Signing Out and Logging In

I didn’t consciously make any new year’s resolutions – the date was just a coincidence, but on December 31st I closed all of my social media accounts. As social media de-toxes are all the rage, it’s a pretty acceptable excuse. So when I failed to Insta-post my morning latte, artfully framed and carefully filtered (with “Rise”, of course), the flurry of text messages questioning my health were quickly placated with “de-toxing”!

It’s not that social media doesn’t have benefits – especially living in the UAE. I loved keeping up with my college classmates and old coworkers a world away. I enjoyed watching my high school friends become parents, and the hint of schadenfreude seeing my old nemesis get fat. (Just kidding). (Maybe).

Also, being a SAHM, social media was the easiest way to stay relatively up-to-date on current events via status updates, blogs, and links. And how I got to step out of the mommy-and-wife-world to keep in touch with my single and/or childless friends and talk about technology and poverty vs. puke and behavior issues.

Mainly, though, I really liked that my Facebook and Twitter accounts had become a filter for articles and blogs that my friends found interesting. I spent hours reading everything from Why Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes to getting stuck on an endless TEDx Talk marathon.

But I have to come clean – some won’t understand why I made the jump, but those who share my addiction will get it. Why not just cut down? That doesn’t work for me; I need cold turkey totality without temptation to truly kick a habit.

The root of the issue is that while I was happily immersed in my social media world, the one thing it didn’t involve was my family. I would not be present because I’d be too busy reading something online. This had to end.

Oh, but what about my job! It requires some level of social media involvement! I couldn’t possibly stop! What about the information I had to gather! The contacts I had to keep up with! Honestly, I haven’t found a happy medium, but am working on it. All I know for certainty is that my family takes priority without room for compromise to our happiness

And now I have no excuse to be on my phone while my kids are playing. I get down on the floor and push those cars, stack those blocks, and doodle my little heart out. I’m now paying attention to you over coffee, I don’t have little notifications encouraging me to find out who posted what. I now give my husband full concentration instead of idly scrolling while he recounts his latest golf game with hole-by-hole detail. And now I’m here, in your face and not caught up with them, miles away and behind a screen. And that alone makes me hopeful that I’ve made a small step to a happier 2014.
What changes can you make to the way you spend your time so that you are more involved with your family? What’s stopping you from making that happen?

Manal Hamid

Manal Hamid

Partner & COO at Moms Guide Abu Dhabi
aka, Emirati Mom
A 30-something mom of two kids making everything happen all at once! SAHM who recently made the leap back to working full-time.
Manal Hamid

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