How To Balance Social Media, Family, And Education

The girls and I, in our online community, often joke around about how we need to turn ourselves into the blogging rehab center.  We can’t seem to get enough of our Social Media fun. Even though many of us are stay-at-home moms, we’ve managed to find some time and energy to fuel our passion for writing, through our day to day blog posts or entrepreneurial ventures.

However, doing what we love is not the only pleasure that comes from having a blog.  We also get an opportunity to socialize with one another and support each other’s individual online mission.

The bonus to that has been friendship. I personally have “met” and developed rather close friendships with many of these amazing women, thanks to Social Media. Social Media is important in helping bloggers, mompreneurs, and other businesses gain a solid online presence and reputation.

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and a handful of other Social Media applications or platforms, prove to be valuable marketing tools.  While some people use them for casual chatter with friends and loved ones, countless others use them as an opportunity to sell their products or as a vessel with which to share their particular gift, be it Christian ministry, motherhood, writing, or coaching, to name just a few.

Anyone familiar with Social Media recognizes how time-consuming it actually is though.  I’ve heard many fellow online friends and mentors admit to the fact that it’s downright overwhelming at times.  It’s so easy to let it become an obsession.  Our own worldly idol. We do worry about all sorts of things that threaten our children’s health so how come we don’t worry about the use of Social Media?

We find ourselves checking in with the online world through secret peeks at our Smartphones while waiting in line at the grocery store or when we should be spending valuable time with our family.  Goodness, even my husband and I race to be the first of the two of us to “check in” with Facebook or Foursquare when we are out in public together.  It’s the ME factor.  Look at me…see what I’m doing…read my thoughts for the day…ME…ME…ME.     

I would be lying if I said blogging and Social Media don’t distract me from my responsibilities as a wife and mother. In fact, I often tell myself there needs to be a line drawn in the sand.  I need to find a balance.  Yes, it’s important to socialize with my readers if I want to connect with them.  Yes, I need to socialize with other bloggers if I want their support in getting the message God wants me to get out there…out there.

God gifted me with this passion for writing, but He also abundantly blessed me with a beautiful family which He has called me to be an active participant in.   My personal mission becomes pointless if I don’t put my first calling – my family – first without letting my kids developing prejudices in any way.

I’m excited because I think I’ve found some helpful insight on how to have a healthy balance in all of it.  First, let me say – I don’t think it’s selfish to have and pursue our own passions outside of family.  In fact, I think it’s important, especially because our children are watching and learning from our example. Isn’t encouraging our youngsters among the most important elements of education and positive stimulus?

Do we really want to teach them that having a family means sacrificing ourselves to only that?  Or do we want them to grow up understanding that with a healthy balance they can pursue their dreams, be God’s hands and feet in the world, and still effectively love their children, their spouse, and their friends?

The past few days I’ve been reading a new blogging series by Laura Booz.  The topic is the very subject I’m trying to balance, and it’s called Social Media, Behave.  So far Laura has inspired me…

  • to determine what my expectations are for Social Media with regard to my blogging mission and write them down.  Sort of my own Social Media mission statement.
  • to write down an online vision statement describing who I am or who I want to be in my online presence.
  • to decide how much online time each day I will allow myself to devote to blogging (which includes Social Media) and set a stop-watch or timer to go off when my time is up.  This way I’m drawing a line in the sand that allows me to have the best of everything and everyone I love.

I can’t wait to see how she inspires me further.

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