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

In 2022, your marriage needs THIS!

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

2021 has come to an end. Some were glad to see it go and others look back with fond memories. For us, it was both. For many reasons, it was hard and seemed a little like another dumpster fire. On the other hand, we saw baby Zayn go from an infant to sitting, crawling, pulling up, saying his first words, walking and dancing! We went on great adventures to Egypt, Sea World, and traveled to see family. It was full of joy and memories!

However, one thing I’m seeing with clients, friends, followers and being a pilot wife, even with my own marriage at times is that the one thing lacking in many marriages is connection. 

Humans start looking for connection as soon as we are born! It starts with feeling that skin to skin contact with our parents straight out of the womb. We feel comfort, love and safety there, physically and emotionally. That drive to find emotional safety with other human beings, that deep need for physical comfort extends throughout our entire lives. The search for emotional safety is part of our survival. This may be a newsflash for you and it may not. Some are aware and others not so much. Some even go so far as to deny this drive even exists because they’ve lost contact with it. Oh but deeply suppressed, it’s still there. 

Emotional safety > emotional connection > emotional intimacy. It’s a chain reaction. When emotional intimacy is lacking in marriage, it creates a deep, black hole of emptiness and/or emotional discomfort. Both of these cause people to behave in ways that hurt themselves and others. Remember how I’m always saying that behavior is communication of an unmet need? Still applies here. The unmet need is emotional connection or emotional intimacy. The behavior is that hurt people hurt people.

So in 2022, I challenge you to develop a deeper emotional intimacy with your partner. How? 

Cultivate a sense of “good enough”. Good enough is not perfect- we and nothing is ever going to be perfect. This sense of good enough understands that no one in your home is ever going to be emotionally available, present and supportive 100% of the time. However, it is also striving for at least 50% of the time. It’s giving your partner and your children a felt experience of being seen, heard, understood, wanted and loved. Especially, when they are feeling emotional distress (anger, anxiety, sadness, fear, loss, disappointment, etc). This means that when your partner or your children are acting out in ways that are less than loveable, you understand that in that moment is when they need love the most! 

It means that instead of saying “you’re ok/fine” or “stop crying” to your kids, you say things like “how can I help you right now?” or “is your body hurt or your feelings?” proceeded with “do you need (provide a solution), a hug, or both?” It’s not getting angry at them because they’re communicating an unmet need and don’t have the emotional regulation or vocabulary to communicate with words in a respectful, calm manner. Many adults don’t even do this so having that expectation for your children is unrealistic.

It means that you develop connection with your spouse by getting to know them again! When Moe and I were dating, we spent HOURS on the phone talking and asking questions. The other day I mentioned not feeling connected and referenced these conversations to which he replied “Yeah but babe, we’re done with that. We did it when we were dating so we don’t have to have those conversations again.” OY VEY!  No, no, no my friend. As a couple, you are constantly having those conversations because you’re constantly evolving. Who you are now is not who you were 5 years ago. Do you know your partner now? Do you know yourself now? Asking open-ended questions, digging deeper into things, promoting that emotional connection builds that emotional intimacy which leads to a MUCH deeper physical intimacy! So if your emotional relationship is lacking, so is your life in the bedroom mostly likely. If your emotional intimacy is strong, safe and deep, so is the sex!  

Emotional support skills are learned skills including emotional validation, reflection, mindfulness, active listening, communication, self-regulation and co-regulation, and the biggest one of all- empathy. 

If you’re interested in deepening this for yourself, check out the courses page for a brand new course option that hasn’t even been advertised to the public yet! 

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Build that emotional connection and keep striving to be the best version of yourself in 2022! I have so much hope and excitement for you and all you’re going to accomplish this year! 

Your Coach,

Kameran