How many of us check our Facebook updates all the time or Instagram to see who likes our photos or the moment somebody makes a comment, we are dying to see what they say so we can respond back?
I became aware of this problem when my daughter deleted a photo of her herself on Instagram because it didn’t get enough likes within the first hour of posting it. After that I started monitoring my own behaviour on social media, I realised that I had the same tendency to always complain about the number of likes or the lack of comments when I posted things either on my personal page or on my professional page. Did I model it to her? This was troubling!
This made me want to explore the issue/problem deeper to see where does it all come from and where will it all end. If we live in a generation that need to be validated by total strangers or feel uplifted by positive comments by random people, then I’m terrified for the future of our young people.
Since then it’s been a bit of a struggle always trying to practice what I preach and the new family rule is only one technology/screen at a time. So that means no watching TV and looking on your phone or no watching TV and looking at your tablet or no phone and tablet together, I think you get the idea! Whenever I forget my nine-year-old son is quick to remind me “Mom, remember no two technologies at the same time!” This pulls me quickly back to my senses and I put one or both away. The other rule for me personally is not to jump and check the moment I see activity on Facebook, Instagram and so on. Real life is happening here, right now in front of me and if I am looking down, I must just miss it!
My challenge to all parents out there :
1. Leave your electronic devices off while eating your family meal, engage with your children instead.
2. Have a set time of the day/night where you actually mute or switch off your phone to be present with yourself and the people around you.
3. Monitor your own responses to likes, comments on your social media.
4. Make someone’s day, by saying ‘Hi’ face to face – the old fashioned way.