A Catholic Guide to Social Media Limits. This post is written by Carissa Pluta, author of The Myth Retold.
We’re living in an age of over-consumption and social media is on the top of the menu.
I’d say most people have a love-hate relationship with social media. It’s a good tool, for sure, but also arguably one of the biggest hurdles for Catholics today.
Some will tell you the answer to the problems it causes is to just delete your accounts (and maybe it is).
But what about those of us who need social media for work, growing your blog or business, and keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away?
I struggle to balance my desire for detachment and my desire to connect with others (and grow my blog) through my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I slip and have to reevaluate my strategies for maintaining balance every couple of months.
I’ve recently been asking myself,
is there a way to “live in the world, and not of it” when it comes to social media?
I say there is.
Here are three guidelines to help you do it:
1. Be Intentional
I’m sure you’ve been there: you log onto Facebook for “5 minutes” and next thing you know it’s two hours later and you’re on your 7th cute animal video and
We often log into our social media accounts when we’re bored and end up wasting a lot of time traveling down the vortex of mindless scrolling and Youtube rabbit holes.
Make the choice to be intentional with your time. Not only the time spent online but the other times too.
Try carrying a book or a rosary to pick up when you feel the urge to use your phone to pass the time.
Decide what you want to use social media for, and make a plan to achieve that goal.
If you’re like me, and need social media for work purposes, you might even consider timing your usage, deleting apps off of your phone, or hiding your news feed (seriously, an add-on exists for this very purpose!)
Do anything you can to help eliminate distraction and keep your time meaningful and productive.
2. Be Present
Ironically the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” prevents too many life-giving moments from well, actually happening.
There are few things worse than trying to share a meal with loved ones or coffee with a dear friend when everyone in the room is one their phones.
Real connection becomes nearly impossible when you’re competing with someone’s social media feed.
When spending time with friends, family, or even acquaintances, put your phone away.
Keep it in your bag or when possible, in another room.
Don’t let virtual friendships get in the way of the flesh and blood ones. Make way for encounters with the people God has placed in your life.
3. Be Free
Set aside time each day or once a week to be free of social media. Silence your notifications and log off your apps.
I’ve designated the time each night after 9pm and until the following morning around 8am to be my media free time.
At night, it helps me unwind from the day and get my house and self ready for bed. In the morning, it allows the start of my day to be a little more quiet and peaceful.
Humans weren’t made for constant stimulation, so it’s important to give yourself a little time out each day.
Carve out more quality family time or me-time in the evenings, and make way for prayer time each morning.
While social media has an addictive quality to it, freeing yourself of it each day is also a good reminder that we’re not slaves, but Daughters and Sons made for more.
Following these tips will allow you to view social media as a tool for communication and connection not the source of it.
About Carissa Pluta
Carissa Pluta is the author of The Myth Retold
Carissa Pluta graduated Franciscan University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication arts. She is the wife of a Catholic Missionary and the mother of a beautiful little girl. She enjoys hiking, reading, and drinking copious amounts of herbal tea. Carissa has a devotion to Mary under the title of the Mystical Rose and longs to reflect God’s beauty in everything she does. Her blog, The Myth Retold is for those searching for the Beauty in faith, family, fiction, and the other lovely things that make this life so sweet.
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