The kind of neglect where time is deprived. The kind of neglect you cause to yourself because you are too consumed with other people’s fake lives. People you don’t even know in REAL life.

Moments where you can love others through real embrace.

Moments where you can love yourself by putting down the phone, getting off the couch, and moving.

I am craving authenticity. Living moments. Genuine relationships.

I have gone through seasons of life where I fluctuate between too much time on social media, to being able to leave my phone alone all day. I know, within myself, I am not a person that is on their phone too much, but even little moments can have a big impact.

Actually, who am I to say what is “too much”?

Is five minutes too much time to stare at Instagram rather than talk with your five year old?

We all hear that too much screen time is detrimental to a toddler’s (and a teen’s) brain development. What about adults? We are also physically and emotionally affected.

Social Media can be beneficial in certain aspects, I am not saying otherwise. However, it can also lead to unhealthy phone addiction and a negative self worth.

At this moment in my life, it is a distraction, and not worth the precious minutes I have with my family.

I want to take that picture of my family for myself, not to spend literal hours thinking up a caption and then editing it.

I hope, if I ever reactivate my accounts, I can have better boundaries over my time and stronger confidence in myself. I hope to not be so easily influenced by the squares people create to make you believe they are something they most likely are not.

We are all the same, and Instagram or Facebook is not where I choose to determine my worthiness, or read words that I know stem from hate (politics), or are out right lies made by people trying to present their best self.

Instagram is not where I choose to spend my time, rather than having a real conversation. Or actually falling asleep at a decent time, as opposed to causing my arm to go dead because I am staring at my phone in bed when I should be sleeping.

In no way is this to judge the way you spend your time. This is merely a reflection of my own thoughts and my own self. A conviction I felt from God, and want to write out on my digital “paper”.

I just have better things to do, and I hope this is a strong step toward the goals I have for myself and my family. To live simply. To live minimally. Focusing on time spent together, our relationships with each other, and our character as a family of God’s children who live for Christ alone.

April Spengler