Prioritizing Your Family Time and Social Media Time.
This Holiday Season give the gift of time prioritization.
Holidays are that magical time of year where friends and family come together to celebrate how much they love one another with smiles, kisses, and a considerable amount of champagne. They bring us together with family far and wide — your Uncle Bob, Grandma Sally Mae, and even your second cousin, twice removed, Denise. They also, however, bring that haunting, bone-chilling sentence, “Tara, can you please get off Snapchat and go walk your Aunt Deb’s fifth Yorktese (Yorkie, Maltese Mix)?”. Off of Snapchat? Yorktese? Terrifying.
As a Community Manager for a Social Media Marketing Agency, I know a thing or two about the struggle that ensues when it comes time to put down the streams, Lives, and like for like’s. Before you get ahead of yourself, don’t worry, this is not going to be one of those, “cleanse thyself from the perils of social media, and only then will you find true inner peace” self-help blog posts. No, no, this will be a self-help blog of the moderation type, if you will. The type of post where we all take a breath after reading and say, “You know what? Maybe I can put down Instagram and hug my Great Aunt Lucille for 5 seconds. Maybe I really can have it all.”
While I agree that staying on Facebook the whole week you’re back at home is sure to avoid those “So, when are we going to see a ring on that finger?” or if you’re anything like me, “So you just tweet all day for a living?” (*insert eye roll If only it were that easy Gam Gam) — let’s face it, your mother will probably expect you to “be involved” and “cherish this wonderful time with family” and other mom phrases. So, with that being said, how can we stay present with family, while still remaining connected to our only source of endless communication and entertainment with the whole wide world? I’m glad you asked. My answer? Time prioritization.
Block Your Push Notifications Like You Blocked Your Ex
Turning off your notifications can help you stay present and in the moment, without looking down at your phone every five seconds to see if your boyfriend’s sister just tagged you in a video of a cat walking on its front paws. At first, this is going to be a nasty habit to break (I know because I have been trying to do it for the last 2 minutes…ALMOST impossible) but after a while it will be just like Christmas morning when you were seven — except for this time you get to open up five new meme notifications from your bestie group chat instead opening up a Barbie dream house from Santa. Added bonus, it saves your battery life for all your feed scrolling you will inevitably do later on.
The Drawer Method
If turning off your push notifications fails and you still can’t detach, use what I like to call the Drawer Method during dinner. All you do is: Literally. Put. Your. Phone. In. A. Drawer. I’ll be honest, there have been times where I open my Instagram roughly 20 times in one hour (Kristen if you’re reading this, it won’t happen again 😉). When this happens, I typically put my phone in my desk drawer — out of sight out of mind. It really is a great method that you should implement into your daily life, as well as at family dinners over the holidays.
30 Minutes in Heaven
Lastly, at some point throughout your time spent with family – whether that be a day, four days, or a whole week – give yourself 30 minutes in the morning and evening to engage with your beloved followers or to like every Kardashian post that you have inevitably missed over the course of your 23-hour (yes, I’m counting sleep) social media hiatus. This will also pose as a great time to get away and refresh yourself from the lipstick kisses, “what are you going to do with your life?” questions, and the argument your father is having with his brother over whether Mike Babcock or Dick Irvin was the best all-over hockey coach in history.
If all else fails and you absolutely can’t put down your device — put that puppy filter over your Gam Gam’s face and watch her face light up like the New Year’s Eve fireworks. It truly is a magical experience for everyone involved. <3