2018 was a rough year for this household. We lost people we loved, Blake had challenging work problems that came into our personal lives, all our friends moved to their new duty stations or to better jobs, and I’ve been adjusting as a working mom with a lot of physical sickness. We are also preparing to move this 2019 (Uncle Sam has not told us where yet), which is terrifying and thrilling at the same time! However, not to focus on the negative, in 2018 God blessed us with the perfect baby (yeah I’m biased.) I got to swim in the Great Lakes and go horse-back riding—check both those off my bucket list! And I became a director for our local pregnancy center, which has helped me provide for our family and learn new job skills and provided a creative outlet.
On a more spiritual level though, I’ve been struggling internally this year with three big issues. Issues that keep me awake at night and that I’m wrestling with. In fact, they are so big, I can honestly blame them for the reason I’ve not been consistent writing on the blog lately.
- Writers block. I try to consider myself as a mouthpiece for God. I don’t want to write from my heart but wholeheartedly give my talent to God to use for his purposes. The last six months of this year I felt that every time I sat down to write, God told me not to post it. It sounded flat and unhelpful. I felt crushed and lost—writing is part of my personality. But I could tell that somewhere something was off and it was affecting my writing. But what was off?
- Career Choices. Moving to a new place every 4 years with Blake’s job is my ultimate dream but also requires creativity on my part for a choice of career. This is one of those moments in life where I am required to “Be still and know God,” and wait for him to show me in his time……but waiting makes me anxious. LOL! #learningeveryday
- Social media. The bulk of this post is discussing my personal conviction about social media. I have concluded that it directly relates to numbers 1&2 and my lack of productivity in areas I should be proficient in like creative skills, consistency, and faith/prayer life. I discovered through self-reflection that I need to grow–and social media is distracting me from that goal. Instagram is not an easy thing to give up, but I’m publicly biting the bullet and doing it. You guys have to hold me accountable!
This week I was listing to the Rush Limbaugh Show (because we only have two radio stations on the Island and that was the only thing on) and the topic was social media and the way it is changing humanity. The episode was fascinating. The host claimed that Facebook and rival media platforms have become more powerful than some governments! The FBI and Police use Facebook more consistently than their own computer programs for seeking criminals. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are multi-billion-dollar money making machines—and their product is US! We give them free information and they sell it. But the most terrifying evidence is found in this video (linked below) by Simon Sinek. This video called “Addiction To Technology, explains the chemical releases to the brain when we do alcohol, drugs, gambling, and social media. Social media use releases the same amount of dopamine (the happy and addictive related hormone) that liquor, drugs, and gambling does—but it is not restricted by an age limit.
Now, I’m not saying all social media use is bad. I don’t believe in absolutes. But I have concluded that social media is crippling me from being my best this year. I struggle to do “challenging” tasks because I‘d rather scroll. I log onto my phone to check my bank statement and find myself automatically on Instagram.
If anyone knows me well, they know how passionate I am about educating myself and becoming a better woman. My tag line even says, “I’m passionate about becoming a better woman. Follow me to see what I’m doing to change the world.” And you know what? I got sucked into posting baby pictures and Christmas tree posts instead because it was “easier.” I coveted the likes and shares more than taking the time to do things that make me better. I have a huge list of things I feel convicted to study and just DO, and I think it’s time to do them.
So, here’s the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I am deleting all social media for ONE YEAR. This is an experiment where, for one year, I will journal in this blog what I’m doing in all that free time. I’m going to be tackling new hobbies like bible journaling, crochet, calligraphy, a new language, create/read a book list, and share tips and tricks for building a better home. All things that make me a better woman, things that interest me, things that help other people.
This year, until December 31 2019, I am deleting Facebook and Instagram. You can find me on Pinterest @mrswernerwrites since I consider Pinterest to be an educational and inspirational site. You can also email me on Facebook messenger, Marco Polo (because it’s face to face), or follow this blog and comment. Stay tuned for a possible You Tube channel where you can also see me and see what I’m up to. But you won’t find me on mindless scrolling platforms.
People keep telling me that they key to success is posting, posting, and posting on social media. There are business classes about how to “get more followers” or “scheduling social media posts.” But I think being a successful blogger (or person for that matter) is MUCH bigger than just millions of viewers and subscribers. Success is about being real. It’s taking off the mask. It’s choosing to not use the filter. It’s not cropping out the mess next to the pre-staged picture. It’s just being you, exercising the talents God has given you, and loving all the people along the way. When we look at life with realness, we get a huge sigh of relief and allow ourselves to live the way God intended it. If you happen to collect a group of followers along the way, good for you. If you happen to live just for yourself and the small group of people in your life instead of millions of strangers, that’s also success. Be you, not the Fantasy-Pinterest-Version of you.
My first thankful thought going into 2019 is that I DON’T HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK ANYMORE! I know where I’m going and I’m so excited to share it with you.