Advent Unplugged: Week 2

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AdventUnplugged

I am so enjoying reading all of your Advent Unplugged posts. The insights you are sharing are so motivating to me and the accountability is really helping me strive to stay on course (or get back on course when I get wrapped up in my laptop again!)

Here’s some insights I’m having as I struggle to be/stay unplugged:

The distraction of social media was becoming such a focus in my life that it was causing me to see my real life and work of caring for and playing with my children as a distraction. So heartbreakingly backwards! When I’m tempted to say, “just a minute,” to the child who wants to tell his mother a story because someone posted an article I want to read on Facebook, there’s a problem. If anything can be put on hold, it’s social media, not being engaged with my kids.

But you know what? It’s hard. I really LIKE reading all the articles that are shared on Facebook and reading all the blog posts I want to read. I really LIKE seeing everyone’s pictures on Facebook and responding to status updates. It’s a struggle not to open the laptop, check my email, write emails, view my stats, etc. So here’s some steps that are helping me unplug:

I’ve said it before, but removing the social media apps from my phone has been pure gold. Seriously, y’all. During my pregnancy with Gwen (AKA months of puking, light-headedness, inability to leave my bed/the couch) using my phone as a distraction was a life-saver. Can I survive the next 10 minutes of nausea? Distract myself with funny stuff on FB! I should have been doing something more awesome like praying through the physical misery, but honestly, having my phone there really kept me going. But during those months, I got addicted. Addicted to the point that if I misplaced my phone IN MY OWN HOUSE for a matter of minutes, I felt fidgety and anxious and irritable. Addicted addicted. Now that the social media apps (except Instagram, because it’s good for me, rather than distracting) are gone from my phone, there’s so little to DO on it that I can just keep it plugged in on the counter and not bother with it.

Keep my browser closed. So, I often use our laptop to listen to music on iTunes or Spotify. But I also used to leave my browser window open all day. Then I’m constantly refreshing to see what’s going on all over the internet. And that’s just dumb dumb dumb. So I’ve been TRYING to either keep the laptop closed and play music off my phone, or listen to music but keep my browser closed so that it’s not there to refresh. This is harder for me because I’m not great with self-control. I can go cold turkey with things (like just deleting all the apps) or I can go wild but a moderate in between isn’t my strong suit. Same with food. I can eat nothing with sugars or grains or I can eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS. There is no middle ground. It’s a super fun character flaw, lemme tell ya!

Go outside. Go on a walk. Go to the park. Sit on the back porch with a book while the kids run around the back yard. You can’t be messing around on your laptop when you’re outside and your laptop is inside.

So link-up and share about what you’re learning this Advent and how your Advent Unplugged is coming along. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to link up before, any one can jump in whenever!

OK, for the link up:

1. Write an Advent Unplugged post.

2. Add the Advent Unplugged button.

AdventUnplugged

3. Link up below!

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Comments

  1. says

    “I can eat nothing with sugars or grains or I can eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS.” HA! So me.

    I haven’t been doing the unplugged thing as formally as you but I gave up FB a while ago (except for posting blog updates on the blog page). It was great at first but let me tell you, it gets HARD. I think the hardest part is feeling left out of the party. Feeling like friends have forgotten you. And then struggling with feeling sorry for yourself. But I can’t go back for all the reasons you stated and more. Thank you for the encouragement that it’s not just me and for the reminder to be a bit more intentional about this vocation here.

  2. Hannah says

    I unplugged from facebook about a year ago after being wishy-washy and deactivating it so many times it was a joke. My reasons were for the same as yours, but mine too I noticed was a matter of my heart as well. I would often feel bad after being on it, not knowing why until I had a conversation with my brother! He was struggling with the same feelings and said,
    “Many people on facebook can be one of two kinds of people—not everyone is like this, but definitely in our circle of friends—the person that easily gets jealous, or the person that (whether consciously or not) tries to make other people jealous by posting only the awesome stuff about themselves or their lives.”
    After finally understanding that I was often both of those people and realizing it was always going to be a stumbling block for me, I decided that was the end of it. (Also, I know plenty of people who use facebook in a good healthy way…I’m just not one of them.) Anyway, I’m a lot happier now and yes, it was really hard at first (it too was an addiction) but after time, I stopped even thinking about it.

    Advent Unplugged is such a great idea! I’m thinking that turning my phone off the minute I get home from work on the weekends and do not need it until Mondays would be a great way for me to participate. My husband and I also decided that for this advent season, if we feel the desire to watch tv, we would instead read books together.

    Inspiring post! You and your family are such a blessing!

  3. Sarah Joseph says

    I completely agree about Instagram! I feel refreshed and encouraged after looking through it, while I feel bloated and tired after scrolling through my Twitter or Facebook for the 14th time that hour. And I’m also with you on moderation not being a strong suit–it’s usually easy (and much more effective) for me to just completely clear away whatever is cluttering my life and focus on what really matters–God, my husband, my kids, my real-world friends and hobbies!

  4. says

    I’ve been doing alright with the computer challenge, though it doesn’t help that I’ve been working on more crafty things and my instructions are online and it’s our only source of music.

    However, to help counteract that I’ve been actively having more play time and cutting back on our TV. We went all of yesterday just playing in the living room together while I worked on his Waldorf style doll (I need to show you a picture!) until after bath time when we turned on the St. Nicholas movie and watched it cuddled on the couch before daddy got home.

    I’m going to scrounge around at my parents house to see if they still have their old CD players stereo so I can get some of our Christmas music off the computer.

  5. Alisa Zimmerman says

    When I was in college I discovered a great app called Self-control. It allows you to create a blacklist of sites and then you set a timer and it blocks those sites until the timer goes off. This way you can access sites like Pandora while keeping yourself off of social media sites. You can get the app at
    http://selfcontrolapp.com

  6. says

    Before getting an iPhone I really didn’t keep my phone on hand too often. Then all these apps that made tv shows and facebook accessible came about and I was preggo with baby boy #2 and it has been all downhill since. During his pregnancy it was my way to catch a breather and unwind. But now I feel like I must have it with me at all times. And I wish I could let the kiddos run loose outside. We are house hunting right now and in an apartment meanwhile. Even when we aren’t having icepocalypse we live in the corner apt lot to a main road and I am not comfy with letting the toddler run around. Not to mention random peeps like to walk by throughout the day. Praying we find a house soon so we can play and enjoy outside more! I love being outside!

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