Is it just me…or is the new trend social media shaming these days? You’ve probably seen one of the many articles or videos out, about how we all need to put down the phones and socialize. And yes, I do agree with that…in theory. I also would have to disagree though. There is – gasp – a middle ground.

I don’t see anything wrong with sharing tidbits of our day on Facebook or Instagram. If I want to take a picture of something that moved me or made me smile, I bloody well will. I enjoy documenting things, and social media has kind of given me one fantastic, quick and easy, cheap ass way of doing it.

One day, when I’m old and my kids have grown and left the nest…I’ll have all these pictures, and attached to them will be all the memories behind them. Every picture I have taken will remind me of that moment.

I also work from home. I run my own business, and I am a writer. When I’m on the computer, I’m usually writing. Occasionally, blogging (but I’m honestly not very good at blogging from the computer for some reason…). When I’m on my cell phone, I’m generally doing little tasks for my business. I’m finalizing orders, helping my teammates with any questions they have, and sharing deals to my business page.

And yes, I do check social media just to decompress. I don’t smoke, so it’s my five minute mental break when I desperately need it. Some people have smoke breaks, others do yoga (maybe I should start doing yoga?), I check Twitter or Facebook. I also check in with my friends to see how they’re doing. I know several who are going through rough times. I want them to know that I am here, if they need to chat. I reach out to them because I know how isolating it can be to have nobody reach out, even by social media.

That being said, I’m not always on the phone. I spend a hell of a lot of time with my kids…in fact, I’m with them from sun up until sun done. Literally. Playing with Lego, building forts, playing outside, and going to the park. Then there’s all the cleaning, preparing and cooking of meals, laundry and running of errands. Sure, I’ll pull my phone out, check to see if my husband’s called me from out of province, or snap a quick picture of the kids doing something ridiculously adorable.

I think that everybody is spending a little too much time being a little too overly concerned with what other people are doing. Sure, social media may not always be a good thing. We may need a reminder every now and then to look upbut you can’t sit there and say that “this mom is doing something wrong because she’s on her cellphone and not paying 100% attention to her kids”.

I’m sorry, regardless of social media…how often did any parent from any generation give 100% of their constant attention to their kids? I, personally, remember being ushered outside to play by myself so my mom could have a mental break. She may not have been on Twitter back then, but she certainly wasn’t watching my ass 24/7. Guess what? I learned how to entertain myself. I knew my parents loved me, but I also knew that the only person who can really entertain me is me. I learned not to expect other people to keep me entertained. I learned how to use my imagination. I played outside a lot and I intend for my kids to do exactly the same thing.

Generations before my mom did the same thing. Remember that motto from way back when, children should be seen and not heard? Do you really think that generation clapped every single time Junior went down the slide? Back then, it was uncommon and difficult for people to show affection and emotion like we do today. I think we’re all doing pretty damn good.

In my humble opinion, everyone needs to cut everyone else some slack. Even themselves. We’re a tough society, telling each other how it is and how it should be and not hesitating to “put someone in their place”. Compassion has fallen to the wayside, and I really don’t think social media is the cause.

About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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6 Responses to Pressure

  1. YES YES YES! This is so true! People are always shaming my for being online too much. But it my means of decompression. I don’t smoke or do drugs so this is what I do. Deal with it!

    • Jess says:

      You’re not online 24/7. Checking in, sending a quick message or note, then disappearing again to do kid related stuff doesn’t mean you’re on it 24/7. We are exactly the same – it’s our quick “smoke break”.

      People don’t tell smoking moms they should quit smoking because they’re not spending enough time with their kids. They may say “smoking is bad for you, you should quit”, but I’ve never heard “you’re not spending enough time with your kids” addressed to a smoking mom.

      Again, live and let live…people need to stop being so concerned with what everyone else is doing and focus on what THEY’RE doing.

  2. Gerry says:

    Could not agree more. People love ranting against Social Media or Technology in general now a days as if we were staring at blank screens. I’m constantly reminding people that the word Social is there for a reason. I’ve reconnected with so many actual friends thanks to Facebook. And the internet and these phones open up to worlds of information. How is that any different from people reading newspapers or books back in the day? It’s not, that’s how. Except it’s actually better because there’s more information. Absolutely, balance is important, but that’s for each person to decide for themselves.

    • Jess says:

      So true! It’s the constant monitoring and “you shoulds” that drive me nuts. I personally don’t care if someone else is spending “too much” time on their phone. Who knows what their life is like when I’m not around them? I’m only getting the briefest glimpse into their world.

      I was honestly repulsed by that post about it. It’d be like writing a “Dear Mom at the restaurant” post, critiquing someone on their child’s behavior during dinner and that parent’s ‘inability’ to correct it.

      Ridiculous. I don’t know why so many people took it as law. Pff. Monitor your own time on screen, and worry about what you’re doing…not some person you don’t know.

  3. almostakiss says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Jess. Everyone is far too concerned with what other people are doing or how they spend their time. I see nothing wrong with social media. I know it can be taken too far but if someone can find a way to have a real life and a virtual life, more power to them. I can’t seem to spread myself thin enough to manage both Twitter AND Instagram since I started selling online again. I know how much time it takes to have a home business but social media really helps make it possible to really flourish working at home.

    That phrase “children should be seen and not heard” was my dad’s favorite saying. I hated it. I always wanted to be heard. Loud & clear. You’re so right that back in the day, affection was not a given. My parents were raised without being hugged or told “I love you”. I think we’ve come a long way!

    Compassion is a necessity but in short supply. So is empathy. It seems like a lot of people were never taught to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. I love your blog posts and always will! Sorry I’ve been scarce on here lately.

  4. Aussa Lorens says:

    NAILED IT: “I think that everybody is spending a little too much time being a little too overly concerned with what other people are doing.”

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