We are the first generation of moms required to work out new personal habits and social conventions around ubiquitous connection to the internet. It’s no light matter, and one that requires wisdom, not simplistic answers like just eliminating our phones or social media altogether.
Rachel Jankovic is wife to Luke and mom to 8 kids who span in age from college to diapers. She is author of Loving the Little Years, Fit to Burst, and You Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal with It. She and her sister Bekah podcast together about life as active and joyful Christian women on What Have You plus you can find several great workshops and talks from Rachel on the Canon+ app.
Let’s get real about the struggle most of us moms face – the constant tug on our attention of our phones. Navigating this new temptation is an art, and it’s time we figure out how to make it work for us without falling into mindless scrolling.
When faced with the temptation to overuse our phones, the knee-jerk reaction might be to delete all apps and swear off the device entirely. But is that the best answer? Instead of an outright ban, let’s explore how to navigate the opportunities and pitfalls of social media and the internet within the realm of our home life.
Phones are a form of wealth
Phones represent extreme wealth, potential for both information and connection previous times never dreamed of. Wealth always poses the temptation to self-indulgent leisure, so we must guard against that temptation. However, wealth is not to be abandoned or despised out of hand.
To handle the temptations we face, we must first be self-aware enough to recognize our particular weaknesses and struggles. Are we mindlessly scrolling during nursing sessions or falling into the compulsive snacking equivalent of social media use?
It’s time to be intentional about our phone usage. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through social media, let’s strategically use apps that add value to our lives and give value to others. It’s not the app itself that matters, but we are each responsible for how we use them.
Training the coming generations
As mothers, our phone habits don’t just affect us – they impact our families. With technology defining our teens’ lives, it’s our responsibility to set an example. Opting out entirely might seem like a solution, but it won’t make the digital world disappear for our children. Who will equip them?
Change the narrative around social media. Instead of viewing it as a mere escape, see it as an opportunity to engage with people in moments of vulnerability. Your message will likely hit them at a moment their guard is down. What are you presenting on social media when you post?
Seek accountability in managing phone usage. Ask your spouse if your online activities are truly profitable. Be realistic about the content you consume. Are you falling into the trap of idealized lives, or are you genuinely engaging in ways that add value and encourage yourself and others in personal growth?
Let’s not opt for the easy way out by eliminating phones or social media from our lives.
Instead, let’s work on mastering the balancing act – using our phones as tools for productivity, aware of our temptations, so we can foster an environment where our families thrive in a world of digital distractions.
It’s time to redefine our relationship with our phones and make them work for us, not against us.
Stay tuned for part 2 next week!
In the meantime, don’t miss the Stop the Scroll Workshop, happening LIVE on YouTube Wednesday, January 10. Click here to register!