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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
- Linked In
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:
clean out social media feeds, elimination, facebook, Facebook pages, friends, Life Management, managing social media, online drama, overwhelmed, prioritizing time and energy, social media, twitter, unfollow, unfriend
Yesterday after church, I celebrated Easter with my family in a typical family gathering. We celebrated Easter dinner at my
parent’s house where we enjoyed in our usual fashion, conversation and the stories of the past. It seems that no matter how often we get together, we end up listening to stories about our family’s past from various family members as they recount days gone by, and the people who lived in them. Listening, laughing, and learning about these people in my family heritage is something that we enjoy immensely.
I mean honestly, where else do you get to hear about family stories such as:
- Your Aunt leaving clams in her jacket pocket as a young girl and no one wanting to play with her on the school playground when that jacket started stinkin’ pretty good a few weeks later.
- Your Great-Grandmother laying tracks when learning how to drive a big, ‘ol, iron, tank of a car, because she stepped on the gas so hard, the tires smoked while throwing grass and rocks behind her. The trench her tires dug is still there in Ohio somewhere I imagine. It just has to be!
- Your Grandfather and Great Grandfather running a local, small-town butcher shop and listening to the wisdom in how they ran this small business.
- Your Grandmother’s wisdom in canning, rationing, and saving everything to raise eleven kids or merely survive the Great Depression.
- Your mother’s story about her mad driving skills as an unlatched jeep hood flew open as she drove down the country roads in Texas.
- Your father’s recollection of teaching you how to drive a stick shift with an open Pepsi in his lap. Yes, that happened. Poor guy was soaked as I discovered the clutch/gas motion. To this day, all I drive is a 5 speed…and I still giggle about that!
- Your family name being in the museum at Plymouth Rock since your family came over on the Mayflower.
There are so many stories and lessons on life I could post. And this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to raising my own kids! They’ve said so many things that I never want to forget in addition to the many stories I personally have treasured over the years. Now, having said that, I do not believe everything should be shared with the world. There are some things that should be shared privately-among family, and yes, this is possible when using social media. Using it properly allows us to make sure what we post is appropriate to the audience that is receiving it, and that should not be overlooked. Social media etiquette is another topic though.
As we sat in the back yard yesterday and listened again to these stories, I began to realize how I wished I’d had a way to go back to experience first-hand those life experiences of family that lived before me. I wish I could read today what my family that came across on the Mayflower experienced long ago as they traveled. They are not here today to fill in those experiences. I wish I could have seen things from their perspective through an Instagram photo or tweet. I’d love to have feeds of the events that took place in my family’s history to see their personal thoughts and glean from their wisdom as they experienced life in those times and eras. How cool would it be to have a social media feed to tap into to learn about the relatives that I cannot converse with today, because their lives ended before mine began? It would be super cool! As I contemplated all these things, I began to realize what it is in my social media feed that I am actually leaving my children and their children.
They are getting an actual glimpse into my life. My kids, even after I am gone, can download and save my social media posts, pictures, and relive my life much in the same way it happened, gaining the wisdom I gave them, the faith I lived out, and everything I’d taught them. They can relive the memories of our vacations, funny moments, and just the general silliness in life that they were too cool to embrace when they were teens. Not only can they embrace it, revisit it, and go back in time with it, they can also take their children into it and all the future generations thereafter if they so desire. (Backing up your data cannot be overstated!)
It was awesome to sit around with my family and listen to the stories once again, and I enjoyed every minute of it. But as I continued to ponder, I realized how much I wished I had a Twitter feed or archived Facebook feed to take a look at those times past to experience first hand with my eyes, ears, and mind, what my ancestors and family members experienced in their lifetimes. Social media simply captures an element of life that is hard to capture any other way. It’s like being able to live in the past (in a sense) by seeing, hearing, watching, and reading the thoughts of those in real time as they lived their lives from their own personal perspective and life experiences. I just don’t think there is any other way of capturing this in the same way. And from this point of view, social media is an incredible tool that will allow our future generations to connect to the past.
There is a hidden value to social media I think some tend to overlook sometimes. Many times I simply hear people asking what the point of social media is and if it accomplishes anything besides simply killing time, when maybe what we should be asking is how will it impact the future generations by connecting those of the future to those of our past.
In the future, people won’t be hearing about what their Grandma did, where their ancestor’s came from and what exactly it was their family members valued and stood for in their lifetime. In the future, they will simply refer to an archived feed or a timeline, and read it for themselves. They will look at actual pictures that can place the person there with their family members and communities, and in a sense, relive it as they experience the past in the present. While sharing stories about people and events is great and treasured, it will be even richer experiencing it directly by what an individual posted directly. This is an advantage I believe our children will have when it comes to learning about their genealogy and times past that we try our best to pass on verbally.
In the future, people won’t have to tell stories that lose important information as the years pass. They won’t just learn about their family genealogy and life as it was from others. They will be able to experience it first hand, because of what social media allows us to leave behind. Through social media our lives will leave a true footprint of the person who lived and walked that path.
I can’t help but think of my social media feed today as an ancestral archaeology dig for my family of the future. And that is just plain cool. I hope what I’m leaving behind is something they will treasure tomorrow.
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.
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!
I absolutely love being on Facebook and Twitter. It’s fun, it’s a creative outlet for me, and it’s just one more place that I can spread some of my (over-abundance of) energy out. My mind seems to work overtime, my thoughts travel around my brain like it’s NASCAR, and most of them do collide before they ever hit my blog or other social media outlet.
But, as a leader in life management, I began to wonder about how social media plays into leadership. I know for myself that receiving input is on most days a good thing. I like to see that people understand what it is I am writing about, tweeting, or commenting on. It produces a sense of validation, correctness, and likability.
But what happens when leaders become focused on responses to social media?
- Does no response equal a disliked thought process?
- Does the fact that no one has “liked” your status updates on Facebook equal dislike?
Leaders who do not settle for the status quo or brown-nose models for acceptability for what has been the norm may not receive squat in the form of social media feedback. But lack of feedback doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Consider Twitter’s Follow Fridays where users are given props in a #FF (Follow Friday). He who has the most is the biggest leader. The most popular. The most successful. Seriously? Is that really what it means? Social media has become a popularity contest? Yep. All of the sudden in some aspects (but not all), social media has become a popularity contest.
I think it should make any leader ask himself/herself some tough questions:
- Does a small following mean that we are not needed?
- Does it mean that individuals are failing as a leader if response rates are slow or low?
- Will leaders start basing every move they make on social networking likability?
- As leaders are we going to base everything we lead, do , or say on the number of re-tweets we receive?
- As leaders are we consulting our social media outlets more than we are consulting God and His will, word, and direction?
I know I have seen myself slide into this. And it’s so easy. At times I find the best way to control the leader in me who seeks to follow what social media finds popular, I must unplug from time to time. Social media is not a replacement for seeking God. Nor is it an accurate measurement of how well we are doing by the number of followers, likes, or dislikes we have.
If we as leaders do not stay focused upon God and our missions, we will become focused on our own popularity. And when leaders become focused on themselves, they can’t lead others effectively no matter what social media says.
What started as a “tweet” on Twitter this morning has led me once again to my blog. I was thinking about the previous blog article I wrote trading a passion for a pay-check and have a little bit more to share.
Here’s the tweet I tweeted:
(that just sounds so odd, doesn’t it?)
“Do u have piece or peace? Give God all the pieces of ur life. When He gets through with them you’ll have more peace. #fb “
I thought of pieces in reference to those who are seeking things: Pieces as in money, fame, material items, people, security
And then I compared it with seeking peace:
Following God’s plan
Spending time in prayer
Doing what is important to His Kingdom
Living a Godly life
Seeking to be more like His son, Jesus
And personally for myself, ANSWERING HIS CALL!!! (There is no internal rest otherwise!)
It just made me think about the two, and I started to wonder:
Which are we seeking? A piece of the world? Or peace in our souls.
That’s why when we seek material things and make them the FOCUS of our lives, we are still not at peace. Seeking the pieces of the world then becomes idolatry, is not of God and not His will for us.
Do u have piece or peace? Give God all the pieces of ur life. When He gets through with them you’ll have more peace.
Get your focus back.
Life Balance around Christ DOES make a difference.
You can view all my tweets here: coachchristine
See the video segments!http://coachedtolead.wordpress.com/
- Episode #88 Health Update and Ministry Changes
- Are We Christians Superstitious About Suffering?
- Episode #84 You Can’t Fix A Person
- No Pretty Sin
- The Restful To-do List Is Unproductively Productive
- Egos That Require Boundaries For Your Health And Sanity
- My Beauty Arsenal: MakeUp, Hair Clippers, And My Bible
- Episode #83 Whittling Your Crazy Life
- I Know FULL WELL I’m Not Attending Satan’s Pity Party
- At First Glance I Am . . .
- BIG Changes! MIA Ministry Is Coming!
- Episode #80 Watch Your Mouth: The Curse of Cool
- Mom Said! Don’t Compromise The Truth
- Ps And Qs: They’re Not All Yours To Mind Episode #79
- Surrender To Healing
- Right On! Conservative Living, Episode #78
- Calling The Fouls, Episode #77
- My Motivation To Embrace Boundaries, Episode #76
- Living Out Of Bounds, Episode #75
- Mirror Reflection, Episode #74
- Your Circle of Influence, Episode #73
- Surviving Toxic People, Episode #72
- Dear Teens: Yo’ Mama Has Style (Grin)
- Episode #71 Money That Buys Better Haves
- Mom Said! Life’s Not Fair
- What Are You Looking At? Why Perspective Is Your Key To Success.
- Mom Said! Turn Off The Phone (It’s healthy!)
- Episode #70 Communication: Successful, Strained, or Drained.
- Episode #69 How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed And Powerless
- Episode #68 Fly Higher Than Your Fears By Taking Control
- Episode #67 “X” Marks The Spot. Now, How Do I Get There?
- Episode #66 Want More Success? Start Doing Less.
- Click here to watch: About Christine Pechstein
- Episode #65 The “No Strings Attached” Commitment Epidemic
- Monthly Maintenance For Partners: Watch now!
- Jackass Prevention Week: Click here to watch now!
- Life Management Week: Watch This Video Now!
- Episode #64 The Endurance Challenge. I Double-Dog Dare You.
- The Gift of Gab! Episode #63 Adjusting To Your New Norm As Life Happens
- The Gift of Gab! Episode #62 Can Your Surrender Stress To The Moment?
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