Updated March 26, 2016
Maintaining balance on social media, blogging and the internet is a challenge for many. It certainly is for me. Something about it sucks you in and doesn’t let go. I think it’s the 24/7 nature of it, always offering something to take our minds off the present. The internet simply does not stop.
When you work online, it seems the pull is stronger. There is always content to create, email to write, comments to answer, tweaks to make or opportunities to pursue.
If you’ve been working online for any length of time, it’s likely you understand what I mean. If you’re new to it, consider yourself warned.
I’m susceptible to internet grouchiness
I often find myself snapping at my kids, whining to my husband, being grumbly about what others have that I don’t or feeling frustrated I can’t accomplish all the things I want to accomplish.
I’m good at planting myself in a solid state of discontent.
Who wants to live like that? Not me.
Am I out of whack? Addicted to social media? Lacking balance?
I’m a firm believer in the truth setting us free.
In an effort to face the truth, sometimes I have to ask myself some hard questions. Like these:
- Are important things in life falling through the cracks?
- Am I protective of my devices and resist letting anyone else use them—even when I’m not—”just in case” I might need them?
- Do friends or family make comments—either in a concerned way or a joking way—about my computer / device use and how much time I spend on them?
- Am I not doing things now that I used to do routinely because more and more of my time is spent online?
- Have I gained weight or gotten out of shape?
- Am I drawn to the internet or social media when I’m stressed out or overwhelmed?
- Do I use the internet as an escape from the messiness of daily life and when I simply don’t want to face my daily responsibilities?
- Do I think about what’s happening online when I’m not?
- Do I often feel guilty for the amount of time I spend online?
- Do I get frustrated when someone interrupts me while on the computer or my phone?
- Am I noticing attention-getting behaviors in my kids because I’m not “present” otherwise?
- Conversely, am I noticing “fly under the radar” behavior in my kids because they know when I’m on the computer, I’m likely not going to notice what they’re doing?
- Do I find myself cutting corners in other areas of my life because I just don’t care as much anymore and would prefer to spend time online instead?
- Do I have FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out)? Do I worry something is going to happen online when I’m not there and I’ll lose out because of it?
- Do I panic if I forget or misplace my phone because it will mean I can’t check Facebook, Twitter or email while on the go?
- Have I or am I tempted to compromise morally in order to “keep up” or “get ahead” with other people I see online?
- Do I accept projects or do things online I don’t find enjoyable because I feel like I’ll be “left behind” or my business will suffer somehow if I don’t?
- Does my online life consume my thoughts such that I’m constantly thinking about it and can’t turn it off?
- Are my first thoughts of the day and my last thoughts at night often centered around what’s going on online?
- Do I check social media, stats, comments or emails incessantly?
Please know that I am in no way saying the internet or social media is evil. Nor am I say if you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, you have a major problem.
I don’t think the internet is evil and I have no intention of cutting it out of my life. I do, however, know that while I didn’t answer “yes” to many of the questions above, I answered “yes” to more than I’d like.
I spend far too much time comparing myself to others. But that’s a waste of me.
I want to find my own groove. I wanna do my own thing.
I don’t want my online work to overshadow my real life.