familypic
 
JessPlusMess

Limited Edition

Autographed Copy

Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

Subscribe to Blog

Your Name:
Your Email:

Search

Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Computers, Tablets, Phones OH MY! Help for the addiction.

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print
Computers, Tablets, Phones OH MY! Help for the addiction.

I have such a love/hate relationship with all of it - social media, the internet, the world wide web - THE WHOLE KIT AND KABOODLE, especially with the onslaught of doom and gloom and opinions that constantly barrage our minds and souls and suck us dry in our mental capacities because we just don’t have enough brain cells to encompass it all.

As a newbie writer I’m repeatedly told that no one will ever read my words if I don’t have a platform, but as a person, I’m not really into the platform concept!  I’m extremely introverted. I get all bunched up in knots if someone doesn’t agree with me or like me anymore.  I don’t so much mind sharing pieces of my life with the world, but I do mind when strangers begin to throw rocks at my words or my family because they don’t agree with something or they are simply in a pattern of self loathing and decide to take it out on me.

I do participate in the online world in a pretty large capacity especially with shopping as it offers an extremely appealing convenience factor where I live. I order at least 50% groceries online through Walmart of Amazon.  I also order (and sell) lots of kid’s clothes through different apps.  I buy makeup and oils and diffusers and castile soap and mailboxes and pillows and anything and everything that won’t spoil, and I love it.  Not only do I save on gas, but I also save on time and by ordering in bulk I earn free shipping and additional discounts.  Love, love, love this part of the internet.

I also love the accessibility the internet offers for anything and everything.  Yoga classes, there’s an app (or a hundred!) for that. Online cookbooks? Done. Online books?  Got it. At your fingertips.  Want to learn a new skill?  Youtube has you covered.

Social media has also been really good to me for the most part.  I’ve been able to reach people and audiences and cultivate meaningful relationships through this venue like no other but… social media has an ugly down side as well, and it is known as addiction. I never really considered myself an addict until I had my last baby, and I nursed her. A LOT. Like half of my day I had a baby stuck to my chest. When I nursed my other children I sat on the couch and watched Oprah or Ellen or soap operas.  When I nursed Annabelle I stared at my phone, which had the convenience factor of being able to go anywhere with me, and for many (MANY!) nights this ritual went on for hours on end. Scientifically speaking, our social media habits release dopamine, a feel good high, just like drugs or sex or alcohol, and every time we see another like or a positive comment or receive a text, we are feeding into our addiction. Two years after having  Annabelle, (so basically a few months ago), I recognized this unhealthy trait in myself and decided it needed addressing.   I couldn’t go anywhere without my phone or tablet nearby.  What if one of the kids did or said something cute and I had to show or tell the world? What if I had a thought I had to write down? What if someone sent an email? Or a text?  What if another person commented on my photo on Instagram, and I didn’t see the comment within the appropriate two second time span?  Oh my goodness, the world may stop!

Seriously.  My brain was in full blown addiction mode, and this is what I noticed about my behavior.

1.      I was highly anxious.  I believe that with the ability to have social media at our finger tips 24/7          comes also the ability to (unfortunately) know way too much at all times.  My brain was on                absolute overload with the amount of information I was obtaining via social media.  Every                  disaster, every high, every celebrity commenting on anything.  TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

2.       I was suffering from bouts of depression. I believe this stemmed from a lack of being present             in my own life. I couldn’t truly enjoy anything: baking bread, sweeping leaves, watching the               kids play, or reading a book, because I was constantly on high alert with my tablet sitting right           beside me.  What was I missing in the online world?  I was pretty sure something was                         going to pass me by because I wasn’t fully engaged at all times, but in reality, my life was                   passing me by because I wasn’t fully engaged!

3.       I was always running out of time.  Social media is a big honkin time sucker. I found I could               easily spend hours on my phone or tablet – especially while nursing a baby who did not really             enjoy sleeping.

I’m not completely healed of my addiction to social media and the internet in general, but I have found a few coping mechanisms which I have implemented that have helped to rewire my brain back to a semi normal state of being.

1.       Absolutely no phones or tablets after 8:00 pm. The kids all go to their rooms at 8:00 at night.             Some read, some watch a movie, some are actually told to turn out their lights and go to sleep,           but Ryan and I have down time together from 8:00-10:00. No kids, no phones, no tablets.  We           talk about our day, watch a show, and enjoy one another’s company.

2.       I eliminated all social media apps from my phone.  This has been extremely helpful when I’m             on the go.  I’d like to say I never picked up my phone to check out something while I’m in the           car, but that would be a lie. Red light taking too long? Better check out Facebook.  Slow line at           the stop sign?  Good thing I have Instagram to waste time with. Need gas?  Better take these               five minutes to check out Twitter rather than clean out my car.  You get the point. I’m                         considering eliminating my smart phone altogether and buying one of those pay as you go                   deals, but I’m not quite there yet.

3.       I also unfollowed almost everyone on Facebook – including friends and family.  I know,                     extreme, but I didn’t necessarily want to know what perfect strangers (or anybody for that                   matter) did all day long.  I don’t want to be bombarded with news (good or bad) that I’m not               mentally prepared to deal with, and I was sick of forming judgements because of something               that was shared out of context on social media. Now, if I like or comment on Facebook it is                 because I was thinking about that particular person and decided to see what they were up to by           going to their page and investigating.

4.       I narrowed down my social media load.  I like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest but never               really got into snapchat or twitter or a bunch of other ones.  I’m a creature of habit, and when I           figure something out, I tend to stick with it. I decided to focus on the ones that I enjoy and let             the chips fall where they may with the rest.  I can’t do it all.  I can’t be on every social media             platform and still be a present mom, wife, and all around person. 

5.       I turned off notifications.  No more being bossed around by the ding indicating a new text or               email, and I turned the ringer off.  I check my phone for texts and calls on my time. 

6.      We haven't implemented this one yet but it's coming for the whole family this Sunday.  We are          unplugging. Phones, tablets, computers, done. Taking a day of rest for our eyes and our souls.            Most of us will be okay with this act but some of us will really struggle (Tate, Caleb, and                    myself). I trust, it'll be good.  I hope to connect more as a family, enjoy one another, and laugh            together as we watch football or some silly movie.  Stay tuned.  I'll post on this specifically in            the coming weeks and how we've been affected. 

Those are my takeaways so far, but admittedly, I still have a ways to go to get back to a healthy state of mind, and I have crossed a few boundaries in the last week or so as I’m organizing a re-launch team for my book Sunlight Burning at Midnight – which (shameless plug time) if you’re interested in being a part of, fill out this application,  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_Q7rO2BEfqhB1CjSIU4_5TcuUkedvNeGzYlR6pBNK9CfAYw/viewform and we’ll see if it’s a good fit.  I’ll be picking my team on October 30th. Anyone else struggle with any of this?  Any suggestions for what works for you?  Let me know!  I think we could all benefit from a little less media madness and whole lot more mindfulness in our lives. 

Just keep livin!

Latest Blogs

A New Desk and A Podcast Debut
Remember the old metal table I had my eye on in my husband's junk pile awhile back?    It's not an old metal table anymore! Not only has he masterfully restored it to a beautiful new desk, but he's also masterfully restored an old barn on our property into a quiet space for me to write and practice yoga.  I am loving the solitude of this space when I find time to escape for a few minutes and this is where I was able to chat about life the other day with Hallie Klecker, host of the Life Well Nourished podcast. So much fun, but I should preface with one little thing before ...
Continue Reading...
Community & Belonging
I say all of this not with the intention of eliciting sympathy, no, we choose this life, and although at times we question whether or not we should pursue a move to one particular hub or another, we have decided for the time being that we are in the right place for raising our family.  This may change as kids grow and age and fly the coop, and then we could realistically look at 3 or 4 bedroom homes; however, that’s not our current reality, and we firmly believe God has us here for a reason (if not two or three reasons).  Although busyness and life often keep us from bein...
Continue Reading...
Adored {and a giveaway!}
Another book review coming from Mabel Grace. She really enjoys the spotlight (shocking, I know), and loves participating in these reviews on mom’s blog. Lindsay Franklin’s Adored devotional book for young women, was another perfect opportunity for her to showcase how relevant these books are for a young women like herself.     Hi, my name is Mabel. I am here to tell you about an amazing book that helped me with a few things that I am not very good at, well actually not at all. What I mean is that I am not good with patience. The book that I am talking to you about is called Ado...
Continue Reading...
Pizza Dough Tutorial {for a good hearty dough and a good hearty laugh!}
This past Sunday morning, a morning draped in hazy weariness due to the time change the night before, a morning where all the Ronnes were moving just a tad bit slower than usual, a morning like so many of our Sunday mornings where we gather around the table to eat cinnamon rolls, and drink coffee, and I make pizza dough for our traditional Sunday night pizza party.  A morning where I stood in the kitchen at around 10:00 am and realized my house was eerily quiet.   I glanced outside and noticed a few children playing.  I peeked down the stairwell and into the basement where I h...
Continue Reading...
Seeking Simplicity One Seed at a Time {and a giveaway!}
In the last post I detailed my acknowledgement of a social media addiction and the specific steps I have been taking to clear my head.  As these tangible steps have been put into practice, I’ve noticed a fogginess lifting.  I used to contribute the airheadedness (for lack of a better word) to the fact that I have 8 children, and I’m sure this does play a small role, but I do believe social media anxiety has also played a significant role.  Now that my head is clear(er), I find I have time to reinvest in hobbies I haven’t had time for in months or maybe years – such as reading re...
Continue Reading...
Computers, Tablets, Phones OH MY! Help for the addiction.
As a newbie writer I’m repeatedly told that no one will ever read my words if I don’t have a platform, but as a person, I’m not really into the platform concept!  I’m extremely introverted. I get all bunched up in knots if someone doesn’t agree with me or like me anymore.  I don’t so much mind sharing pieces of my life with the world, but I do mind when strangers begin to throw rocks at my words or my family because they don’t agree with something or they are simply in a pattern of self loathing and decide to take it out on me. I do participate in the online world in a pretty large...
Continue Reading...
Love and Loss {And a Giveaway!]
The baby remains absent And grandma starts chemotherapy And the “C” word enters our children’s vocabulary once again Along with the “D” word in regards to their unknown sibling And our eyes spill in response to their tears And children still starve And that woman still aches for a loving spouse And girls are raped again and again And that is the reality of what we call life. And that is why our hearts ache for something purer And bigger And more beautiful We ache for more We need more We yearn for a hereafter Where all the pain is gone And every tear is wiped from our eyes Our hearts screa...
Continue Reading...
PIZZA PARTY!
Anyway…  I needed to do some soul searching due to the information bombardment and what I felt like it was doing to my soul as it was not only sucking me dry mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, it was depriving my family of me – present, engaged, fully in tune me – which isn’t good.  It’s not good for me, and it’s not good for you either. I took stock as I so often do.  I thought about how the information was feeling overwhelming and causing me to be anxious about life which in reality I really shouldn’t be anxious about because we’re all good. We’re healthy thriving peopl...
Continue Reading...
Follow Your Heart {And a Giveaway!}
I have four beautiful daughters ranging in age from 12 on down to 2: Mya, Mabel, Jada, and Annabelle.  Four hearts that I’ve been entrusted to nurture and care for. Four young ladies with strong wills and lots of estrogen. On the one hand, I love having four daughters.  I love watching them learn life skills and grow into their own personalities. I love crafting together and thinking about our future adventures when they’re grown; meeting up somewhere fun to shop till we drop or Ryan and I watching the grandbabies for the weekend so that they can get away with their husbands - goofy...
Continue Reading...
Brave and Beautiful.
One of the best aspects of being a blogger (even a very part time blogger) are the opportunities I have to review new book releases, and I am so excited about this recent opportunity to review Brave Beauty a devotional by Lynn Cowell; a beautiful inspirational book for the young girl in your life.  Brave Beauty encourages spiritual truths that girls of all ages need to hear and be reminded of on a consistent basis. Truths such as the appeal of inner beauty, boldly living your faith, being a friend to those in need, and putting your trust in God. Cowell gently guides the reader, chapter b...
Continue Reading...