bon voyage social media

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My thumb hurts.

I looked down at Pearl today and saw she was smiling at me. I nearly missed it because I was too busy scrolling. Mindlessly scrolling through the depths of Instagram.

I couldn’t tell you what I was looking at. It was just one image after another, scroll, scroll, scroll, pause… like… scroll, scroll… then suddenly a movement on my lap caught my eye and there she was looking up at me, gums and dimples and all.

Then and there I decided to follow in the footsteps of some other friends on Instagram and take a break.

I used to take every January off Facebook in the days when I was quite addicted to it. It was amazing how quickly I forgot all about it, how quickly it was replaced by real live things: books, the newspaper, phone calls, conversation, writing. Thoughts that didn’t automatically translate into status updates. But sure enough February would come around and the habit would begin again.

I like Instagram a lot more than Facebook which is both good and bad at the same time. Good because I am engaging in things and people that truly interest me. I’ve connected with some wonderful people that I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise. I’ve had windows opened towards me into other people’s lives. When you’re home with small children it can make you feel less alone to have a peek through those windows, to see what other people are up to. I’ve been inspired by creative people and learned things from other mothers.

But it can also take away from real life, if you let it. Just like it did today, when I almost missed the sweet and fleeting smile of my baby. I’ve misheard questions and comments from Birdie and the Pixie because I’ve been on my phone, ignoring them and not being present. I don’t like the example I am setting them, losing myself in cyber space while I should be reading them a book or listening to their ideas, or just observing, thinking, watching, sitting. I find my attention span is becoming more and more limited as my thumb flicks from here to there, not fully engaging… and it’s not just Instagram, it’s my phone in its entirety. I remember the days I used to scoff when I heard people talking about phones that had cameras on them. I have a camera thank you very much. Ha!

So bye bye Instagram, and while I’m at it: Twitter and Facebook too… I’m off on hiatus for a week or so. Destination: Real Life.

If you’re thinking about it too, check out this video, it might give you the motivation you need!

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5 thoughts on “bon voyage social media

  1. Oh, I think that sounds like a lovely idea. All of your words sound so familiar to me and I agree wholeheartedly with the decision to take a break. I just need to talk myself into doing the same 😉 x

  2. i never had instagram, just to edit some photos taken from the cell phone, which means my profil’s private and i don’t follow any profil. i still have facebook for my friends, because i live far from them (but it’s reduced to 45 friends), but i do love reading to blogs 🙂 anyways i do it in the early morning or while my daughter’s napping/playing with dad…

  3. The irony of ‘liking’ this post from my mobile phone is not lost on me. I’ve been Facebook-free for a year now, and still occasionally form thoughts in ‘status update’ format. It’s an inconvenience socially (and devastating to know I’ve cut myself off from a huge market of potential blog-readers, now that I’m trying to promote myself elsewhere), but I’m still glad I did it. I just need to be mindful not to let other addictions (Twitter? WordPress?!) take its place – maybe going cold turkey on the whole gamut of social media as you have is the way to go! Enjoy your clear head and of course those baby smiles!

  4. Let’s talk more about this tomorrow

    What concerns me is that your generation of children is being brought up in a screen age. You will have to dance a fine line between keeping them in the real world while at the same time not holding them back from progressing at the same rate as everyone else.

    Screens do things to our brains and I’m sure they are not good things.

    Do you know what else I hate? The sight of commuters on the train totally engrossed in mindless screen games with puerile names like candy crush and angry birds and babyish animal themes. It’s like mind control to keep the population quiet.

    More tomorrow……

    >

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