Thursday, 24 September 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA | AFFECTING OUR FAMILY


Last week, as I sat looking through my phone, checking my facebook and twitter and stalking my favourite instagramers, I just happened to looked up for a second to see my little boy picking up his toys and aimlessly wondering around the room.  He looked lost, he was content and happy but he wasn't really engaged in anything, just wondering around picking things up, putting them down, shouting random sounds.  In the days prior, he'd been playing up, it had been a difficult few days and I was feeling emotionally drained with the amount of tellings off he'd had for not listening, (I know he's only one), touching stuff I'd said not too and just generally being naughty.

That evening when Oscar went to bed I spoke to my husband about the previous few days and how it had been difficult. Why was he behaving like that? and why would he not take a telling from me yet a single look from my husband seemed to work a treat.  As I spoke it through with my husband I had this deep knot in my stomach, almost like a feeling of guilt (I hate that feeling).  We initially spoke about how he was just testing the boundaries, it was all normal this stuff, he's one, he's learning, but something still didn't feel right.  As I lay in bed that night, that niggling knot kept at me and then I realised, my son wasn't getting the attention he deserved!  He was bored, he was playing up because he wanted attention, attention that I/we SHOULD have been giving him.  Instead I'd been checking my Facebook and twitter and keeping up to date with the goings on of the world.  That evening my husband and I had a wedding reception, as we travelled to the venue I told my husband my thoughts and he agreed, we spend far to much time on our bloody phones! Social media IS affecting our family!  My son is one and can work my iPhone ... ok so he can't actually work it properly but he knows how to flick through pictures and videos and loves to press the home button and actually walks around with it at his ear.  What does that tell you ... shocking!

The following morning when I got up to give Oscar his breakfast I purposely left my phone on the bedside table.  After breakfast I pulled out his ball pit and all his toys and we played.  We played for over an hour, Oscar was so happy, we read books, raced cars, threw balls, played chase and then he gave me a huge cuddle .... and I almost cried!  All he wanted was some attention, he wanted a buddy to play with and engage with.   More mummy guilt, but it was thoroughly deserved.

My husband and I introduced blackout at the start of the year, you can read all about that in this post, however we seemed to have slipped back into our old ways.  We are now reinstating black out and making a conscious effort to stay off our phones whilst Oscar's awake and ensure that he is getting the attention he deserves!

I am sure that we are all guilty of being on our phones and checking our social media apps way more than necessary, however, it doesn't make us bad people/parents.  I absolutely love blogging, youtube, facebook, twitter, instagram and anything else social media based, it's my hobby, something I enjoy, but is it all too much?  Has it gone too far?  Are we switching off from reality?  Sure the internet is an interesting place and sure I'll still squint at my phone now and then, but ultimately family time comes first and it's important to still engage in human contact once in a while!

Are you guilty?  What have / do you do to combat social media affecting your family time?

Kirsty x

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