Oh the Internet.
What a wonderful/terrible and brilliant/stupid thing.....right?
I remember my first Internet experience--I was in the 6th grade. There was a small group of us that got to meet during class and do extra math and science (read: I was a nerd).
We gathered in the library with our teacher, and logged on:
20 minutes later, we were "online".
Online was white box with a blinking cursor--and we were supposed to type something clever to the fellow nerds that were waiting to hear from us across the state.
The next few years brought famous dancing internet babies, Napster, and eventually, email.
Today we can access any information we need in just a few seconds. We can keep in touch with friends (and our friend's friends!)
We can sell our cookbook (get it HERE!)
See how I did that? Thanks, internet.
It's also a huge waste of time.
I am reminded of this every time we spend a day or a weekend in the great outdoors--away all the www.com craziness. Our lives CAN go on without the internet, believe it or not.
So let's use this amazing tool. Let's connect with like-minded people and share useful information. Let's find all the good on the internet and soak it up and spread it around......
.....and let's STOP wasting our time on the following:
1. making fun of people
This is the WORST. In the last few years just about everyone has gotten a phone with a camera. I LOVE having a tiny camera with me--it is a dream come true for someone who loves to take photos. But what I've noticed recently is more and more pictures just flat out making fun of people--and being posted online. Photos of strangers in the store with "bad hair" or photos of kids in your daughter's class with "terrible outfits" (seriously! I was pretty ashamed to find out that I have "friends" who are actually that shallow.)
Just because you CAN take a picture, doesn't mean you should.
So stop it.
2. selfies (aka, unnecessary pictures of your boobs)
We all have that friend--the one who takes waaaaaaaay too many pictures of him/herself. The "bathroom mirror" selfie. The "driver's seat" selfie. The "I'm holding my baby so it looks like a picture of her....but clearly it's a picture of ME because I look so cute today" selfie. Or the "describe the events of your day while clearly just taking a picture of your cleavage" selfie. This is the worst selfie, but makes me laugh every time.....because it's soooooo obvious. Am I right here?
Stop posting so many pictures of yourself.
Yes you are beautiful and you obviously know it, and we obviously know it, but what a waste of time taking all those photos. No more.
3. comparing yourself to others/
feeling sorry for yourself/
Somewhere, right now on the internet, someone is taking a fabulous vacation, building their dream home, having their 14th perfect adorable baby, getting a 3rd promotion at work, or buying $700 shoes. If you are on the internet (um, hi, you are right now) there are fantastic things happening all around you. Don't feel like your life is any less fantastic, just because right now--at this very moment--you aren't doing those same things.
YOU do wonderful things too. Wonderful things happen to YOU all the time. Don't forget the good times because you are so caught up in what everyone else is doing RIGHT NOW. If you find yourself constantly comparing, step away from the internet. As easy as it sounds--just count your blessings--look around at what YOU have--little and big things (but especially all the little), and don't get back online until you're done comparing your life.
And complaining.....so you had a bad day, and want to feel a little validated by sharing it. Ok fine. But constantly using social media platforms to complain about all of your "problems" is only making it worse. You are digging yourself deeper and deeper into a sad little hole by using the internet as a dumping ground. Buy some ice cream, call a friend, and cry it out old fashioned style.....without the internet.
4. reading too much "advice"
Like we talked about up above, there is some fantastic information on the internet. There is also TOO MUCH information--it can leave your head spinning. Remember THIS
post where we talked about eating well? If you read too many articles on health and nutrition you will end your day not knowing what to eat. If you read too many blog posts on the right way to parent, you will go to bed at night wondering how you will ever deal with your kids in the morning. You do not need to read every single piece of advice ever written--on any subject.
Make some decisions for yourself--exercise your brain and use your own ideas.
5. pinterest is 95% a waste of your time.
I absolutely love the term "Pinorexia"--brought to you by the smart and witty Meg of Meg In Progress
. Pinorexia – a condition caused by uncontrolled pinning and pinterest related arts and crafts. Symptoms often include hot glue gun burns, excessive quinoa consumption and a general wasting away of original self.
How much of the "stuff" that you have pinned has actually benefited your life?
Stop planning the exotic vacation you're never going to take (and it's only making you sad that you're not taking it) and stop wasting time pinning recipes that have 17 weird ingredients you are never going to buy.
Waste. Of. Time.
Use it to save a recipe you actually WILL use. I have found some favorites and keep them saved on my boards.
Use it to make your Christmas lists.
Use it to bookmark good articles, interesting books, or helpful tips. I am always looking for tips on gardening, chickens, and preparedness.....and like to save any of this info when I find it.
But for the most part.....use the giant pinboard called YOUR BRAIN, and come up with your own ideas. Somehow our mothers (and their mothers and their mother's mothers) came up with brilliant ideas all on their own.
Try it--you might surprise yourself.
6. constantly updating your facebook/instagram
I am rarely on facebook anymore. I update my facebook blog page
regularly and like to share interesting tidbits when I find them, but as far as my own personal page goes....I'm not really "there".
I keep it because I have some great friends and family on there, and that's how they keep in touch. Anyway--I got on the other day and it was almost humorous to me because I forgot how facebook works. Every detail of so-and-so's day laid out for you right there.
I'm getting ready to eat lunch.
Peanut butter or ham?
I'm eating lunch! Peanut Butter! So good!
Sooooooooo full from lunch. Time to hit the gym.
Driving to the gym.....
You get the idea.
Why do we need to know all this information about so-and-so?
More importantly, why have we gotten so comfortable with sharing so much [useless] information with everyone. Social networks can be fun......but don't let them literally take over your life by feeling like you HAVE to update the world on your constant happenings. We don't need to know.
7. constantly checking your facebook/instagram
Guess what? The world will go on if you miss a few of your friends/total strangers posts.
You don't need to glue your face to your phone and ignore the world around to see what everyone else in cyberland is up to. What about paying attention to what the people who are right in front of you are doing? Work on REAL relationships more than you work on cyber relationships.
and just because I can't leave a post without a picture......
here's a friendly reminder to get outside!
Let's all make a promise to waste less time online....ok?
Use it for good!
Exercise your brain--be creative and make your own decisions.
Pay attention to REAL life....and not so much life online.
And please.....let's stop taking so many pictures of ourselves.
What would you add to the list?