You are a Mom in a digital world with the internet and, of course, social media. But chances are you are like me and grew up without the Internet. That’s ok; we can adapt, that’s what we do right?
However, I’m here to help you organize your online life. Because don’t you think sometimes it’s too much? Too much noise, too many information, too many accounts, too much to read, listen or watch? And you may also be trying to keep up with your children online life. The internet can quickly become a nightmare when it can also be a benediction if well managed.
Find what really matters
First of all, you can’t do it all. You can’t read this blog your friend recommended, watch zillions of videos on YouTube, and like thousands of new photos, some good, some less good on Instagram, etc. You have to simplify it. Now you know that if you’ve been reading my blog for some times. I love and embrace simplicity as a powerful tool in life. It can apply anywhere, that’s what makes it great.
So, let’s say you have to keep it simple. It means you are going back to the basics. How long each day do you want to browse the internet and social media? What is your time limit? If I’m not working, I would like to keep it to 1 or 2 hours a day. Whatever your limit is, stick to it from now on. I want to mention here that American spend an average of 11 hours a day browsing the Internet and absorbing contents in various forms. It’s two-thirds of our awake time!
That’s a lot, and that’s why my first advice will be to check the time you spend online or on your phone and try to install some realistic limits.
How to track your time online
- On IOS devices you can directly use what’s provided in your settings by clicking on “Screen Time.” You can set timers according to each app category. Your phone will tell you when your time is up.
- On Android, I know that this app is free and allows you to track your usage: Quality-Time.
Track your average day on social media or online and then decide on what your time limit should be. This time limit should ideally be lower than your current online time. We are aiming for improvement!
You have to sort your social media. The idea is to focus on what really matters. One simple way to sort is to make a list of all the apps/social media/websites you use. Sort them starting with your very favourite. At the bottom of the list will be the one you like the least. Choose for each one the time you need. Then add up these times, when you reach the time limit you previously chose, you draw the line. Everything below this line has no place in your life.
Become mindful about your time spent online
This way you can enjoy online time and be mindful about it. Keep what matters most. If you like being connected with your family and friends via Facebook and Messenger, then you have to focus on this and try to stop using other apps. If you enjoy mindlessly browsing on Instagram, then set a timer for when you do so, and don’t check your feed every time you have 2 seconds available. You can be on Instagram for 30 minutes twice a day, or more if you like. What matters is for you to become aware of the time you spend on each app.
You also have to learn to mindfully choose to go on your favourite social media only once or twice a day. You have to stop tapping on that icon every time you have 30 seconds to spare. Downtime is relaxing; productive time makes you feel amazing, browsing time, unfortunately, is neither relaxing nor productive. That’s when we get to my second advice.
Creativity vs. unproductivity
You’ll feel so much better if you use your time online to be productive instead of mindlessly absorbing others’ content. Don’t feed your brain with others’ life. It’s not yours anyway! And it’s not productive. The Internet is fantastic, but it should be used with care. We must balance the time when we absorb content with the time we create content. Did you know that some of the most creative accounts on Instagram spend up to 10 hours creating daily the content you love? They are not losing any time browsing mindlessly; they are connecting with people, creating their own content and sharing it.
Balance is everything, connecting with friends without the hassle of having to drive to a coffee shop for half an hour when you have your kids to pick up from school by chatting online seems like a great idea. However, you have to remain aware that you are passively absorbing other people’s life, issues and success, when you should work on your future. You should do for yourself what you do for others. Like your own life and work on how to improve it if you wish.
If you enjoy their content, you gratify their account with some of your time, likes, and follows; you should then do the same for yourself too. Enjoy your life and honour it by creating for it, a beautiful content. Then let others give you some love, likes and follows, just like you do for them. This is reaching balance and reaching balance is good at any rate!
Use your time online to learn and grow
Learning is known to be for students. We have this feeling that when we start adulting, we don’t have time to learn. Anyway, at that point, we already approximately spent the first 2 decades of our lives in a school. It’s time to do something else; meaning we have to be productive financially. It’s a huge mistake! Not the whole idea of gaining financial freedom, but thinking that we are done with learning. Our brain is like a muscle; it needs exercise. We all should consider ourselves lifelong students. We need to keep our brain healthy as well as our body.
Learning is an ongoing process, and the beauty of learning on your own online is that you can focus on what really matters to you. It’s not about a curriculum, a specific class like English and Maths. It’s about what you love and enjoy most. Isn’t that worth a bit of your time daily?
When you take time to learn and improve you treat your brain by keeping it healthy, you treat your soul by keeping it fulfilled. Two birds with one stone!
Keep away from negativity as much as possible
It’s my last advice. It’s not easy to stay away from negativity, it’s everywhere. Unfortunately, at one point we decided that negativity was more entertaining than happiness. It’s a bit sad, but what can I do? Actually, what can we do? We can choose to stay away from it when it’s not serving us. Of course, we can’t ignore the problems. But we can filter the quantity of negative information that enters our lives.
We can’t deal with the whole world’s problems. It’s too much. We have to protect ourselves and remain aware that we don’t need it all because sometimes there is no way it’s helping us or others.
By absorbing less negative content passively, we have more space for creativity. We should focus on actions we can take to help, not focus on witnessing sadness passively; it’s daunting, and it’s not helping. Maybe you can choose one thing that moves you the most. Then, use a little bit of that online time you regained to take action for it. Becoming active will make you feel better than being a uselessly passive witness.
I hope these bits of advice will help you be more mindful about your time online. Online life takes so much space nowadays that we must be aware and in control of what we make of it. It must remain a useful tool, not a daunting experience!
Have a great day!
If you want to read more about quality time in your life: