So it's the new year, and many are talking about new year resolutions. The perennial favorite when it comes to "promises to self" deals with weight loss. Lately, however, "social media diet" has grown increasingly popular.
Take mom Denise Stirk, a contributing writer for PopSugar, for example. She has decided that she had enough of Facebook, but she didn’t want to go as far as deleting her account. Stirk confesses, “I love Facebook. Like a lot. So much so that I found myself spending all sorts of time looking at it, searching it, and bringing it into just about every conversation.”
Denise's goal was to cut back on the social media app. “I just needed to ease up the amount of time I was spending on it. So I decided to keep my account but delete the app from my phone. I can still check in on my computer as often as I want.”
The decision, Denise says, has done her a world of good. “It may sound crazy, but I know I'm a better mom now that I don't have 24/7 access to my Facebook news feed,” she said. On PopSugar, Stirk listed down her learnings since deleting the app from her phone, and here are five of our favorites that may help you manage your time on social media apps.
1. There’s a shift in attention. Results from a global survey show half of the children think their parents spend too much time on their mobile phones. What's more, 32% of the kids felt unimportant when their parents used their phones during meal times, conversations, and playtime. It’s easier to fully be present with your little one when you don't have your eyes glued to the screen.
2. There’s more room for patience. More patience is a common wish among parents. Stirk reveals there were times she’d become irritable when her kids would interrupt her while she was on Facebook. It hasn’t happened since she’s made the leap to delete. “Now, if I want to check it on my computer, I'll do it at a time when they are not really affected,” she wrote.
3. There’s less pressure to be the “perfect parent.” “I hate to admit it, because I don't consider myself to be insecure, but Facebook provided a platform for me to compare myself to other moms,” Stirk wrote. With less access to her social media, however, she said it has become “not nearly as mentally consuming.”
Lots of moms will be able to relate. TV host and mom Bianca Gonzalez herself shared that social media added to the “insane pressure” millennial moms felt. “Whenever I see posts it’s always the happy, beautiful, smiling, ‘this is the best thing ever’ side of motherhood,” she told SmartParenting.com.ph. “Pero when I experienced it the first three months — di ka naliligo, di ka kumakain on time. There are days that you cry.”
4. Taking pictures becomes more meaningful. Admit it. There are times that you take pictures so that you can post them on Facebook. With the “like” and “comment” obsessed digital age, somehow, we’ve blurred out the true joy and purpose of photographing loved ones — to be able to capture a moment in time as a treasure to keep. “Without the app and the ease of posting via my phone, I still take pictures, but they're for me now,” said Stirk.
5. The kids learn from your example. As they say, actions speak louder than words. It’s hard to enforce screen rules, like no gadgets at the dinner table, when the rule-makers themselves don’t follow them. The dream is that the kids will be less inclined to use their tablets because your attention has shifted from your phone to them.