Today, I deactivated my Facebook account. This happened about 2 hours ago, and I’ve already noticed something: I have a lot more time to do things. Simple, simple things, like the dishes. Like answering my kids right away when they need me. Like making a pizza from scratch. Like sitting down and writing this: something that’s more than a silly blurb about my kids, a rant about some news item, or commenting on someone else’s status. The plain and simple fact that this tool has seeped into my life to this degree really speaks volumes to me. And I’m glad that I am breaking ties with it.
Granted, I have the day off today, but even when I don’t, I have too much that otherwise engages me. Yesterday, I took the kids to a Noon Years Eve party at Union Station. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about leaving my phone in my purse when we’re out and about, not even to take pictures. Although pictures are nice and I love taking them, I have realized lately that I don’t need to document every single moment of every single day. That’s what memories are for, right? Anyhow… One activity was homemade soda in the Test Kitchen. I looked about me as the kids were intently listening to the instructor, and I noticed something: while the kids were engaged with the instructor, almost every parent had their face in their phone. Scrolling through Facebook, texting, taking pictures. What kind of example is this setting? I am as guilty as the next guy, but really…we are expecting kids to pay attention in real time, but we aren’t setting an example by listening and watching along too. And the kids…they notice.
You might ask yourself (as I have MANY MANY MANY times), “What does it matter? I’m sitting right here with them. I’m here. I’m present.” Now ask yourself how many times your kids have tried talking to you while you’re on the phone, and you’ve said, “Just a sec”, or looked up after they’re done talking to you and said, “What?”, or not paid one lick of attention to what they’ve said, but still distantly replied, “Yeaaaah”, or “Mmmmhmmmm”. Or, when your kids want you to pay attention to something, and ask you ten million times to watch watch watch or look look look, because they know that you otherwise half-heartedly pay attention. No? Just me?
I want this year to be one where my kids know that they have their mom present in their lives, and not addicted to the screen. We’ve always limited time on video games and computers for them. However, I’ve never set limits for myself, which isn’t fair, and is sending a mixed message. How confusing for them. This can be no more.
It’s been so long since I’ve sat down and written anything longer than a paragraph because I’m just so busy. But I’m not. This morning has already proven that in spades.
I honestly have no idea if this will be read by anyone, and it really doesn’t matter. I am content with this choice. I hope this year brings you health and happiness. Cheers.