Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. There are so many different types of social media which people use every second of every single day. Checking Facebook every 5 minutes, uploading a photo to Instagram, pinning a new recipe on Pinterest. We are so in touch with the world it’s scary. Yet we’ve seemed to have lost touch with each other.

Social Media
Image credit – https://teachersandsocialmedia.co.nz/what-social-media

Mark and I will chat to each other during the day via Whatsapp. It’s easier and cheaper and we’re able to chat while in a meeting, or in between reports. I check Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat every chance I get. Wondering who’s saying what, who did what last night, or who shared a really funny video using the Snapchat filters. We get home and after supper, bathing the kids and putting them to bed, we sit in the lounge “watching” tv and connecting. Yes, we’re connecting by being on our phones almost all the time until we get into bed. Then we spend another half hour browsing social media in bed.

Why don’t we switch off? How do we switch off? This has been bothering for a while now. Especially when Matthew asks me to help him with a drawing he’s busy with and I ask to just hold on for me for 2 minutes while I finish scrolling on FB. Or when Ethan cries for his milk and I get irritated that I’ll have to watch that Snap again after I’ve seen to him.

Our children are born into this technological age but I don’t want them to believe it’s the be all and end all. We and our parents have had to learn how to use it, what’s safe and what takes loads of data. It’s still a novelty for us, especially when there’s a new app or a new filter or a new something every few days.

I want my children to grow up the same way I did. If I was bored, I had to find something to do to keep myself busy. Games were played outside and you had to get special permission from dad to play games on the pc. And then he had to type in the MS-DOS commands to bring the game up. My parents were fully with us when they decided that they had to pay some attention to us. Card games, watching videos on the VCR, they even played kickball outside with us.  I think our children have it too easy, too many channels to watch on DSTV, tablets and iphones, thousands of games that even my 1 year old knows how to switch on.

I’ve taken a little break from some social media this last few weeks and it’s been torture. I keep thinking about what I’m missing out on (I have serious FOMO on a good day), what Snaps I’m missing making, Instagram photos I’ve missed. But my children have loved the break, loved that I’ve been less irritated and been more involved with them. I think we need to do this more often.

Do you switch off? Do you make a plan to not look at your phones certain times of the day?

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