Earlier this week, I spent my precious pre-school, childfree hours sort of looking at jobs on LinkedIn, but mainly dicking about on Facebook. Seriously, the time just evaporated without me realising. It wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t offered to host the first ever lunch / play date for Bobble’s best friends and their mum. My hastily cobbled together lunch offering was frankly a bit shoddy as was Bobble’s behaviour. I was embarrassed but also really annoyed that I’d let social media suck me into the extent that I’d neglected the needs of the lovely real people in my life.
Another mum at pre-school was kicking herself for “only running 5K today” when she could’ve been doing useful stuff around the house. I decided to keep quiet about how I’d spent the morning checking out bathrooms on house porn Pinterest, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
I spend an unhealthy amount of time online and it’s starting to get to me.
Mr R checks his Facebook about once a week (I reckon I’m averaging 20 times a day). The last time he did, his exact words were…”I’m just going to trawl through some of this shit.”
I have developed a strong admiration verging on envy for people who declare that they don’t have time or can’t see the point in being all over social media. In their company I’ve started feeling like a bit of a loser. They’ve obviously got far more worthwhile things to be getting on with.
The problem is, I’m in way too deep now. I’m not talking about the kind of addiction that involves obsessively taking, filtering and posting selfies all day long. I’m talking about habitually checking news headlines, liking and sharing motivational quotes, cute videos and parenting tips as if the world would stop turning if I didn’t.
My addiction has snowballed since I stopped working and then got horrendously ill with flu – the perfect storm. Essentially housebound for most of January, I mainlined Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter round the clock. I am now extremely well informed on Brexit, the refugee crisis, how granny shoes are the new ballet pump and the relationship status of Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander – so basically 50% guff.
I am also following mainstream media’s new interest in ‘Mothers of Instagram’, albeit in a love/hate way. Much has been written about the overuse of social media inciting anxiety and FOMO syndrome amongst teens but I reckon mums are prone to this too.
Social media can do a remarkable amount of good in this world but when you start becoming emotionally invested in your ‘profile’ and your relationships feel compromised, something has to change.
On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I will start a 2- week break from my personal social media accounts. Cold Turkey. I honestly think it might be harder than giving up smoking.
Wish me luck.