‘Whatcha doin Mummy?’ came the inquisitive voice of my 2 year old little cub. ‘I’m er, well, I’m replying to some comments on Facebook’ came my awkward and slightly stumbled reply.
It was the week before we were due to go on holiday, and I was spending a sacred day off with my beautiful baby boy. However here I was on social media, replying to a comment and quite honestly, ignoring the little person right in front of me. This was the point where I realised that I needed to take a break from social media.
For the last decade or so, my morning routine has been something along the lines of turn off alarm; reach for phone; check e-mails; check social media.
It was a bit of an eye opener when Apple started sending through weekly reports on screen time. At first I thought they’d got it wrong – surely I couldn’t be spending that much time simply scrolling through other people’s lives? I could’ve learnt a new language, or mastered some other intellectual hobby rather than what, looking at memes of cats scared of cucumbers? (if you haven’t seen these they’re well worth building up screen-time for!)
My social media obsession has become more prolific since the launch of Cotswold Baby Co, our ‘business baby’ around 18 months ago. As an online business, social media provides us with a fantastic platform to interact and engage with our customers and it’s quite honestly, pretty addictive.
However, the constant monitoring of comments across social media and Facebook’s demands to ‘maintain your excellent response rate’ had started to make me feel more than a bit anxious. The vast majority of our social media followers are amazing and support our little company with constant likes and constructive comments. However there has been the odd occasion where comments have been posted in a ‘not very cricket’ kind of way. Most recently a gentleman from Canada (who I understand now was a bot) jumped on a competition we were hosting and sent over 50 sleazy friend requests to our entrants! Another recent dressing down came when we posted about the sunshine in that well known song about hats and suns. We were chastised for ‘genderising’ the sun…
I was constantly worrying about social media comments, rather than focusing on the present and what was right in front of me.
So my decision came that I needed a break from social media and a week away in the sunshine on a baby-moon with Mr Cotswold Co and our little cub seemed the perfect opportunity. On the way to the airport, much to my husband’s disbelief I deleted all the apps, sat back and literally twiddled my thumbs, (until we arrived at the airport and operation #gettoddleronplane started!).
The break from social media was actually much easier than I anticipated, (also helped by the eye-wateringly expensive data charges). All the cliches are true – I found I had so much more time to just enjoy the moment, to live life a little more slowly and to spend those precious moments with my little cub. Surprisingly I really didn’t miss social media and this was most definitely helped by the fact our business baby was in the safest hands of my partner-in-crime and best friend back at home.
After a week away from social media, I felt well and truly relaxed and looked forward to returning to reality. When your brain isn’t so full of literal junk, you have more time to be creative, to think and just be. Since returning home, I have reinstalled the apps but have made a few changes, namely to limit screen-time after 10pm and to turn off all notifications. With a bit of self-discipline, I’m making a concerted effort to stop the scrolling, stop the worry and to enjoy more special moments with my cute two-nager (that’s definitely what we brought back from holiday!).
I’d highly recommend it.