Monday, July 22, 2013

Sans social media

Last Christmas my parents got both of my children the Nook reading tablet.  I suggested it mainly for my daughter as she is an avid reader, but according to their old school ways of parenting, they couldn't get one for her and not my son.  Seven months later that reading tablet has turned into a technology friendlier way for them to communicate with their friends through a free texting app called Text Now (they don't own cell phones, yet all of their friends do - sign of suburbia living).

Prior to their acquiring the Nook, my kids would always complain that I spent too much time on my own apps, specifically Twitter and Instagram and would often question who I loved more:  social media or them.  Of course I always answered the latter, but now that they've busied themselves with the lure of apps that are available on their reading tablet, I felt it most important to take this point further by setting an example.  So on June 13, I made a vow to them that I wouldn't access my social media accounts for a month.  To resist the urge to pop in, I even went as far as to delete them from my phone.  Yes folks, I went cold turkey.

At first it felt strange, especially working in the restaurant industry, it's extremely beneficial when you know what's going on in the hospitality world.  There are constant changes and if you don't keep up it does affect you to a degree.  I stand by this wholeheartedly.  But I have to admit, it felt good not to have to worry about what chef was hired at where, new restaurant openings, recent reviews, which friend has been to the latest hot spot and what specials/attractions were going on in town.  It almost reminded me of the days back when we didn't have the instant access to such news that we have now. When life was actually normal, less hectic.

I am spending a lot more time hanging out with the kids since it's been summer break.  I feel like I am getting to know them in a different light.  They are growing up and changing so fast.  I wish I could pause some moments because before I know it, they won't want to hang out with me anymore.  It's been enlightening.  It's caused me to reflect on what's most important and how I would never trade them for anything else in the world.

I don't know if my giving up social media for a month had any immediate effect on them, but it sure did on me and if that's to count for anything, it will in the long run have a positive influence on them.  It definitely taught me to take breaks.  Reflection is a necessary tool for the soul especially in the fast moving world we live in now.  Realizing that we can live without most material things is a very crucial trait one must carry through hard times.  Those things come and go.  It's the people we love that we can't do without. They are priceless and for that, being reminded of this made the lesson of sans social media so much more worth it.

Hanging out with my fan club at Big Star

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