I Feel Ashamed And Mortified #putyourphonesaway

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?

No.

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

21 thoughts on “I Feel Ashamed And Mortified #putyourphonesaway

  1. I am totally with you on this one. Ironically, before I started my blog, I was one of those parents that as soon as the kids finished school, my phone went onto silent mode and got left on the kitchen side, which was great for the kids and not so good as a self employed person 😂. Then came the blog and all that goes with it and slowly I found myself becoming everything I didn’t want to be. I made a similar judgment call a month or so back to try and reduce the time on my phone while the kids are about. Let’s get it trending #putyourphonesaway

  2. Great post, Nige. I completely agree with what you’re saying but think you’re being a little hard on yourself at the same time. Looking at your Instagram, you’re always spending time with your kids. That said, we could all do with going off grid more often and I’ve also become a lot less enthused with social media in recent months for a fair few of the reasons you outline above.

  3. One of the great ironies for those of us blogging about family life, isn’t it? We know our kids are spending too much time on their devices, but what about us so-called adults!! A timely warning, Nige, but don’t throw the baby (or the twins!!) out with the bathwater. It’s a question of balance, as always. Great post!

  4. Well done for acting on that feedback Nigel. I recognise this behaviour in myself too. I need some more boundaries with my phone and social media I think but it’s so tricky! Thank you for sharing this post. It’s given me food for thought.

  5. Nige it can be all consuming. You have built up such a big online presence and once you are at the top of the tree it must be hard to stand back sometimes. A timely reminder from your loved ones and I wish you well in your quest to stand back.

  6. After watching my wife for years and how she uses her phone, I’ve tried to be stricked on myself, I budget myself time to use my phone and go on social media. It means I don’t do as much as I should or others. But I’m trying to get the balance right. In our house both me and boo ban going on our phones at certain times.

  7. I am totally with you on this one. I haven’t been blogging in a while too – just been putting out random posts but nothing that grips me. I have to say that my dad’s sudden death did bring change in me and I’ve been slowly distancing myself from my phone. So much so that I have up to 100 notifications on my Facebook account sometimes, that I am missing people’s posts on Instagram. But hey it doesn’t matter as long as I am focusing on what is important and that is spending those precious moments with my family.

  8. Well done for noticing you had a problem. I don’t feel glued to my phone or Social Media, to be fair, I’ve had my fill of it all. I blog on my laptop for a few hours each day, writing posts, checking e-mails etc. and I make sure I’m ready for when the kids get in from school to talk to them about their day (before, they go and get their devices for the evening, but I can’t blame them if they’ve been stuck in school all day.)
    Great campaign!

  9. #putyourphonesaway – Well said Sir! Revolution is well and truly started. Sometimes it is the small little changes that can have the biggest results.

  10. It’s so easy to fall down this slippery slope when it comes to social media. We have a no phones at the dinner table rule and I try to ensure that I do blogging and social media stuff after bedtime so the kids are getting quality time not just the top of my head! #ThatFridayLinky

  11. It is so addictive, I turned of. Business account on Instagram so I didn’t spend aged analysing. Feel so much better. If it gets to much sometimes I just delete it and restore it when I have had some head space X #thatfridaylinky

  12. OMG I totally agree with this. Have you watched “Black Mirror”, the episode called Smithereens? It is gripping and really reflects our obsession with social media. I think you are doing the right thing distancing yourself from it and from that phone! Your children will thank you, definitely! And we can all learn from your example #thatFridaylinky

  13. Its about finding that balance, these kids will be growing up with this technology so we can’t hide it from them or make them think its evil, but do need to show them how to use it responsibly. I think it will be easier for them, having grown up with it their whole lives, than it is for us old farts

  14. Being a blogger, I have to keep on top of my social channels and yes, it is demanding. That said, I am quite disciplined about it and take steps not to use my phone in front of my kids. I’ve also just recently removed notifications from my phone. Helps enormously.

  15. I am the first to admit I use my phone way too much and am always checking it when im at home. But I do make a proper effort to leave it in my bag when im out and about either with friends or Mr A.

    #abitofeverything

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