Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

There’s a reason people who have 10,000+ followers are called “influencers”. They’re literally influencing those who follow them. I don’t feel that a person should have 10k or more followers to be called an influencer though. We are influenced by anyone we are allowing to show up on our feed. The content they produce influences our decisions, our thought processes and our lives. If it didn’t, positively or negatively, we wouldn’t consume their content anymore. We’d simply unfollow.

I don’t take for granted that the combined 2,000 followers I have throughout the different platforms I produce content for, including you, are influenced by that content every single day. In fact, I value it. I have a responsibility to make sure that I’m using these platforms for good, creating helpful content and being responsible for the marriages and families that I’m influencing. I’m also highly aware that not everyone has the same heart I do or takes responsibility for their platforms in the way I do. I’m also hightly aware that because my 12 year old doesn’t have the brain synapses that I do and won’t until his brain stops growing at the age of 25! He doesn’t understand the influence these YouTubers have on him. I won’t let him have social media or his own phone yet for this very reason.

Most of what we learn about relationships can be traced back to our parents, grandparents, or older generations. We watched, we caught more than we were taught about what marriage and relationships should look like. Except when it comes to social media.

We are the first generation to have social media and we are enthralled, obsessed, and addicted. We take our phones to the bathroom with us for crying out loud! How do we model a healthy relationship for future generations?  You know, the upcoming generations that live in our houses and are watching us like we watched previous generations. How do we preach to them to limit screen time when we don’t limit it ourselves?

Recently, Mohammed and I started to ask ourselves the same question as we watched Encanto, Moana and Frozen on a loop for the 8,000th time and again when we were preaching to our tweenager that he needed to get off YouTube! Oof. The hard truth slapping us in the face is that they’re simply following our lead and the only way to make it stop is to set some boundaries.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve seen so many posts in different groups I’m in on facebook talk about affairs, marriage problems and disconnection. Did you know that 85% of affairs start out as emotional affairs? A harmless text that eventually crosses a boundary, a social media post that leads to a direct message that leads to more than just “small talk”. A few years ago, I remember a comment a friend of mine made over couples who share social media accounts and how stupid it was. I wasn’t so sure then but now, I’m definitely sure that it’s not stupid at all. It’s a boundary.

Boundaries aren’t just around who we follow and whether we have our own social media accounts or combined to avoid temptation. They’re setting time limits, removing notifications so we aren’t controlled by a ding, vibration or number in the upper right hand corner of an app. They’re deleting social off your phone, keeping your phone out of the bedroom or turning it on do not disturb mode after a certain time to promote more connection between you and your partner. Boundaries are set to control our own behavior and promote what’s important to us. When we don’t have boundaries, we don’t have control on our time and energy. So we spend that time and energy getting sucked into things that may not be as important as our spouse and kids but we invest our most precious resources in what’s important. So by investing our time and energy into our phone, the message we’re sending to those we love is that social media is our priority. Technology gets our attention and our family gets what’s left over.

That realization was enough for us to say enough is enough. Here are the boundaries we’ve set. Feel free to take what you need and leave the rest.

  • Sleep mode at 9 pm  to avoid blue light before bed
  • No technology at the dinner table or in bed
  • Removed notifications
  • Time limits on certain apps and for the kids
  • Parental monitoring of sites

That’s what we’ve come up with so far. We also started taking a class called Screen Sanity- teaching your kids how to be responsible around technology. If you’d be interested in taking this class, let me know. I am considering getting certified as a faciliator. If you have boundaries around technology that you’ve set, I’d love to hear them as well! Feel free to respond to this email or post them in my Facebook coaching group!

Social media and technology aren’t all bad. Groups, influencers and content can help you grow, can educate and promote positivity. It can be used for good. The idea, like anything else, is to monitor, reflect and inventory it every now and then. Is it a problem? Is the content you’re consuming growing you or making you feel like garbage? Is it helping or hurting your marriage and your family connections? Do you need new or different boundaries?

I look forward to hearing about your boundaries and connecting with you on this topic.

Have a great week!

Your coach,

Kameran

How Busy is “too busy”?

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

Have you noticed how if you ask someone how they are doing and instead of the canned answer of “fine”, it’s being replaced with a big sigh followed by “BUSY!”? Then the next ten minutes of conversation consist of all the things you’re busy with, all the things they’re busy with and nobody actually says how they are doing with or feeling about it all?

We’ve become a society that wears busy like a badge of honor. Somewhere along the line we have decided that being busy means we’re needed, wanted, successful, prosperous, important. The fuller our calendar, the fuller our hearts. Our brains must have 5,934 tabs open and running at full speed or we are simply not working to max capacity as a human being! 

On the other hand, taking time to rest, relax, rejuvenate, leaving time in our day to just be, to have a quiet mind means we are lazy, unsuccessful, unwanted, not needed, broke as a joke and absolutely not important. We must be absolutely miserable without every minute in our time blocked calendar full with something. The mere thought of sitting still just to soak up the sun or watch a movie with your family? Well, that’s just wasteful.

Seems pretty insane, right? To be so overloaded that we don’t have time to make a phone call or to actually hit send on a text? 

It is. Society has created the norms for what busy means and what it doesn’t. Biblically speaking though, rest is needed and should be celebrated. In Genesis- God creates the world by resting first because the Jewish calendar actually starts in the evening of each day. After rest is honored and applied, He creates a piece of the world, sits back, celebrates it by taking pride in his work and saying “that’s good” and then repeating the cycle. On the seventh day- and this is big! He what? He RESTS. God doesn’t need to rest, He’s GOD! He doesn’t do that for his benefit- He does it as an example of what WE as humans are supposed to be doing!

How often do we celebrate our work and tell ourselves “yeah! Good job self. That’s pretty great work right there.” Rest for a whole day? Uh, no thanks. I’m not completely burnt out and feel like I’m dying when I try to get out of bed yet. I can still go a few more weeks on full blast and a half-pot of coffee a day! 

Anybody else see how utterly ridiculous we as a human race sound right now in reading this? 

The past few months, you may have realized that the podcast changed to Monday releases, the newsletter is sometimes weekly but most of the time bi-weekly, and my IG stories? Well, they aren’t an all day, every day thing. Does it mean I’m burnt out on what I do? NO! I’m actually more passionate now than ever before! 

Somewhere along the way, I started realizing everything I told you and I started making intentional changes. I re-started the gym membership I didn’t have time for because it makes me happy when I go and to teach my boys what it means to live healthy. I stopped tutoring all but two of the kids I was working with because fitting all of them into my schedule was irritating and took way more energy than I wanted to give for way less money than my time is worth. I started sitting in the floor with my 1 year old and actually playing instead of watching him over the screen of my laptop. Side note- tapping into your inner child brings more joy and stress relief than most adults will ever know. Is it weird at first? Yes but only because we’re conditioned to believe that at the age of 13 we should put away childish things and never think of them again. A theory that is total crap by the way. 

Point being, I accepted that I have the time. I was simply prioritizing being busy with things that really don’t mean jack in the grand scheme of things over the things that truly matter at the end of the day. My marriage, time with my boys that is too fleeting anyway, health, and truly living out my purpose as a relationship coach- a passion that is reignited every time I get on a call. 

To me, that’s success. It’s everything I dreamed of and prayed for. It’s enough for me and my family, important to me, gives me time to be still, drink my coffee while it’s still hot and take a nap if I want  and at the end of the day, I’m helping couples save their marriages! That’s my happy, my fulfillment, my life is complete. All because I simply chose to say “hell no” to what wasn’t a “hell yes”, leave space in my calendar, value my time and prioritize what was really important to me.

Your happy and complete may look wildly different than mine, and that’s ok. But as we close out 2021, I’d encourage you to look at your calendar and do the same reflections I did. I’m telling you- it will completely change your life! 

Your Coach,
Kameran

P.S- if you want this but aren’t sure where to start- email me at coaching@recognizingpotential.com. I’ve got just the thing!