I’m a sucker for social media – I have Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn which are used on a daily basis. I would have Instagram too but I post lots of photos to Facebook already so I’m not sure what I could post people haven’t seen! Everyday a new kind of social media emerges and if I’m honest I’ve hit saturation point – I cannot continue to keep up with this while still living my actual life.
Its going to be a period of withdrawal and its not going to be pretty but I’m going to make a special effort to use my phone, iPad and phone much less – especially when other people are around. My biggest crime by far is Facebook and I’m going to start by limiting myself to check just once in the morning, once in the afternoon, once in the evening and not at all between 8:30pm and 7:30am unless its being used to keep me awake during Emma’s crying sessions! I’m pretty sure I’m going to struggle to do this but this is also a sign to me that I do need to stop.
If I’m worrying about not checking on my social media it’s a clear sign its taking over my life and I can’t be giving my daughter my full attention. The whole point of me staying at home to look after her to to be around for these early years and if I’m constantly in worlds with other people there is no way I’m doing that.
I know to some people the idea of only checking on Facebook 3 times a day is still a HUGE amount but being a stay at home mum can be really lonely. You get the moments where you feel like you are the only person struggling and the only person going through day to day issues and Facebook and Twitter can be a refuge from that. No matter what the time is there will be someone, somewhere who can help and who can listen and I can’t explain exactly how much groups on Facebook and people on Twitter have helped me over the past 2 years. But its time to stand on my own two feet now and probably trust a little more in my own instincts. My support system has become my emotional crutch and I need to believe in myself and my parenting skills a little more.
I think I’m also forgetting what its actually like to be social – I’d rather send someone a message than call them. In fact I worry that calling someone is actually inconvenient for them and its easier to send a message by text or though Facebook. I feel sad that the world we live in is one where you could miss a friend asking for help because they’d rather send you a message by text followed by a sad face than actually picking up the phone and talking.
Don’t get me wrong – I won’t be disappearing from social media altogether. I think in this technological age we live in social media will in fact become very important but I think its even more important to establish some ground rules so we don’t become all about the media and less about the social aspects.
I also don’t want my daughter to grow up unable to play with an actual jigsaw puzzle but only one she can drag and drop across the iPad screen. I love it when she plays with real puzzles, actual colouring in and real books and I don’t see she can get the full enjoyment from virtual games in the same way?
This short video from YouTube says it all really – its only a few minutes long but it is lovely and I highly recommend taking just a couple of minutes out from your day to watch it:
P.S – clearly I’ll still be blogging though as that doesn’t count
P.P.S – you can also follow mum in practice on Facebook you know – http://www.facebook.com/muminpractice – I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count either though right?!