By: Patricia Gonzalez
The average woman has been found to spend up to 3 hours a day on her mobile phone. This means that in a month, she can spend up to 90 hours glued to a screen. That amounts to almost 4 whole days scrolling through instagram and facebook, watching videos on youtube, answering emails and messages, and taking videos on snapchat. Whether this is good or not deserves an an entire article on its own, but I think it is common knowledge that social media affects our in a significant way. As moms with numerous things on our plates, where we devote or waste our time certainly affects the kind of moms (and women) we turn out to be. Here are some ways we suggest every modern mom can use social media in a responsible way.
1. When you are with the kids, put the phone away. Using our phones while we are in the presence of our children (who may just be waiting for us to give them some attention) sends them the message that they are less important than whatever we see on the screens. While we know this isn’t true, we should make the most of our free hours to be present to them. How to do this? By putting away our phones and taking the time to chat with them, read with them, do activities with them, and get to know them better. It is also important to be aware that children imitate the behavior they see in their parents, and them constantly seeing us on our phones may teach them to do the same. We may regret all the time we spend on our screens sooner than later.
2. Set a specific time of the day for social media time. Have you ever found yourself automatically reaching for your phone each time you have a free moment? And then before you know it, you look at the clock and realize you have wasted at least 20 minutes watching videos and stalking your favorite mom influencer? We’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another, and one of the best ways to safeguard ourselves against this to choose a specific time (or times) of the day use social media, especially if this is a part of our work.
3. Put a time limit on your scrolling. How much time do you really want to spend watching someone else’s life instead of living yours? Put a time limit on your scrolling and set an alarm to be strict about it. We recommend blocks of time in 10-15 minutes. Anymore time than that can seriously derail your schedule and waste significant hours that could be spent on more productive and more meaningful activities for yourself and for your family.
4. Unfollow accounts that do not add value to your life. Whether this is a brand, an influencer, a friend, or a person you don’t even like but follow anyway…unfollow accounts that bring you down instead of raise you up. Social media is a powerful proponent of “the grass is greener on the other side mentality.” Following the highlight reels of others often makes us feel inadequate, behind, or unaccomplished. Spare yourself of this envy and insecurity but removing the triggers and unfollowing accounts that take more from you than give.
5. Be aware of your intentions and motivations each time you post. It is a very human need to be liked and loved. And while it is also just as natural to share victories and happy moments with others, we should be aware of our motivations every time we post a flattering photo of ourselves, or a photo finish perfect photo of our families. We should assess…are we doing this for the likes and the ego boost that comes with it? And if this is true…will this be a healthy and sustainable source of confidence long term? Do we really need to share EVERYTHING?
Social media is a recent addition to modern culture, and how we navigate it must come with a lot of discernment and awareness, precisely because we spend so much of our lives using it. Do you have any opinions to share about the responsible use of social media? Let us know in the comments below.
Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.
She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.