A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Your Digital Life is NOT Your Life

digital-life

My children don’t care how many Twitter followers I have. My husband doesn’t enjoy spending time with me simply because my subscriber count went up or people like my new website. It doesn’t improve their life or increase their love for me. My friends will still like me whether my logo is green, blue, or completely nonexistent.

Why? Because my digital life is not my life. . .and neither is yours.

Your life is made up of real moments in time that include real human interaction. Your life is a living picture of your personal priorities.

I read a really convicting post this week from Sunny Mummy. Here’s a little snippet from it. You should really check out the whole thing:

Tell me, just how much time DO YOU spend online?
Whatever answer you came up with, you have probably grossly underestimated it.

You check email HOW MANY times per day?

You tweet, to people you don’t even know, about things that really don’t matter.

You update your status on Facebook and like it, when someone ‘LIKES’ it.
If you find you are guilty as charged, I have news for you sunshine:
Your life is passing you by in one big ‘postupdatetweet-a-thon’ and your family is suffering!

Ouch! Did that hit anyone else where it hurts? If so, you’re not alone. We all need occasional reminders like these.

Step One: Admitting You Have a Problem

I have to admit that it’s hard for me to take time away from my digital life. My job lets me work from home, but it ties me to the computer for several hours a day. I have discovered how much I love writing for this blog. Plus, launching my first ebook really gave me an increased desire to want to write more. I’m also hoping to launch a project with my husband and one with my mom so I can develop other streams of income so I can quit working my current job. All of those things require time online. Most of those things I enjoy, but they all take up time from my real life.

So, I admit I have a problem. My kids think I’m always on my computer and I hate that. I know I need to change some things about how I work. I’ve been reading up on being mindful with your online time and how to incorporate digital sabbaticals in my life. However, just knowing I have a problem and even deciding what to do differently is not the same as doing anything about it.

Step Two: Pursue Your Real Life Priorities

I doubt seriously that anyone would name Twitter, Facebook, or even their blog as their real life priorities. Relationships are what truly matter. You already know what your priorities are, now it’s time to pursue them. Don’t just claim them, or talk about them, or sit around and dream about them. Do something about them TODAY!

Don’t sit around and wish you had more time. Take out your calendar and mark something off of it.

Do you wish you were happier? Stop wishing away your life. Do what you dream about when you’re doing something you hate.

Your children aren’t getting any younger. Tweeting about your kids is not the same as spending time with them. Turn on some music, dance around and be silly with them. (My kids think I’m insane when I do this. It’s great!) If your kids are older, stop what you’re doing and give them a call to ask about their day.

Just keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with having a life online or spending your time doing things you enjoy. Just don’t kid yourself into thinking those are the only elements that make up your life. Maybe it’s time to delete your Facebook account.

It’s time to be connected. Be real.

 

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Article originally published on 01/07/2011

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Comments

  1. Well said. I’m not regretting my decision to delete my Facebook account one bit. I’m only regretting not doing it sooner.

  2. This has got to be the best post ever!
    Every word of it is so very true…

    I have made it a priority to write ‘in my own time’. With that, I mean writing my posts in the early morning, when nobody is awake yet. It’s not fair to let something as silly as the computer steal time from your loved ones 🙂

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  3. Jill Foley says:

    Great message. I never did open a Facebook account or Tweet, but I still spend too much time on the computer. Last month I stopped writing on 2 of my 3 blogs. I still have one for the grandparents to see pics of their granddaughters, but I don’t write much there.

    I need to get much better about turning the computer off. When it’s on, it rules my life. I know this, yet I allow it to happen. I am weak.

    That being said, I’m signing off and turning this thing off! Thank you for a great post!

  4. That last sentence, “maybe it’s time to delete your facebook account,” hit hard. I did just that about a week ago and never felt better. I was getting things done and spending more time with my toddler… Everyone thought it was a bad idea, including my husband and my mom. I certainly don’t need Facebook to keep in contact with them! But, in the end, I allowed myself to be swayed and feel guilty…and I clicked the reactivate button in my email. I do regret that. I’m in limbo about deleting it again, though.
    I also just want to say thank you for your blog. I am only in the very beginning of my journey to the life I want. I have been following your blog for awhile now, and it has proved helpful in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

  5. Faith,
    Ever since I found you, I have loved your writing. I think it’s because you are authentic and not afraid to ‘go there’ to challenge the ‘norm’. This post is awesome and it has nothing to do with the fact that it has a snippet of my post. I loved that you took what you read from me, and posed questions to yourself and your readers…me included! Whilst I can’t delete my facebook account {it is attached to my page for Sunny Mummy}, I was thinking about no longer updating my own personal status & deleting my personal twitter…this post confirmed that I shall do it! Thanks for keeping it real & for helping your family, as well as many many others. Stace x

  6. I hear you! I faced the same dilemma sometime last year and then, worked hard to organize my time and simplify being online. So, it meant unsubscribing from blogs I’d stopped reading, networks that I no longer visited, restricting checking my email and blog comments to twice a day – morning and evening and writing only when hubby and baby were asleep.
    So, yeah, I didn’t make a lot of money but I was happier, more relaxed and so was my family.

  7. Had to comment as this is my one slot on-line this weekend. It’s so very true, last night I decided to disconnect almost entirely this weekend. I have one blog post to write and that’s it. The kids and I watched Mamma Mia last night and there is a song about the daughter slipping through her mother’s fingers all the time. It’s worth remembering every day, that you never get this time back. Writing about life isn’t the same as living it! Totally agree! Have a great family weekend Faith x

  8. It’s hard when my kids comment that I’m on the computer a lot. I think we do a lot together, but in my “free time” my entertainment of choice is reading and commenting on blogs. And of course, I write for my own blog but that’s usually when the kids are at home.

    Many people come home from work and watch t.v. in the evenings, but I like to go on the computer. I’ve wrestled with this and I’m constantly aware of my time online. However, there are always those pangs of guilt no matter how much time I’m spending with the kids. It’s an ongoing struggle that’s for sure!

  9. This is partially why I haven’t and probably will never sign up for a twitter account. I also don’t post pictures on facebook as often as I used to, and may start deleting people that I don’t communicate with on a regular basis. I don’t care what people I knew back in high school are doing on a day to day basis, and I really doubt that they care that about what is going on with me either.

    I think there is a definite narcissistic epidemic running rampant right now, and I hope that people will begin to realize what is happening and try to reign it in a little bit!

  10. This is so good. Thanks for saying it!

  11. I just deactivated my facebook account. Thank you again. 😉

  12. Yes! You are so right. The Internet can be as much of a time suck as television.
    I’m working on becoming less connected. Leaving my cell phone and laptop in another room when I am spending time with my husband and son helps.
    Considering leaving Facebook. Will I have the motivation to do it this year? Hope so.

  13. Faith,
    You are so right. Since I left my full-time (read 80+ hours a week) to work from home writing and building a blog/business, I spend a lot of time online. I am trying to limit it when my hubby is home, or my kids come around (the youngest 2 are almost 18 and 20, so they aren’t here much!). I want to be able to talk and have them feel like what they say is important to me.
    I am struggling today as I was not online much at all Fri-Sun, and now we have a snow day and hubby is at home! I have so much I need to be doing, but is difficult with him here! 😀
    I am going to continue to try and balance my online life better with my REAL life! After all, life balance is what I write about on my blog!
    Bernice
    How does your faith affect your ability to cope?

  14. fantastic post…

  15. As I’m sure we all would agree, these techno things can be great aids in our lives, and monsters when they control us rather than us keeping control of them. We each need to do what helps us keep our lives in balance, but not expect that others should do the same.

    Being Mindful of what we are actually doing & what choices we are making, is crucial to living the life we had intended rather than the life we are actually living.

  16. Vishnu Moorthy says:

    Fantastic post. I agree with every single words U said. Its time to log off the screen and log on to life 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] My children don’t care how many Twitter followers I have. My husband doesn’t enjoy spending time with me simply because my subscriber count went up or people like my new website. It doesn’t improve their life or increase their love for me. My friends will still like me whether my logo is green, blue, or completely nonexistent. Read more… […]

  2. […] at Minimalist at Home calls herself and the rest of us out on Internet usage and how it affects our family.*This put me over the edge on deciding to delete my Facebook account. Thank […]

  3. […] This post by Faith at Minimalist at Home and Courtney’s notes about the downside of minimalism put things in perspective for me. I want to use the Internet for good in my life. I don’t want it to be a crutch for boredom, procrastination or narcissism. So I deleted my Facebook profile. […]

  4. bye bye Facebook and some links says:

    […] at Minimalist at Home calls herself and the rest of us out on Internet usage and how it affects our family.*This put me over the edge on deciding to delete my Facebook account. Thank […]

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