I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post along these lines for so long, but always thought no, dont be annoyed, deep breaths lol. Then I saw yet another post and I remembered i’d rather blurt it out into words than push the frustration away to spring back on the next post I see inadvertently shaming someone else in a ‘positive’ way. #positivevibesmyarse
The latest post I saw was from an influencer who had upwards of 150k followers, they started off with the whole, are we present vibe, which swiftly turned into making completely unnecessary assumptions of parents in the local park or restaurant of not being present because they ‘see it all the time’. Explaining that social media has taken over people’s lives, become an addiction – whilst posting this on social media – which is where their ‘influencer’ status earns their bread and butter. FYI I’m not judging this person – I don’t judge anyone, which is what I’m coming too. Im merely paraphrasing their post caption. They even went on to complain about people taking photos of every moment – ugh – as a photographer that really boils me – I take photos of everything, I’m still in the moment I’m just capturing it because I want to look back and be transported back to the feelings of that time. My memory sucks – I know that photographs help me remember the little things, the big things and anything else in between – anyway procrastination central.
The reason things like these frustrate me, is this post for example now has over 28k likes, umpteen comments from other Mums, Dads and people commenting things like YASSSSS, or 100% true, I saw a Mum do this poor kids etc…blah blah – all whilst on social media – surely that’s hypocritical at best. The poster says they’re an ‘influencer’ surely they know the impact they could have on influencing other’s opinions into the same ball of stereotypical nonsense they posted – from the comments alone its happened.
But again I wont judge that eee theyre on their phones because do you know why….. I don’t know them, their back story, their current issues, their sadness or happiness, their thoughts, their brains or their hearts. It’s 2019 for christs sake, you’d literally think in this day and age where difference is more acceptable there wouldn’t even be posts of this manner. I know from personal experience, how anxious I used to get and feel like I need to voice it like ‘lets see the time’ if god forbid I looked at my phone whilst I was at a softplay – more than likely to check my bloody bank balance to make sure I can afford a snack for us – my solo parenting woe but others didn’t know that – so would they make the assumption I wasn’t present?
How about everyone just doesn’t judge on other peoples actions. This world is full of negativity and if being on my phone in a park then pastes a huge label on me from morons who judge of not being present in my son’s life that’s extremely sad. In a time when we’re talking more openly than ever about mental health – why are posts like this even being made. If you feel like you’re not present and you change up your routine and choose to come off your phone then that’s YOUR choice for YOUR family. I’m happy for you. You don’t need to then decide that other parents choices for their family needs an opinion a tut or condescending glare because you know nothing about their life, you’ve probably seen less than 30 seconds and judged. Mam guilt is already a vast rollercoaster we all ride. Being on a phone in that moment doesn’t make someone less present, theyre often bashed and used as an excuse or scapegoat for posts just like these when ultimately its the person who feels less present. On the opposite/positive end phones can be beneficial, they’re a diary, an encyclopedia, an educational tool, inspiring and resonating communities on social media, a group chat with family and friends to share special moments or feel less isolated when you’ve not had an adult conversation for days, keeping people connected- not an enemy! I personally prioritise things in a manner of different ways or at least attempt some sort of schedule if that goes to pot I’m not going to be made feel bad for it, I’m certainly not less present because I needed to make a phone call or sort some emails. Like recently I’ve been super busy setting up Jumping Jax Studios – I’ve felt waves of guilt for being busy and not going to softplay, or other “fun” things but I’m not less present or a ‘ghost’ in my sons life – sitting on my studio floor building blocks or playing hide and seek in between phonecalls, emails, waiting for contractors and deliveries – I was still there.
What happened to if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say it. As cliche as it may sound it’s true for many things – and that post didn’t need to put other parents in a negative light for what? Did the poster feel they could shine in a positive one for adopting a no phone approach? . Ugh. Rant over.
[ quick similar side note – the boots summer ad, about how no one looks like that its a load of chat – yes it annoyingly gets stuck in my head – how can a body positive ad, shame a body type at the very start man – people may look like that – somewhere in the 7.53billion people in humanity! ]