I’ve decided that the Christmas break will be the time of digital detoxing. These are the current social media platforms I subscribe to: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Not to mention this blog and a smattering of other people’s wonderful blogs through Blogloving. Hmm, one can say I’m fairly connected to the cyber population.
A common question I get asked by some parents, teachers, friends, the random stranger I meet at a shopping centre, is whether digital media causes social awkwardness of children starting school for the first time. My answer’s always: what are you doing to encourage more interaction with your children, or better yet, actually being social yourself? How many times have I seen a parent pacify a child with an iPad, or friends at dinner checking-in and taking photos to upload on Instagram? Hmm, I’ve been guilty of these, and in a way we begin to isolate ourselves from that basic spoken communication and connection to the world around us. But I’m not here to converse in the philosophical debate of the changing modes of communication. (Sidenote: as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), I’m constantly advocating the role of spoken communication with my clients in order to even be remotely able to access the many forms of ‘literacy’ in this high-tech world. But this is another post, reserved for another forum.)
So this holiday break – December 24 to January 2 – I’m going on a digital detox. This means no social media whatsoever, with the goal of spending quality time with my loved ones. And if this means sitting in awkward silence and stopping myself from reaching my phone to Google some random fact about salsa-dancing chinchillas, then so be it. I perused some old Christmas photos the other day with my mum, and we spent a lot of time outdoors playing on the beach, in the backyard, in our makeshift Slip and Slide, and rollerblading on the street. There were photos of us actually having conversations (and fights!) at the barbecue table, and there was probably one photo of me on my Nintendo GameBoy being completely antisocial.
This site and my Instagram account will be on a holiday hiatus, so all comments will be answered upon my return.
From us to yours, have a Merry Christmas, enjoy the festivities and let’s all welcome in the New Year!