Last Updated on April 16, 2018

The last few weeks have been quiet for me. There have been some family medical issues that have kept me caring for the needs of others and left me far, far from social media.

Actually, I have been distant from all media.

The lack of noise has actually revealed the amount of noise that has become “normal” in my life.

Oh, at first I had some withdrawal symptoms and wondered what I wasn’t hearing and reading about.

The curious nagging in my mind of what was happening online without me and the undeniable pull of my “need to know” did yank at me more than I care to admit.

Then an almost shameful transition began to take place. Shameful because it shouldn’t have been a transition, it should be my norm.

The needs of the people in my real life took precedence and I began to embrace the lack of noise and strangely, delightfully the “need to know” was replaced by a longing for silence.

The new noiseless normal became … preferred.

It reminded me of before.

You see, I was the young mom who ignored her land-line telephone when it rang. I used to tell my friends, “I am in charge of my phone, my phone is not in charge of me.”

It was easy back then.

To rest in silence.

To prefer silence.

What happened?

What happened to the freedom and ease of quiet I enjoyed before I carried the internet around in my hand?

When did the “need to know” trump my ability to set aside the noise?

I fear social media and technology is in charge of me.

I would like to think it snuck up on me.

But actually it didn’t sneak up on me … I allowed it.

I have wrestled with this pull towards social media for a couple of years, in more than one blog post and more than one “sabbatical” from the internet. The blank spaces on my personal blog reveal that to be true.

Please … if you are reading these words … please … share your thoughts. As sisters in Christ we need “iron sharpens iron” moments and that screech of sharpening iron is something I am longing to hear from you today.

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  1. I completely understand that busyness. I also feel more though that the busyness of activity and meetings and going are worse. I can still lay down and rest and read on my kindle or flip through Instagram, seeing friends that often brings a smile to my face. If we let media take over our lives. It will. If we watch it and monitor it, it won’t and we can use it to be a blessing to others

  2. This is exactly why I refuse to carry the internet around in my hand. I don’t have any type of mobile phone (my husband has one for emergencies and work calls only) and I don’t want one. It is bad enough having a computer at home that I check a few times a day. What is hard is when friends send me an e-mail (they know I don’t have a device for text messages) and expect me to see it quickly. Since they have the internet in their hand, they forget that I have to walk downstairs to where my computer is to check for e-mail. I have told one of my friends to actually call me on the phone if there is something urgent, but still, I only get e-mails from her. I think if we want to be less “connected” we have to educate our friends that this is how it is going to be for us. Yes, we want to see them (in fact, a face-to-face visit would be lovely) but we aren’t going to be plugged in all the time. Still, I check this computer in the basement too often. How do you think I saw your post? Hmm… now that I think of it, times when I am engrossed in a good book are times that I can let the internet world go on without me. I am involved in the past and in deeper thoughts than I can get from quick little reads on a screen. Trouble is, then the housekeeping gets left by the wayside too… how to balance it all in a healthy way all the time???

  3. Ellen McCauley says:

    I find that I struggle with this as well. When is too much enough? I find that I could be doing other thing instead of searching my favorite blogs, but I get so many good things from my Internet friends! Eye opening, spiritual tank filling good stuff! I don’t have a blog, so I don’t spend hours away from my family trying to keep a website running, but I while heartedly appreciate what you do for me an my spirit! God bless you!

  4. I’m with ya sista! I have also taken a “break” the past month or so because of “real life” and “Real people” demands. It has been very refreshing. I have been a better wife, mom, and friend because I have been silent and have been truly engrossed, interested, and present with “face time” people. The internet is a wonderful tool and resource for education, encouragement, and inspiration- but there must be LIMITS! I know that everyone has to find their own balance…. but the world will not fall apart if we are not online to know what’s going on. We must train ourselves to desire the present life more than the online life. We must train ourselves to only spend “x” amount of time online and steward it wisely with purpose. It’s hard because there are so many cool gals (like you among many others) online to interact with and learn with- but again- We don’t want to miss what’s right in front of us for fear of missing out online. Lets do this girl! Limits- Live Your Life and Love Your Life- It’s short!

  5. I have also taken a break from the internet and removed social media from my phone for the last week, only logging back on today on my PC. I felt the same pull, then the guilt for even being concerned with what was going on with distant “friends” when what I was meant to be doing was soaking up every memory and moment during this time with my family. I also enjoyed the silence, the rest I took actually watching a movie or reading a book, listening and spending time…not multitasking and being distracted. I slept better, no late night checking my phone one more time before I go to bed (how silly!) I enjoyed hours spent in the kitchen preparing meals and baking with my children or husband without distractions. I love taking care of my house and my family, and I love it even more when I’m working purposefully and intentionally. I feel as if when I let media and my phone interrupt me, then I’m not putting my purposes first but just droning on until something else exciting interrupts me. I even went so far as to change the notifications on my text messaging so that it doesn’t notify me at all…no dinging, no banner making me respond to that before I can go about what I was doing. That was wonderful! I miss the silence already as I found myself sucked in today for hours it seems and I can’t get those hours back. I did have a purpose and work to accomplish but I get lost in all the media, loose focus and accomplish little. Tomorrow, I will log on first thing for 30 min to get my work logged for the day and then I will allow myself another 30 min in the afternoon for browsing, my feed articles (such as from iMom) etc. I don’t think I’ll even put social media back on my phone….it’s time for it to wait until I have time, not let it interrupt other tasks and moments.

  6. Dawn Hart says:

    My husband and I have committed ourselves to not having smart phones, simply because we know ourselves and how they would quickly change us and our lives. We use facebook but we only get on when a notification is sent to our computer, a couple times a week. We knew we weren’t the type to completely disconnect and feel like the no smart phone and the not logging on except when notified has been a wonderful compromise that works for us. Thanks for your encouragement. I wish you all the best and know what you are going through.

    I have to be very strict with myself about which hours of the day I open my laptop, or else I won’t get off for hours. I can’t believe I’m admitting that. What helps me know I’m not missing too much is that I pick my favorite facebook pages and check in with them weekly at 6am. I can go back and see it all at once instead of daily getting sucked in. And that way I can really take time to get the most out of the Mom bloggers I follow. For me, it all boils down to mapping out my social media time and strictly following it. It may seem psycho to have it so regimented… but it’s what has worked for me 🙂

  7. I understand where you are coming from, Tracey. Most of the time, I have to work to check online, if I do at all. The problem is, if I want to be a writer, I’m supposed to stay connected. But staying connected or even playing a game on my phone robs my family of time. It’s a rough sea I have trouble navigating. A recent surgery has slowed me down some, which had me checking my phone more. Too often in the last month, I fear I have given my family the top of my head rather than my heart and face time. At the same time, I love seeing recent pictures of friends I cannot see face-to-face. I suppose it’s a double-edged sword.

  8. I love your story.
    I doesn’t happend to me as much as my husband.
    I come from another culture and family is first.
    But my husband he did’nt give me my hug of New Years! The way I was spected Because he was more attentive to answer the text messsage that his coworkers has send it to him and he work with Ladies. I was not happy! I hope you understan my English. Spnish is my second Language.
    To me a lot of bussines men.
    They become slave of their cell.