Breaking the Mold

Learning to be who God made me to be

What Mario Kart Taught Me About Facebook — February 9, 2016

What Mario Kart Taught Me About Facebook

Over the last several months I had this nagging feeling that I really wanted to get rid of my FB. I was tired of scrolling past all the “type ‘amen'” and “can we get 100 likes?” “show my kids/students how far pictures go on social media”. And yet despite the annoying amount of requests to play games that would waste even more time than scrolling endlessly through FB, I found myself defaulting to it. I had a spare moment? Wonder what _______ is doing. Feeding the baby? I wonder if anyone has commented on _______. Making dinner? Maybe I should post about what delicious concoction we’re feeding the minions tonight. It was infuriating to me that I couldn’t NOT look at FB for a day!

It totally reminds me of what Paul was talking about in Romans 7:15 & 19 (NLT)

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

I feel ya Paul.

My reservations about shutting it down can be linked solely to the communication factor available through FB. My family lives 700 miles away and FB was the easiest way to update them about things we were doing and how the kids were growing. But did everyone else on FB really need to know? Especially if they lived near us? I also am a small group leader for the middle school girls at our church and I used FB to keep up with their parents and them. Creating events and updating them about things going on in student ministry for that week/month. I participated in forums for our homeschool group allowing me to explore different options and catch “homeschool deals” that I wouldn’t otherwise know about (or would I?)… see how easy it is for me to justify it?

Something else radical I did that week was take away screens completely from my children. No tv/movies/wii. This is a bigger deal than you may think. My kids don’t sit all day in front of the screen by any means, they were limited to 1 movie and some Mario Kart for my oldest. BUT when that movie ended??? You’d have thought someone was dying. Time up for Mario Kart? I just punched you in the face apparently. There were nasty attitudes all day everyday (and not just the kids). So finally I’d had it. I wasn’t going to fight about how many movies/how much Mario Kart they were allowed. This mama ain’t negotiating NO MORE! I took a crib sheet and placed it over the TV, unplugged the dvd player and hid all the remotes

I’m so glad no one could see us that first day. SO MUCH CRYING. But I held firm and we made it through day one. Day two was just as bad, but they started to understand that I was serious. By day three they didn’t even ask! I was stunned! They were playing together without screaming at each other! They were figuring out things to do and…what’s that?! playing with your toys?! I started seeing my children think and interact in ways that I’d been longing for. Even outside our home I noticed a difference. We had to take the baby to the doctor, and they were content to play with the one toy they each brought. No whining. Because of this fast from TV I’ve been able to have more conversations with my 5-year old about behavioral issues and how God wants us to interact with others.

I don’t know where this break from social media and screen time will take us, and we definitely are cutting it out 100% (I mean some days it just has to happen) but so far I am LOVING the change in my family.

So how about you? Have you ever decided to take a break? Fast from technology? Did it make a difference?