I have just spent the most beautiful family day with my loved ones.
After recently deleting the Facebook app off my iPhone, I found it far easier than ever before to participate in “Unplugged Sundays” – an opportunity to really be with my family, face to face, in the flesh.
No phone. No social media. No fidgeting. No escapism.
I used my phone as a camera only, and I had an exquisite time.
We ate a delicious picnic lunch overlooking Botany Bay, took a tour around Bare Island Fortification at La Perouse, had big Mr Whippy Ice Creams, and rode skateboards/scooters around the footpath. I even took a nap in the car while the kids slept in the back seats.
Kinda made me think even harder about my key message I want to share with the world. My good buddy Walt summed it up perfectly:
“A man should never neglect his family for business.” – Walt Disney
It really is the single most important thing I feel I am here to share with you, and with the wider world.
Family first, work second. Always.
(Well, if I get really particular, I put “love of self” first, family second, then work third. But for the purposes of this post…)
I can’t stress this enough, and I think of a more simple way of putting it than how Walt phrased it.
On deleting the Facebook app:
As I mentioned above, I recently chose to delete the Facebook app off my iPhone. While seemingly spontaneous, this choice was inspired by a few sources over a week or two: (All are highly recommended reading.)
- This post about the Tyranny of Connectivity, by Jonathan Fields
- A blog called “Hands Free Mama” – which was recommended by my wife, and is about truly disconnecting for the good of yourself and your family
- A dear friend called Tuesday who connected with me about deleting the Facebook app from her phone last week
- This post by another dear friend AJ Leon, about how these systems turn us into passive observers and critics, rather than ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS
It was also inspired by some words I wrote – intending them for the post about “spend the afternoon” from a few days back.
I wrote a bit of a rant about social media, and the chronic waste of our lives that it is. I’ve included it below, knowing it’s a bit out of context, and fairly angry in tone. I still believe in what I wrote, and feel it has value.
When your kids or your wife are there in front of you, and you have the opportunity to connect and love them.
When the day is beautiful and the sun is shining.
When you’re actually alive, breathing, living, and you have the opportunity to make a difference, or create something.
What else would you rather be doing? Answering emails? Checking Facebook? Watching TV?
These are your seconds, your minutes, and your hours slipping past. Right. Now.
Feel that? That was another few seconds. Gone, and never coming back.
How are you choosing to use your life? Would it help to think of it as your currency of vitality?
Imagine that every second was spent, like money. Imagine if you had to hand over your time willingly, consciously, for everything you did in your life.
How are you spending – or investing – your life currency? Who are you spending it with? What activities are your hours being dedicated to?
If you had to consciously spend money for each second you spent online, would your social media choices change?
I’m not against social media – in context, and appropriately used. I am against the horrible waste of time that it has already caused in my own life, and in the lives of my loved ones.
Quick calculation: 30 mins a day = 7.6 days a year. That’s OVER A WEEK OF YOUR LIFE. Never coming back.
As of today, I’m rationing my social media time.
I’m going to go outside and breathe fresh air, and walk barefoot in the grass every day, each time I think I would like to check my status updates.
Spend YOUR afternoons … and wisely. You can’t take them with you. And they’re not coming back.
So that’s why I deleted the FB app.
Now, I have to be actually sitting at a computer to access social media. I am in two minds about using/deleting Instagram, cos I agree with what Jonathan Fields says in his post.
But that’s all I’m happy to stick with for now.
Maybe this made you think. Maybe it scared or awakened you. Maybe it just frustrated you.
Regardless, please return to my key message from today’s IQ.
We should NEVER neglect our family, for business. (Or for social media.)
With (tough) love,