Let’s Start With A Story
After my husband and I got married in 2016, I moved to Georgia to live with him. You know what? One day, I’ll have to write about our story. It’s definitely an interesting one. For now, though, I’ll just tell this little one. So, shortly after we wed, I found out I was pregnant! Yay!!! Right?
But wait… I just moved away from all my family and friends. They won’t get to experience it with me. My mom won’t get to see the little moments. She won’t be there to teach me how to be a mom. Actually, sitting at my kitchen table writing this, I just realized that I’ve become a great mom despite not having my mom with me every step of the way. Well, that’s a proud moment!
My dad won’t be able to see his first-born grandchild accomplish all of his firsts. My sister, who is the best babysitter ever, won’t be able to watch him when I need a break or to have a fun day watching movies and eating snacks together. My brother won’t be able to tell him every little thing that annoys me, and the best way to get under my skin.
How Social Media Helped Me
With living a very far distance from all of my family and friends, and people I’ve known my entire life, social media has been a huge way to keep in contact with everyone. It helps me keep a little sanity, knowing that I have a lot of mom friends across the Mississippi. In fact, I know many moms that were pregnant the same time I was and had their babies shortly after I had mine. Girls I went to school with, but didn’t really talk to in school, are now some moms I look up to and get inspiration from.
However, as a parent, it’s very hard to not compare your child to other children close to the same age. It’s not that you think your kid is much better or worse than their peers, you just want to make sure they are where they are supposed to be, and that you’re doing all you need to do. It’s really something you have to teach yourself and constantly be aware of.
Proud parents are a huge part of my Facebook feed, and I honestly love it. Parents my age are often told that they are too young to know what they’re doing and what’s really best for their children. We’re labeled as irresponsible millennials, and we’re looked down upon so much because of it. The ones who get the worst of it are some that became pregnant without necessarily planning for it.
I’m very fortunate to have lots of parents supporting parents of all walks of life on Facebook, and a lot of times it brightens my day. Still, I think we all can agree that social media has a lot of downsides.
How Social Media Hurt Me
I think one of the most difficult things to realize and wake up to is the fact that people only show on socials what they want to show. Most don’t show the tough moments when they want to give up, the moments when their bathroom is the dirtiest it’s ever been, and the moments that their kids are being figurative devils.
On the side of non-parents and people that don’t deal with children on a daily basis, people in general on Facebook or Instagram typically show the good, happy, fun, and exciting moments. It can be hard to remember that those happy times and fancy outfits and big engagement rings don’t mean that those people in the pictures have happy lives.
It’s been said before, but you never really know what struggles someone is going through. Just think about a time that you went through something really difficult. Did you post a video of yourself crying and telling the World Wide Web about it? Probably not. You probably talked to someone about it in person or dealt with it on your own. Then when you felt happier, you might have posted a picture with someone you care about, smiling. It just goes to show that you can’t judge someone’s life by what they choose to post on social media.
What Happened When I Turned Off My Facebook Notifications
Saying all this brings me to my main point, which is the reason you clicked on this article. Presumably, you want to find out what happened when I turned off my Facebook Notifications. One of the first things that happened was that I forgot to check Facebook! It was that quick. I wasn’t constantly browsing Facebook and seeing what everybody was doing in my spare time.
The next thing that I noticed was probably the biggest change. I found that I no longer was seeking likes and approval of the things I posted. I felt less of a desire for people to praise me for my motherhood and tell me how adorable my son is. Of course, I still have that desire, but it’s no longer the reason I post and share the things I choose to share. I post them to share how proud I am of my son, and so my family who can’t see him any more than once or twice a year in person get to see some important captured moments in our lives. I do it so my other mom friends can be supportive of me instead of giving me the validation I used to seek.
Keeping up with my family is also the reason I am on Facebook. I usually click onto my app with the intention of seeing what my family or friends are doing, or if there’s an update on a person I know that has been struggling with health. I check it so I can support those amazing parents I call my friends and be there when they need me.
Sure, you can’t always get around the attention seekers, or the people who post pleasant pictures with the intention of bragging about money and making it seem like they have it all together. I think when it comes to those people, it’s now up to you as to how you deal with them. Do you become jealous, depressed or resentful towards those friends that have what you don’t have? They could be very unhappy with their lives, but they won’t let you see it. It’s what you do with that information that will give you peace of mind.
What I Learned
A funny thing that happened when I did this experiment is that my family or friends would often ask me if I had seen something on Facebook, and I would have to say, “no I didn’t. I haven’t been on Facebook yet today.” It kind of shocked them at first and then I think it started rubbing off on them, too. They are not typically people that care about social media that much anyway. They have busy lives and don’t really have time to get involved in controversial topics and judge other people on their friend’s list.I still think it made them take a little step back and remember that Facebook is tiny highlighted snippets of real life–not an informative docu-series of people’s lives.
I didn’t really think about turning my Facebook notifications off for much time before. I just thought, “You know what, I can’t really turn my phone off for a whole day as a ‘cleanse’ with the whole family dynamic, so what else can I do? Turn off Facebook notifications!” It really gave my day a different tone. I wasn’t waiting for something to happen on Facebook, for someone to comment on my pictures. I could enjoy life in the moment so much more freely!
It took me back to the good ol’ days before I had a phone with social media on it, back when I had to log into the family computer to check Facebook at the end of the day. It’s a relief, and it helped me set my priorities in the right place again.
I’ve had them turned off for quite a while now, several months actually. Just recently though, I realized that I get sooo many notifs from Instagram that are super unnecessary, especially since I don’t even look on it that often.
Last year, I believe there was a time period where every influencer on the Gram was telling their followers to turn on post notifications so that you would see their content on your feed. Well, I don’t know if that is still the case, but I have had so many notifs coming through my phone that it’s ridiculous. I became so callused to seeing them, I just blocked them out and never checked them. There was absolutely no reason for me to keep them on. So I did a declutter! It felt so freaking good I can’t even express how clean and free I felt after I went back and manually changed every account’s push notifs.
That was about a month ago that I did that and I kind of want more. I want more to declutter. I want my mind to not be held down by the weight of constantly being stimulated by technology. Some days go by, and I hardly touch my phone. Those are probably some of my happiest days, although usually a few family members, friends, and my husband are trying to get ahold of me!
At the end of the day, I think what matters most is being with the people you love and really being present in the special moments. I hope in reading this, you have been inspired to do something similar. Pass this article along to someone you think might benefit from it. Also, to save this article, pin this to Pinterest!
Happy living to the fullest,
About The Author…
Briggy (Brigetta) Jones is an easy-going,