We are in a fairly new era and as such we are making rules up as we go. We are all pioneers discovering this frontier as our online presence becomes the norm. But living life on a screen is not normal and needs to have some boundaries. I’m curious what rules have fallen into place for you as you navigate the cyber world? Are you the master or servant of your social media apps?
I have developed some rules to help me stay above the online surface. Some rules I adhere to faithfully and others I’m a bit lax on.
- I am never friends with a married man unless I am friends with his spouse also. This actually came about by accident. About the time I was a Young Women leader I joined Facebook. As an adult leader, it felt a little creepy to be Facebook friends with the young women. I developed a rule that if I was a friend with the young women I should also be a friend with a parent. Just so I didn’t appear sneaky or like I was trying to hide something. Probably a weird conclusion to jump to but that’s where I ended up. As a single woman, I decided that might be a good idea with spouses as well. I would only be friends with a married man if I was friends with his spouse. Yes, I have broken this rule a few times as I am always on a learning curve but as of right now I am following it steadfastly. In fact, I explained this to a co-worker and we agreed not to be friends. And that, just sounds weird taken out of context.
- Each week I do a 24 hour fast from social media. I am successful with this most of the time there have been a few exceptions. I log off for 24 hours from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. It usually feels like a long 24 hours because I’ve become so accustomed to filling in time idly surfing. I usually log back on and do some surfing (probably making up for the lost time) and I always think, “why was I so anxious to get back on this? I didn’t miss a thing.”
- I use my Screentime app to limit my screen availability from 10:00pm to 6:00am. This is one I constantly fail at because it is so easy to bypass the lock. So, unfortunately, I don’t have good daily boundaries set up. I use my screen to fill in time and I wish I didn’t do that.
- I don’t use my phone when I’m walking except for GPS. When I go for a walk I turn on my walking app and stick my phone in my pocket. I try to use the time as a quiet meditation time rather than fill it with noise. But sometimes I like noise so I sometimes alter this goal.
Those are my attempts at setting boundaries in this social media frontier. I’m curious, what regulations have you set up for you and your family?