What is it about email or Facebook that makes it almost addictive for a mom to check?
My computer is in my laundry room/pantry, so I’ll wander in for a can of soup and find myself wiggling the mouse to look for that little envelope icon in the corner of my screen. Or I’ll be folding a load of clothes, checking up on someone’s status. Makes multi-tasking easy, but can be a time-waster when you’ve got four little people running around doing who knows what while you’re hitting “Reply” or “Comment.”
Facebook also seems to have the power to make me think in Facebook! I find it mentally narrating my day (most often things I would never post anyway):
Janel Breitenstein …
… is wondering why she’s cleaning up pee off the carpet. Again.
… wonders if everyone thinks her 3-month-old is utterly adorable with that grin, even if he’s drooling at the same time.
… is amazed at just how tired a person can feel.
… is thinking, didn’t I just clean up this same mess?
… loves listening to her 5-year-old attempt to use big words.
So I’ve contemplated why this is just so appealing.
In the craziness of my life, I often find these as avenues of social interaction. It’s a way of talking with friends without leaving my home, of feeling like I’m conversing with someone over the age of five. It’s a little bit of an escape from the mundane, something to make folding towels (again) more interesting.
Can I get addicted?
I’m sometimes looking for an email that communicates that I’m valuable, because I’m needed in someplace other than motherhood. Or I can ignore something my kids need to respond to something less important, more selfish (though I must admit, it can occasionally be good for them to wait).
Sometimes I’m doing it out of discontentment with where I am in life.
Sometimes I use it as a cheap substitute for more meaningful interactions in person or on the phone.
Often I’ll need to take one day a week, like Sunday, to “fast” from turning on the computer.
But there’s some truth in that I can be energized by simply doing something other than the daily routine, being touched by people even though I can’t go out of the house at the time.
Maybe a Facebook getaway, in moderation, isn’t always so bad!
Janel Breitenstein graduated summa cum laude from John Brown University and began her career with NavPress, where she worked on The Message Bible. After having four children she resumed her professional career (around her momlife) by serving as a writer for FamilyLife. In January of 2012 Janel and her husband, John, packed up their family of six and moved to Uganda to serve with Engineering Ministries International (eMi), an organization that focuses on poverty relief and development, providing structural design and construction management for Christian organizations in the third world. Join us as we all learn first hand, through Janel’s posts, what it’s like to go from suburban America, to answer God’s call in Africa!