Chicago mom unplugs from social media

I have a problem.

With social media.

It is a love/hate relationship at best.

I love that I can share my blog, my thoughts and interact with friends and family on a daily basis.

I hate that we know way more than we need to because we are able to access everything, all the time, DAY AND NIGHT.

It is too much at times.

Recently, on my regular blog, I mentioned that I needed to step away from social media a bit.

A few weeks ago, I did indeed take the apps for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest off of my smart phone.

I read this article on Facebook, ironically enough, a few Monday’s back and within minutes, I pressed those wiggly little apps into oblivion.

The article in short, is a pediatrician lamenting about how we are too connected when it comes to our smart devices, telling the story of a toddler asking Siri what an ear infection is as he sits in the doctor’s office, while his father sits staring at his phone the entire time.

I had mixed feelings about the article but the main takeaway for me was simple: I really do need to put down my phone more.

Because there are eyes watching me.

I have heard my six-year-old tell me on more than one occasion, “Please stop texting, mommy,” when we were supposed to be coloring together or while we were playing.

I wasn’t texting when she told me that.

I was on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.

That was really hard for me to write, by the way.

One of the big three forms of social media, not sure which, looking back.

I wasn’t “with” her that is for sure and that makes my heart, in retrospect, hurt.

Greatly.

Now, I don’t want to seem all self-righteous, so I hope this doesn’t come off as such.

Look at me! Taking the big step, making time for my family, doing what is RIGHT! What is GOOD! Blah blah blah.

I love me some Facebook.

It is from this invention that I have met amazing people, friends who make me laugh until I cry and I can see what my family is doing from many miles away.

It’s created this huge support system that I honestly don’t know what I would do without.

It is Twitter that has opened new worlds to me, let me share my blog with people from other countries and have conversations with cool people and places, like Superdawg and the kid from Jerry Maguire.

By the way, he doesn’t like to be called that.

Because he is like, 28 now.

SEE??

I WOULDN’T KNOW THAT WITHOUT TWITTER.

It is from Pinterest that I have made amazing changes to my home, recipes that have made amazing changes to my hips and gained thousands of page views to my blog.

I am indebted.

But I also don’t need to carry it around with me like a backpack hanging on my neck night and day.

In the weeks since having the apps off of my phone, I have noticed a huge change in myself.

I worry less, I feel less stressed out and I am in the moment.

I don’t have to constantly check my phone, see what everyone is up to or tell the world where in the heck I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still get my social media fix on my laptop or my tablet because I do love being in touch.

But those are at home, not with me constantly, and knowing that I need to make a time for it instead of it having me at all times is so very freeing.

My husband and I had a full 45 minutes of uninterrupted conversation in the car on Wednesday.

In the past, I would see that little red number on my Facebook app and immediately click it without thought or reservation.

Then read aloud to him what I was reading about other people and their lives.

“Hey! Wait ‘til you hear this!”

“Want to take a quiz to see what game show host you were in a past lifetime?!?!”

“Oooh, look at this video of a bear dancing with a duck!!”

I was taking time away from my real life relationships for a … duck?

And Pat Sajak?

Instead of taking that quiz, we talked.

I told him a story from my childhood that he had never heard in the 12 years we have been together.

He shared with me his love for old school rap.

We drove down a road we both had never been, breathing in the fresh fall air, sighing about how beautiful this day was, drinking it all in.

Sitting side by side in the car, talking, shouting lyrics at the top of our lungs with the windows open, feeling like we were 24 years old again.

I cannot wait to share it all in a status update.

Nah.

I guess you really just had to be there.

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