Social Media and Relationships

February 6, 2022

By Whitney Taylor, Resident in Counseling

If you want your child to have a healthy relationship with their phone and social media, they must see you have a healthy relationship with yours. And they must see you have a healthy relationship with… you. As you explore the relationships with technology and social media in your own home, I encourage you to get curious about your own vulnerability. How are you being vulnerable at home? With your children? With your partner? How are you being vulnerable with yourself?

Technology makes it so easy for us to check out.

Healthy Social Media Use

And yet you can’t check in with yourself, or your teen or your partner if the first thing you are doing each day, right when you open your eyes is checking out of your life and into your screen. Into your email. Or into your child’s grade book. Into your 11th grade best friend’s Facebook page.

Unfortunately, we are all programmed to do it now. Checking out is involuntary – to grab the phone and scroll through the lives of other people. Some of the people we haven’t seen in real life (or, as the kids say, IRL) since before we were parents and employees and CEOS published and certified and married. We scroll through the lives of the people who don’t even know the real versions of us that exist in the real, messy, nitty moments of our daily lives. And to be completely honest, they don’t need to see those parts of us because they are not living those moments with us. There is something so sacred and yet so forgotten about our privacy. I am beginning to believe that the vulnerability we see on the internet is so admired because in real life vulnerability is missing.

Healthy Social Media UseWhat is the cost of losing yourself with mindless scrolling? 

I love to write. I use writing to organize and heal. And I’ve been writing a lot. I recently noticed that when I hit a point in my writing that makes me feel a little uncomfy and vulnerable, I pause and pick up my phone. I open Instagram. I read other writers. And the cost? I lose myself. I lose my own voice. I get lost on the way to wherever it was I was going. So I recently challenged myself to a social media cleanse. I’ve been forced to sit with myself and push through my writing no matter what comes up. I’m forcing myself to show up and welcome the vulnerability.

Challenge yourself to make a change. 

I challenge you to do the same. You don’t need to be completely off of social media, but you can pay attention to the moments you reach for your phone. What’s your intention? Is it to authentically check in with an old friend? Or is it to go numb? Compare? Judge?

Get curious about what screen time might be stealing from you.

Until next time, Be Wise!