I’ve done some soul searching and one of the conclusions I came up with was that I spend way too much time on social media than is healthy. We all focus on how much screen time our kids have. My son is allowed 30 mins a day on his iPad but I would spend hours on my phone. I would spend countless hours playing on Facebook and playing random games I had downloaded on my phone. Also I have noticed how much my children love the phone and iPad. My daughter who is only 19 months old loves the phone! Her eyes light up like she’s holding a treasure when she gets ahold of it and her hands are like little vice grips. She’s probably thinking, “what is this thing that my daddy loves so much?” So I decided to give it up and it lasted around 2 weeks. Here is what I discovered.
I am a stay at home dad and my 5 year old son attends preschool mostly full time and my 19 month daughter attends a Kids Dayout twice a week. After giving up Facebook I noticed that I could keep on task a lot easier. I was able to accomplish many more tasks because I was more efficient. I stopped letting household chores pile up like I had and I’ve been able to keep the house picked up and kitchen clean. I have also read the book “The 5 Love Languages” and my wife’s #1 love language is Acts of Service which isn’t hard for me to do but she’s kind of a perfectionist and I am not. So I quickly found out that what I had been doing over the years drove her crazy and I’m slowly rewiring myself to do some of the tasks in a type A manner. One of my main jobs around the house is the dreaded laundry. Nearly everything my wife and daughter owns has to be hang dried which I do. Well my daughters clothes have tons of layers and pieces and they don’t always come out neatly ironed. You can only whip back and forth the wet clothes to get the wrinkles to fall out before you hand it. So now I’m ironing every hang dry piece of clothing they two own. Btw, I could iron 10 of my shirts in the amount of time it takes me to iron one outfit of my daughters and she’s a size 18 month! But if thats what it takes to make my wife happy then its worth it to me.
Second, I noticed how much more time I was able to spend with my family. I don’t know how many times I’ve played “kitchen” with my daughter and how many times I’ve read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” but she’s been enjoying the fact that I’m not glued to my phone anymore. I also have noticed how much time I devote to her versus the amount of time I do for my son. She’s at that stage where you have to keep both eyes glued to her because she is into everything. My son is a pretty great kid. I also found myself tired at night and when my son asked me to play with him I’d say no I’m tired. So after realizing I’ve been doing this a long time I decided to let him pick out one activity to play with him each day that I couldn’t say “no” to. The first thing he chose was to vacuum and wash my truck, so this is definitely starting out well.
Lastly, I’ve enjoyed it the most. Its like a freedom lifted from me. There are studies that state that you get a dopamine release every time someone “likes or comments” on your social media posts. Which this release of dopamine is the reason we all stay glued to our phones right? After I gave it up I noticed I now longed for smiles on my families faces instead of likes on my phone.
In conclusion I am glad that I did this for both me and my family. My family are the ones that I find so dear and not my superficial Facebook friends. Don’t take offense FB friends that now family is now taking up my free time and not you. I did decide to take Facebook back up but only to give weekly updates with pictures and such so distant family can keep up. If anyone is looking for a change or to experiment like I did I would encourage you to give it a try. Good day.