I haven’t blogged for a while and my use of social media has been dramatically reduced. Why? Because I felt I had become addicted to all the bullshit that goes with it. The last thing I would look at at night was my phone. The first thing I would look at in the morning was my phone so that I could to see how many views or how many likes or new followers I had on social media.
Did it make me feel better?
It was having the opposite effect. It was getting me down and I knew that something had to change, but it’s bit like being an alcoholic, which I have been. You have to admit to yourself you have a problem that needs resolving and quickly. I was sick of being short-tempered, snapping at the kids because I thought I needed to look at my phone. I was making those around me unhappy because of a very unhealthy addiction I had. An addiction to social media.
This obsession, no actually, this addiction (let’s call it what it really is) to blogging and social media was beginning to make me feel very uncomfortable and actually unhappy inside. To the point where I would look online for assistance from somebody such as BetterHelp
The whole issue came to a head a couple of weeks ago just before we were to go away to Bluestone Wales in Pembrokeshire on a press trip with Persil.
A couple of days before the trip one of our seven year old twin girls said to my wife, her mum: “Mummy you know when we go to Bluestone, will there be internet there?” My wife replied, “I don’t know darling” and asked “Why do you want to know?” My seven year old daughter replied with: “I hope there isn’t because so that daddy won’t be on his phone.”
When my wife told me this the following day. My initial reaction was a feeling of shame and I was totally mortified that my seven year old daughter saw me as constantly on my phone. The truth is though I am constantly on my phone. Well, I was! This has inspired a change in me. I want to be a role model to all my children, but especially my seven year old twin girls. I want to show them some good values in life and that there is more to life than technology. I want them to grow up remembering that dad was there playing football with them, doing crafts and going to the park with them, not sitting on the bench holding his phone, but being involved with them. I want to create memories with them that they will take into their adult life and hopefully one day re-create it with their own children.
Family life is slowly being eroded, if not totally destroyed by social media. The generation that is now growing up is growing up watching us as parents being obsessed with social media and technology. We as families are losing the ability to talk to each other and have fun together, to laugh together because we are obsessed by the latest photo we have uploaded to Instagram or Facebook and how many likes it is getting. It is a very sad addiction that people have to inform in all honesty total strangers about every move they make during the day on stories. What they should really be doing is spending time with their children and giving them love and affection and in all honesty you can’t tell me they are when I read posts that state some parents are spending in excess of 50 hours on their phones per week. That is such a bad role model to our children and not one I want to be associated with.
We are yet to see the full extent of social media on peoples mental health but believe me it will have have an effect on our children’s minds that will be impossible to reverse unless as parents we do something about it now!
It is of course everybody’s personal choice what they do, but for me I want to be a responsible parent that shows love and attention to my children and to be the best role model I can. That of course means using technology, but not making it the most important part of our lives. I want my twins to grow up knowing that there is life beyond a phone and social media is actually very unimportant in life.
It took a seven year old child with one statement about my use of social media to make me feel very ashamed and mortified and that I was letting my children down. I have changed my habits completely and now I delete all social media apps off my phone every weekend and I am writing blog posts only about once or twice a week.
I do not want my seven year old twins getting to their teenage years and saying dad doesn’t listen he is always on his phone.
Let’s start a campaign to put our phones away and show our children the true meaning and values of life. #putyourphonesaway #childrenneedparentsnotphones