Raise your hand if you spend way too much time looking at screens. ✋🏼
SAME. Even though I take social media breaks from time to time, it’s nearly impossible to step away from screens indefinitely. But, instead of fighting against something that’s ingrained in our culture, maybe we can learn to manage our screen time in healthy doses. For me, that’s what this year is about.
Nick read a handful of influential books last year. One in particular talked about a “circle of influence,” which roughly states that the sum of who we are is determined by the four or five closest people in our lives. We’re not designed to handle many more relationships than that, not if we want those relationships to be truly relational.
The thing about social media, is that it opens up our circle of influence to more – MANY more – people than we are physically capable of doing life with. It demands our attention and shoves millions of OTHER people’s stories down our throats, and steals our ability to participate in meaningful, quality time with the people in our real lives that we actually care about.
I know, because I’m guilty of attending to my phone and feigning engagement with the person I’m actually face-to-face with.
I know, because I get irked when others do the same.
I know, because I watched Nick delete his Facebook entirely and spend an entire year away from Instagram, and I witnessed how positively it affected his life.
As 2019 was coming to a close, I felt a strong desire to step away from the multiple screens in my life – my phone, my computer, and even my watch – and spend more time with people. Real, quality time with my husband, my daughter, my friends… When I was in college earning my theatre degree, we were taught to really listen to your scene-partner. Sometimes I think I’m better at listening to people on stage than I am at really listening and hearing people in real life. I wanted to change that.
SO, my intention for 2020 is to put FACES FIRST. Faces before screens, relationships before social media posts… you get the idea.
If you feel the same way, it’s not too late to take a step back. I realize that starting a blog and a new social media account (@thestagemoms) in 2020 is a little bit counterintuitive to my intention for this year, but it’s all about moderation. If I’m with people, they come first. But hear me: changes like this take time and practice. I’m not claiming to be good at this already… In fact, January is almost over and, to be honest, I can’t say that I’ve done very well with my intention. But I’m not giving up! I’m going to keep practicing, and hopefully by the end of 2020, I’m able to say I spent the majority of my moments really listening, really hearing, and really putting faces first.