In the digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives, connecting us with people from all corners of the world. But what are the consequences of this constant online presence? In the latest episode of the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Aby Rinella engages joined me for an enlightening conversation on the impact of social media on our personal lives, particularly as homeschooling parents. This conversation, inspired by an article Aby wrote, titled The Original Influencer, provides practical encouragement for navigating the social media web with our families.
“We have to remember that the enemy of our souls is the master of deceit. He’s deceiving people into thinking that it’s a community. It’s not. It’s isolating people.”Aby Rinella
The Disconnect Between Online and Real-Life Relationships:
Social media has birthed its own unique culture, often blurring the lines between the online and real world. Studies have shown that despite having more access to others than ever before, people are increasingly lonelier. Humans are built for community, but the online world has created a counterfeit that can trick us into believing that our need for human interaction is being met.
The Burden of Information Overload: “We see moms who are overwhelmed, and they’re depressed, and they feel hopeless, and it’s so overwhelming… And we carry that weight, and it causes depression, it causes anxiety, and we were never meant to know what’s going on all over, all the time, always.” — Aby Rinella
Recognizing the Lack of Authenticity:
Furthering the problem, the social pressure to create content that people will “like” and share has contributed to a pervasive lack of authenticity online, which can spill into our lives and personality. Worse, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone else’s life is picture-perfect, when all we are seeing are their best moments and perfectly posed and photoshopped pictures.
The Power of Real-Life Relationships:
Amidst the virtual facade, real-life relationships remain the bedrock of social connection and personal growth. Aby emphasizes the messiness, effort, and humbling nature of these relationships, stressing that real-life connections require intentionality, conflict resolution skills, and the ability to find the good in others.
The Loneliness Epidemic: “The studies show that people are lonelier now than they’ve ever been ever. That there’s this epidemic, this pandemic, if you will, of loneliness that we’ve never seen before. And what’s interesting is we have more access to more people than we have ever had in history, and yet we are the loneliest.” — Aby Rinella
Finding Wisdom and Support in Community:
With the rise of social media influencers, there is a danger of relying solely on their curated content for guidance and information. Aby advocates for seeking wisdom and support from experienced individuals – Titus 2 women – within our churches, homeschool co-ops, families, and local communities, urging young moms to invest in real, tangible relationships rather than depending solely on online connections.
“It was these real women who knew me, and they knew my heart, and I knew them, and I knew their heart. And those were my influencers, and that was my community.” — Aby Rinella
Breaking Free from the Social Media Trap:
Recognizing the addictive nature of social media and its potential to distract homeschooling parents, Aby shares practical strategies to regain focus and presence in our daily lives. She recommends allocating specific time frames for social media use, fasting from it for a period, and investing in real-life experiences instead.
In a world dominated by social media, it’s essential for us to navigate its influence wisely. Aby’s insights shed light on the detrimental aspects of social media while offering a path towards authentic, real-life relationships and connections. Let us heed her wisdom and resist the trap of the online world, finding fulfillment and growth within genuine communities.
You can read more from Aby Rinella on her blog, CalledtotheTop.com.
1. How has social media influenced your perception of what a “perfect family” looks like? Do you feel pressure to portray your own family in a certain way on social media?
2. How do you think social media culture has impacted our ability to form and maintain genuine, authentic relationships? Have you experienced any negative effects on your own relationships?
3. In what ways do you see social media as a tool for isolating individuals, rather than connecting them? Have you ever felt isolated or disconnected because of social media?
4. How do you navigate the balance between staying informed about global events and protecting your mental well-being from the constant stream of news on social media?
5. Do you think social media has had a positive or negative impact on the parenting community? How have you personally been influenced or affected as a parent by social media?
6. Have you ever felt the pressure to conform to certain homeschooling methods or philosophies because of what you’ve seen on social media? How do you strike a balance between seeking inspiration and staying true to your own homeschooling style?
7. How do you personally limit your social media use during homeschooling to stay focused and present with your children? What strategies have you found helpful in reducing distractions?
8. Do you agree with Aby’s suggestion of taking breaks from social media to regain perspective and break addictive habits? Have you ever tried a social media fast? If so, what was your experience like?
9. How do you distinguish between influencers who genuinely provide valuable content and insights, and those who simply craft curated and potentially misleading versions of their lives? What are some red flags to watch out for?
10. In what ways do you think social media has impacted society’s reliance on personal experience and wisdom for guidance? Do you believe influencers should be held to a certain standard of expertise before providing tutorials or advice?
Aby Rinella is a former public school teacher turned passionate homeschool mom.
Aby resides in the mountains of the west with her college sweetheart and 3 awesome kids where they enjoy all things outdoors.
Aby is a writer and speaker seeking to encourage and inspire women to live the life they were designed to live, to train up their children in God’s Word, and to stand on truth in a culture that has lost its foundation.
Aby is co-host on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, director of her local homeschool support group and is a Homeschool Idaho board member.
Aby and her husband, Jesse, speak and write on the benefits of pointing children to their Creator through spending time out in His creation. They are also passionate about encouraging men and women to prioritize the calling they have been given to raise their families the way they were designed. You can find them at CalledToTheTop.com or on Facebook at Aby Rinella-His Calling My Passion.
Read the full transcript below:Continue reading “Navigating Social Media: a Guide for Homeschool Moms”