Everyday comes panic. Panic might be an extremity however it feels the right word as only today I detoxed digitally to try break this cycle.
The blog post I wrote today touched on just how being thirty and a father has stunted my career, yet it veered into a part of daily life that I have known for some times has grown into being something far greater than it should.
Despite wanting to be the best father in the universe, I have found myself spending so so much time staring at an iPhone, iPad, Macbook and work laptop whilst being with my children, who are according to my posts the absolute priority above all else.
So where does the Digital Panic set in. It starts first thing in the morning. My Daughter comes into our room and our newborn is probably already awake. I lurch to the bedside table and reach for the iPhone. There in that moment whilst my Daughter might be giving me a hug or wanting attention, my mind would’ve already been occupied by e-mail, Twitter, BBC News, Feedly and the two most panic obsessing platforms Instagram and Snapchat.
Here’s the rub, the panic doesn’t generally come from work e-mails or BBC News (although Trump being elected and Brexit did blow the mind), it instead comes from Instagram or Snapchat. Peering through others lives brings about a panic that firstly I am living a terrible existence and secondly I shouldn’t be living this terrible existence and NEED to be. Seeing the world through the eyes of carefully curated and produced idyllic Mum and Dad blogs, travelling blogs and nature blogs brings a huge sense of panic that the life I’m leading is not fulfilled enough.
All this within 10mins of waking up let alone continually checking the feeds throughout the day.
It’s a head-jar to try recreate an idyllic day emulating the day of a stranger on Instagram or Snapchat. When amazing day plans do not come together people panic, fret and feel terrible. So it takes only for the children to misbehave to bring this misery on. Should they not get ready, after berating and constant disciplining, all of a sudden it’s lunch-time and the morning is gone. Panic panic panic. The afternoon is spent on a catch mission shoveling lunch in as quick as possible, more berating and disciplining, so we do lose another minute. All the while the poor children have had enough afflicted by my panic and just game to resist wherever they can to prove a point, this is about you Dad not us!
There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve failed especially as it breeds panic before failure.
I have not failed my children. I have a fantastic family, we have all we need. The failure is being sucked into a false world and living each day in the life of others.
Not forgetting raising a family has enough panic moments as it is!
Until today the justification was always that it can only be a good thing to learn from others, share experiences and document the perfect life with my children for all to see although my self-deprecating nature allows me to paint the good and bad.
So today I had a huge moment of panic, I deleted the carefully curated Instagram, deleted Snapchat and trimmed down the Facebook account to the bare minimum. I’m sure that will bring panic to many wondering just what’s happened!
There was an epiphany that contributed to this decision. Last week my wife was admitted into hospital and put on the Sepsis pathway for a severe infection, that is panic that matters. Having panics over other people’s lives and trying to emulate or match them is shit I don’t need.