In case you haven’t read it, the post arose from my reflection that sometimes I “overdose” on the internet and that time “browsing” can supersede the relationships right in front of me.
In response to this I made a pledge that I would have one day off the Internet a week.
With some exceptions I have managed this day off a week and on the whole it’s been really positive. I’m inevitably more present in the here-and-now when I’m not checking my phone to see what’s happening in the cyber-world. I usually take the day off on a Sunday, but a Saturday would work just as well.
But a few more reflections have arisen from taking this weekly Internet fast. The Internet is with us, and it’s here to stay. Social media is with us, and it’s here to stay. And it’s increasingly a medium we are using to connect with our friends. So, like anything else we need to establish what our healthy boundaries are in using it. I’ve got this nailed for one day a week. But what about the other 6 days? In some ways it’s easier to just “go dark” for a whole day than to exercise self-control for the whole week.
Some of the comments to my original post were interesting. One guy said “I began to notice a while back that my days of fasting weren’t going anywhere. I still wasted time on the internet, etc. I realized that fasting the computer as well was way more effective in getting me into those times of meeting with God” Does this sound familiar to anyone? It does to me.
Another comment said “We do nothing “digital” on Sundays – we can play the Wii TOGETHER or watch telly TOGETHER or get a board game out.” This family had also come up with the following boundaries for internet/phone use:
* No mobiles at dinner time.
* No hand-held devices when other people are in the room trying to be sociable
* I try to not sit in front of Facebook when the children are around, which means no FB at weekends.
* No Nintendo DS’s or ipods with earphones ’til at least aged 10 (unless we get one that belongs to the WHOLE FAMILY & requires SHARING!!!)
I love these ideas! Our kids are too young for social media but it won’t be long before they’re asking to get involved. Making sure we have our own boundaries in place is crucial because they will observe what we “do” before what we “say”.
I don’t write this because it’s something I’ve “mastered”. Far from it. I write because I think it’s an issue many of us face and I’d like to know what the rest of you out there think.
Maybe you don’t think it matters how much you use social media.
Maybe you’ve worked out a way to moderate how you use it.
How often do you look at social media on average each day or each week?
Have you put any boundaries in place?
Any other thoughts to throw out there?
Posted by Anna