We live in a time of information overload; constantly bombarded by images of what we should look like, what we should be doing and the lives we should be living. All of this can drain you and make you feel like a failure when you’re already struggling to do do your best. As a parent, it just adds an extra layer to the guilt.
Social media is a double-edged sword, it gives mothers a virtual place to find their tribe but also perpetuates the mommy wars in certain zones. A social media and internet ban isn’t realistic as they are powerful, useful tools that do have their place.
Lately, I’ve felt frazzled and burnt out just batting away information coming at me uninvited. Our parents generation didn’t have to deal with this, they just go on with what they knew and the support of the “village”. Nobody is denying that there have been great advances in safety etc. that means we can’t just view our childhood through rose-tinted glasses. I just don’t suspect they double-guessed every single decision they made.
So in a bid to release myself from the chains of, well e-mail chains, I made a few small changes which have helped:
- Unsubscribe from a couple of e-mail services a day – my inbox used to fill up regularly with unsolicited advice that robbed me of a few precious moments. I don’t need a dozen hotel special offers emailed to me weekly when the chances of me staying in a hotel are more of the annual variety. Click that unsubscribe option down the bottom. The information is still out there if you need to go looking for it and if you really miss those updates you can always sign up again.
- Unfollow a few online pages. Perhaps there are a few pages you followed but now find their posts are not of interest to you or if you do read them you end up irritated and frustrated at their style or content. Select that unfollow button. If you’re going to be spending time reading posts, try and ensure they’re the sort you really care about.
- Read a book – have a book to hand, so when you have a few spare moments you can read a chapter rather than some inane drivel online. Even with good quality and information, well researched online pieces, you can’t beat a book. Even the kindle app for a smart phone will do, and there are loads of books available for free. Or try our your local library.
- Unfriend those people that make you roll your eyes so often you fear they might get stuck. If you don’t feel you can unfriend them, just hide their posts. You will still technically be friends but you don’t have to look at the incessant drip-drip of posed, less that truthful over-sharing of their lives. #blessed I’m looking at you…. You can still click back into their page to check what they’re up to if you feel like a good eye roll, but it’s on your terms.
- Delete apps from your phone – I can’t be the only one with a myriad of unused apps I down-loaded when I felt I couldn’t possible manage without them. It turns out I can manage perfectly well and I’ve waved good-bye to several of those little squares that had been taunting me from my over-loaded phone screen. The apps are still in the cloud (which one day I will understand) and can be brought back to life if I realise they were imperative. So far this hasn’t happened at all. Most apps are just another way of making the information which is available on a web-site more readily accessible. The info hasn’t gone anywhere, you just need to actively want it.
Simple steps that you can do so quickly and reverse just as quickly should you have major regrets. Quality over quantity wins out.
This post originally appeared on The M Word