Posts Tagged friends

I Cleaned Out My Social Media Life, and Here’s Why…

Graphic with Christine Pechstein with name in pink, black, and white.I know you might be thinking I’m now a party-pooper, but I can promise you I’m not. I just value my sanity.

Social media is great. I love it. I use it quite a bit in my coaching practice to encourage, inspire, motivate, and share my faith with those I connect with online. It helps me not only connect to people. It also keeps me up to date with the latest news, technology, and helps me stay in-the-know. But, as a life management coach and professional life chaos buster, I had to draw the line.

Just as I coach others, I, too,  must follow this rule:

Clean out your life. And your social media life.

In the early days of social media, I found I liked about every page, and I followed just about anyone. I loved the ability to connect with so many, and I loved all the things social media offered.

  • I could keep up with the world.
  • I could save money by liking every single coupon and money saving resource I could.
  • I liked every faith-based resource I came across.
  • I loved educational pages and pages my kids could benefit from.
  • I loved all things social media that could tell me how to grow my business on social media successfully.
  • I could learn to do more, be more, achieve more, have more, and much, much more!
  • I could even attend the church services of any and every church service in the world if I wanted to as long as they had a page and a link available.

I especially loved new productivity inducing apps,  natural, at-home, product making resources, and even following the pages for all of my favorite foods and drinks. Wow. I could like it all! I was living the social-media life!

But over time something changed.

My Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media sites began to overwhelm me. I mean did I REALLY need to have all those updates in my news feeds? Did I need to get updates regularly from my favorite fabric softener, toilet paper, or soda company? No, I didn’t. Did I need all the drama? Nope. And slowly I began to eliminate the unnecessary from each of my feeds.

I’m not talking about one news feed either. I had 12 social media feeds!!! My life was super-busy, and I was overwhelmed online. Busy does not equal happy, content, nor productive. It just means busy and consumed in the moment, and it makes life management difficult. Once started, I began to take my social media clean out further, and I knew I wanted to do more with much less interference. To me that was much more fulfilling and meaningful. I then realized I had to clean up all of these feeds:

  • Facebook (my personal)
  • Facebook (my 4 or 5 pages that I ran for various products, community pages, etc.)
  • Twitter and Hootsuite
  • FourSquare
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Linked In
  • WordPress
  • Pinterest

Life was getting crazy. CRAZY! I hit a social media turning point the day that my news feed was full of sponsored ads to like even more things, as though I needed to have more to follow to keep my mind more consumed. I had apparently not reached the social media point of insanity yet and was still only at social media level crazy. Most of the nonsense I was seeing was all about chasing things that were supposed to”fix” life which merely contributed to the chaos of life.

I had a better idea. Instead of adding more chaos to my already busy life, I followed my life management coaching advice from my videos and decided to clean out my social life. I was going to do something really radical, people. No regrets! I chose to start opting out, closing unnecessary accounts, and unsubscribing from emails from all these resources. I did even more, too!

I put my finger on the DELETE button.

I used the UNFRIEND option.

I even (gasp) got the courage to go for the UNLIKE and UNFOLLOW selections.

And you know what? I SURVIVED!  And so did those pages and folks that I let go. Who knew?!

Life is busy for all of us. My life is no different. I have only so much time, attention, energy, and resources, and I like you, must manage my time and energy well and dedicate it to the proper priorities I’ve set in my own life. I thought about simply muting the negativity, controversies, and drama prone sites and people by hiding or silencing those pages and individuals, but honestly, it made more sense for me to eliminate them.

It was past time to clean my social house, and rather than keep all those unwanted house guests active, with free room and board, mentally clogging my feed (and my brain), putting my eyes on overload, and making my head pound, I started disconnecting from the unnecessary. I didn’t need my stress levels elevated with the task of keeping up with the unimportant nonsense. Why did my life need to be filled with pages and people who weren’t the most important thing who were consuming my body’s limited mental and physical resources? This was a drain and it was affecting my ability to put my resources where they really mattered, and I wanted to put a stop to it. It meant taking back control over who had my time and attention, where, and how…even online.

For me, this is when life management of my social media life became a priority. Life Management is a priority in your life both socially, professionally, and personally. How so? Look at it from a different perspective using the following examples:

I don’t read every single newspaper to keep up with current events and news. I don’t have time, and I’d wear myself out trying to do so. I don’t eat every single thing on an all you can eat buffet. It’s too unhealthy to stuff myself so full of unnecessary foods or things I don’t even care for or need. I don’t want to know every single detail about all the drama in the reality TV shows, so I choose carefully what I do with my TV time. Just because some people’s lives are reality shows on display in social media without all the commercial advertising, it’s not drama I find attractive or entertaining. I’d rather not watch it even if on a news feed.

If I don’t want to use my time and energy watching junk and unnecessary drama on TV, why should I be subjected to it online through social channels when I’d rather not be? There are things in this world that I connect to for the good of my mind, body, and soul. And there are things that are not, and I don’t allow them into my life. I don’t normally choose to surround myself with bad friends in life, so why on earth would I want to surround myself with such negative things in my social media life?

BINGO! I don’t want to. And I changed that. A social media life is just like your in person life. You need to set and create healthy and beneficial boundaries. And you need to know when to say enough and do something about life when it gets overwhelming-even if that life is online. You may not be the popular person, but since when did life become about securing the most likes? Oh, yeah. Thanks Facebook. But, I’ve had enough now. I love social media. But, I now play by my rules and boundaries.

I get many requests from people on Facebook to like this page and that page or to follow this or that. I also get it from about every other online social site out there. But the truth is, I can’t follow everything. I just can’t. And honestly, I don’t want to. That’s not social. It’s social insanity!

It’s not healthy for me. And it’s not healthy for you.

Life Management Online

Here’s what you can do:

1. Limit what you allow in. There’s a lot of good stuff out there. So you need to be extra careful to look for the GREAT stuff, and then only follow the GREAT and helpful resources and people by using filters. What filters? Is it helpful to you? Are you passionate about it? Is it one of the top three or four sites on this subject matter? Is it a go-to resource? Is it someone you like hearing from? If friends and family are negative drains you may have to create boundaries in your social life just like you do in your personal life. Not all people are good for us. There is such a thing as a toxic person. Know what resources and people add value to your life. And then follow or friend the best for you in your life season. If not, you might want to consider it a good resource and reserve your like and follow for the greater resources. Not all resources are created equally. Please understand that.

Take Christian resources for example. There are many of what look like good Christian resources out there. But how many of them are truly prosperity driven messages focused on 1/2 truths? Is this what your focus and time and energy should be spent on? Using good filters (explained more fully in the life management coaching segments) should help you eliminate those that are based on false teachings and gain/prosperity driven messages.

2. Use filters: Filters help you learn how to identify pages you should be cautious over such as those pages that encourage you to “do what I did, so you make your first million, too”. Many times we don’t use filters and end up with too many things that are meant to be good, but just aren’t in our feeds. Do you see a hidden agenda behind those types of messages? The truth is, the million dollars they made are off of the people who flock to their sites to purchase their step by step instructions. They make that money off of folks with their encouraging and sugar coated messages of “despair to over-night riches”, bringing you in as prey with the hopes of selling you a program and a promise they probably can’t deliver. A million dollar return on a $50 program just doesn’t seem right, so beware. If it’s too good to be true it probably is! Be selective and use a filter for what you follow, because your time and energy are precious resources, and they are not unlimited. Don’t waste them by following empty promises. Filters are necessary for catching things that clog your feed and slow you down.

They will help you learn how to be selective over what you will give your time and attention to in the best way possible for your season of life. I’m not saying all pages and people are like this. They are not. But the vast majority are, and if you’re not careful, you’ll be consumed with following nothing more than someone else’s dream. Don’t get consumed by the lure of other people’s successes and their bank accounts. Maintain your time and energy for your own. The truth is, most of our success is locked up inside contentment. What do you have now that brings that? I’ll bet you have quite a bit, but that’s another coaching topic altogether!

3. Keep it simple: See, it’s impossible to keep up with it all, and you should never feel you have to. Sift for the things online that elevate you, challenge you (in a positive way), and limit contaminates and negative impurities (people and opinions) that weight you down, add stress, and overwhelm you. Get rid of the false promises. Get rid of the spiritual influences that promise riches in THIS world. And use your time and energy for the priorities and things in life that you want while finding contentment in the here and now with what you already have. It can be done and brings much less stress and more focus on the good in our lives already. While it’s great to have dreams, and goals and work toward them, we shouldn’t get so caught up in chasing the good life that we fail to live the one we have.

5. Prioritize: You only have so much time and energy in a given day. You only have this life. So why waste it being bogged down in the always on, always in demand of your time and energy, non-stop lifestyle of the social? It’s time to take back the control over where your time, energy, and resources go. They are yours. And you must manage them well. Social media is good. But like everything: use it in moderation. Be selective of everything you follow.

6. Clean it out: You just might find it’s time to do some spring cleaning of your social media life. People change. Life changes. And our needs change. Pay attention to the season you’re in, keep what works, and clean out what doesn’t.

One last thing: don’t feel guilty for doing so. Take a deep breath. De-stress. And enjoy your focused content. You’ll find your life doesn’t need to be so overwhelming after all. Even when it is online.

For more on life management:

Life Management Videos

Christine’s Blog and Radio Show

Move Into Action, Life Management Magazine

Worry Less: Live More!

Life Management Certification

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Help For The Holidays

Dont Panic

After speaking with a few individuals about their Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to share a few resources this month that I believe will be very helpful to surviving the holidays. As a coach, I get to speak to people from all backgrounds and walks of life with various experiences, but one thing is pretty consistent despite those differences: There are times and seasons when life is just too much and help to get through those seasons is welcomed. So, here are a few resources to start. I will add more, so check back throughout the month of December. Feel free to share them with others! And let’s make this a GREAT Christmas season!

Dealing with a Co-Dependent person or “caretaker” (control-freak) that is driving you nuts? Take a break and browse a few helpful resources!

Find help at these links:

Web MD on Codependent Relationships

How to Deal With A Codependent Family Member

Creating Healthy Boundaries

Next up: Stress Management Tips and Creating Calm:

While I’m working on these posts you can get a jump-start and start managing your time and resources to match YOUR priorities, Start a THINK DRINK GROUP, read The THINK DRINK LIFE, or take your Life Management Training online!
More to come throughout December!

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Investments Travel In Friendships

havin' a laugh

Image by jacquelinetinney via Flickr

Today while sitting in worship, I was greatly reminded of the blessings that come with friendships. I’m not talking about acquaintances, but true and dear friends. Not the “I hope to get something out of you” types of people, but the “I will take a piece of myself and give it to you” type of friends. Not the romantic friendships, but rather genuine friendships based on more than mere infatuations and trends, or the availability of the moment. I’m talking about those who stick it out between thick and thin, make sacrifices of their time and resources, and those will invest a part of what they have in terms of helping you grow through life. That’s the type of friendship I was reminded of today.

God has blessed me with just a small handful of those I truly consider my friends. They are the one’s who have endured my sense of humor, adventure, excitement over the silly little things, prayed with me and prayed over me, have seen me cry, and have listened to the questions I simply ponder as I live each day. Those few friends are my richest blessings.

In the next few weeks, I have a dear friend who is leaving. My friend Jon is traveling to Haiti, not just to visit, but to live there as a missionary for the next year before moving on to his next adventure. His profile on Facebook makes me smile. It now says, “Employed by God.” It’s incredible to witness and share this exciting part of his life as it unfolds. But, part of me is really, really sad.

Part of me has wondered who I’m going to pick on when he goes? LOL…yes, this is just part of our friendship!

Who will be ever so sarcastic? Jon is quick witted and very sarcastic. It’s a gift, and he uses it well!

Today in church, a few things hit me. Yes, a really good friend of mine is leaving. But as he made investments as a friend into my life, I also made them into his. Even as good friends, it is still give and take. So, though he is leaving, he is taking a part of me with him. And as he has been such an encouragement and believed in me as I unfolded my business and adventures right here, a part of him will remain with me. Suddenly, the idea of true friendships began to click. When our dear friends find it’s time to move on and follow their calling, or they find they have to relocate, we never really part with a person. The time they invested in encouraging us, mentoring us, and even slapping us into shape when we needed it are never lost. They are not gone. They are little tiny treasures in the forms of blessings that God allows us to experience through those very friendships. And these tiny experiences and bits we take with us. So, when someone passes away or moves on and follows their path in life, we are not losing them entirely. Little pieces of everything they invested in us moves with us. And us in them. And though one friend is leaving, I have been blessed with new ones, and so the cycle of investing into people continues.

Over time, it seems that all of these little investments into people end up in many different parts of the world. And as the people travel, so do the investments they received. Eventually, those investments can enter into many, many lives without us knowing it and soon we have shaped many more lives because of them. It was such a neat day for experiencing those blessings that come in the form of pure friendships. They are not many. But they are priceless.

I am so grateful for those who have invested in my life. Those who have believed in me and encouraged me along the way when the path was nothing more than a cliff with a tiny rope to hang on to. I am so grateful for those who have endured my wacky sense of humor and passionate, you can do it, attitude. Life is an adventure full of risks, full of uncertainty, and full of people who don’t truly understand true and deep friendship. But, with a few good friends and their selfless investments, the risk in the adventure is so worthwhile.

After all, if you’re too afraid to lose what you have, you can never give to another person. And that’s not how we were designed to live. Invest in others. Get up and move toward what you really want in life. And never be afraid to give of yourself to those who need you. You have a purpose in their lives. Chances are you are a small part of what they will take to their destination. And you are taking a part of them to yours.

On a side note:

You can keep up with my friend Jon Alexander here on his website: newplanalife.com and if you are interested in donating or supporting the missionary efforts, please consider doing so. He will can take the support we provide him and invest it into the lives of those he touches in Haiti as he follows God’s will and answers the call. And please remember to keep him and all the missionaries in  your prayers. They need us to pray for courage, strength, stamina, and God’s will be done!

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To Friend or Not To Friend

Every once in awhile I receive a friend request on Facebook from a person that I do not know well or at all (a friend of a friend of a friend). And I sometimes also know that they are not a Christ follower. I am particular about who I follow on the social networking scene such as Facebook and Twitter. I pick and choose who I associate with carefully. However, I am not so sure that I should be so careful of those who follow me.

Why?

Even through social media there is the possibility that my status updates and profile posts could help a non-believer learn about Christ. It just might be that someone following my posts and updates would be able to sense how the Lord is working in my life. It is a very real possibility that my updates could serve as a starting point for an individual. So if my posts could possibly plant seeds to an unbeliever or a person who has fallen away from Christ, why not friend them? After all, I can control what I see in return by filtering what gets through to me on my home feeds. Since I have this technology available to protect what I see, shouldn’t I friend someone who is requesting my online friendship when I am giving glory and trying to honor God with how I live so it can be shared with someone else?

If just one of my updates or tweets would get someone to start thinking about God, wonder about the life of Jesus, or wonder what it is like to live as a believer by seeing what goes on in my own life (up close and personal-not superficially), then it is worth it to me to friend them. I hope that as I use social media I am using it to bring glory to God. I hope I use it to evangelize. I hope to use it for missions work when I can’t be out reaching the entire world. I hope to use it to show others that God is real, that God does love us, and that salvation through Christ is available. I hope to use it to teach and reach!

One person at a time, one friend request at a time, I have the opportunity to talk about faith with people I couldn’t reach otherwise. And they don’t even realize I am talking to them about Christianity through updating my status’ and sending tweets about how I am living through my own life. How cool is that?!

Christians can now fly under the “I’m going to tell you about Jesus” radar that makes most non-believers run. Instead, I can tell them by what I DO and SAY in my own life.

Now, I’m going to tweet this!

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What’s In A Christian Friend?

I was thinking the other day about some non-Christian friends. I wanted to know what it would be like to have friends who believed in God if I didn’t. In fact, I wondered what it would be like for someone to even be my friend if they were not a Christian. As I pondered these thoughts, I realized that many would probably think I’d try to push religion or my view points on to them.

Nope. Being a Christian means that:

I won’t judge them.
I won’t force anything onto them.
I will be friendly and genuine.
I will help them when I can just the same as I’d do for my Christian friends.
I will comfort them when they need it.
I will laugh with them, but not at them.

And the number one thing that I do for my non-Christian friends? I pray.

I pray for them even though they don’t realize it. So, my non-Christian friends…

You have a prayer warrior on your side.

Even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer your Christian friends do. They can’t fix things for you, but they know someone who can. And you can know Him to. Prayer IS powerful.

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Friends Who Check Under The Bed

This has been a week full of tragedy and turmoil. Friends have been hit hard in so many aspects of their lives, and no matter which direction I turn, I see the opposition in full force. Satan seems to be lurking everywhere!
Yesterday a new thought process began as I learned of specific events affecting someone I see day after day. Did I know? Should I have known? Could I have done anything? Did I just assume that things would be just fine? Did I take the time to ask? Why not?

Those questions have been circling around in my head for two days now. Do we focus on reaching out to only those who are outside our churches or our immediate circle of friends? Should we make sure that we are reaching out to those we see day after day, Sunday after Sunday, bible study after bible study? After all, just because people are Christians and part of our church family, certainly doesn’t mean that their lives are all just peachy.

People within our own circles-at home, at work, at church, and in our communities in general all have needs and can use a shoulder, an affirmation, or just a simple, “Hey, how are you doing?” From time to time, all people need the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pastor, a church member, or a stranger. Why? It’s a little thing called humanism. We are all humans. We all live in a broken world. We all face the same evil opposition that lurks in the dark.

Tonight at bible study, during our prayer time, I thought about how friendships in Christ would look. If I were to be a genuine friend in the spirit of Christ to people-what would that look like? After our study ended, a friend came to sit by me and we began to chat. It was the first time all day that I could open up, talk about the heaviness I felt, celebrate a victory of hers with her (Yay, God!), and take a deep breath in relief. As soon as I left the building, the title to this blog entry struck me (thanks, God!)

Being a friend in Christ to those we know and to those we meet who have needs, means that we are not afraid to be with them only in the safety of the light. It means that when the opposition is in full force, when darkness tries to creep in and paralyze us in fear, we take them by the hand and check under their bed for the monster. We stand by them and pray with them as we walk to the closet together to make sure that the boogey-man is not lurking in there. We call upon Jesus together no matter how dark or scary it may be. We stand together.
Being a friend in Christ is just being there and having the courage to say, “I’ll stand and pray with you.”

Tonight I will sleep soundly knowing that there was a person who helped me check under my bed. After this week’s events, I’ll be sure I do the same for those I come into contact with. I think I got the point. Thanks, God!

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