independent

Tuesday 19 June 2018

We have all gone on a social media detox - even the kids too!

Justine O'Mahony

The kids have come up with what they consider a bright idea. It's about as bright as a 10 watt bulb but they don't seem willing to let it go. They have suggested that instead of me embarking on another diet, health kick, giving up the fags (the box has gone in the fire for possibly the 57th time), I should do a social media detox.

This made me laugh for a variety of reasons not least because as they were suggesting this, they had various technological gadgets glued to their sides. But according to them, I spend too much time on social media. I didn't like to correct them and say most of the time I'm on-line shopping not on social media, because you know...out of the frying pan and all that.

Firstly I'd like to defend myself and say I don't think I'm on social media too much. I don't do twitter anymore, I have a look at facebook maybe twice a day and ok, yes I am very keen on Instagram and Pinterest because I like the pictures.

But my extremely annoying children have taken a stand and said since there's not a hope of me losing weight/giving up alcohol, I should do a social media detox and spend more quality time with them.

The irony of this! As they're lecturing me about the perils of social media, their phones are pinging in their pockets. Between Snapchat, WhatsApp and streaks I can't keep up with them. And they're telling me I have a problem!

'You just think I have a problem because I'm on social media in plain sight of you lot. The two of you are in your bedrooms furtively snapchatting your friends at all hours of the night,' I tell them indignantly.

Of course they deny the allegations and still insist I put away my phone and iPad for one afternoon to see how it goes. I agree on condition that they do the same. Reluctantly we all pile them into a corner and sit down to watch TV.

Ten minutes later World War 3 breaks out. The Youngest wants to watch The Simpsons, The Oldest and his father want to watch the darts. The men get their way and The Youngest rants about equality for women! Then they turn over to soccer which completely tips The Youngest over the edge. 'This is not fair! This is sexism!' she shouts. She has a point. After the soccer we claim custody of the remote control and start watching Dancing on Ice, throughout which the men keep up a sarcastic commentary regarding men in tights etc.

To be honest, it's bloody exhausting. 'This quality family time is overrated!' I declare. We're all fit to kill each other at this point. I crave the serenity of Instagram and it's window into other people's lives.

The 12-year-old saves the day when she suggests we watch Harry Potter… again. Himself grabs the phones from beside the couch and throws them at us all. 'Here! Take them! Jesus anything for a quiet life.'

The Youngest looks at me and winks. That kid is going places!

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