It takes me about one minute to take a photo, slap on a filter, add a caption and chose which social media channel to share it on. The same to write a Tweet or update my Facebook status. It takes someone double that to have a go at me for using my phone.
Stop it. Stop judging me.
I do not judge you for not having a grasp of what my job entails or for knowing how Twitter works. I do not judge you for only having a Facebook site to keep a check on your kids or for not getting nor caring what all the fuss is about. I do not judge you for choosing to keep your life private. I do not judge you for the work you do.
So don’t judge me.
Blogging is based purely on sharing and deciding when not to share parts of your life. It’s about connecting with others who also blog or have embraced social media. It’s about having an idea of what’s going on in the news and what’s trending on Twitter. It’s also about cutting into some of your personal time to update your Instagram or Facebook Page. It also involves people’s feelings and when someone has reached out to you because of something you’ve written, you owe it them to give them your attention, even for a moment, and acknowledge them.
Sometimes this cuts into time I’m spending with others. Sometimes it cuts into time spent with family. Sometimes it’s the only way I feel sane or connected to others, because let’s face it, the life of a parent can be very isolating at times. You drop off the radar socially and you spend much of your down time at home watching re-runs of Sex and the City while your children sleep.
By remaining connected to my community and spending time sharing snippets of my world it helps me not only personally, but helps me professionally. This is through networking with others in my industry, putting myself out there for pr and writing opportunities and getting a better sense of who the readers of bigwords are. Like anyone building something from scratch, much of the early stages is working at weird times and largely unpaid. So, for this reason I will get my phone out at strange times and spend time sharing images or replying to comments. I will at times seem “disinterested” in what others would term the “real world”, but that is because they’re unknowledgeable about what it is I, and many others in the blogging community, do. If I was to duck off to take a business call or conduct an interview or reply to an urgent email or sit in on a conference call, no-one would care. This is no different.
Yes, at times I’ve had to stop and reassess my own internet usage and I’ve stepped away from my computer for a few days. And there are increasing times I choose not to share family moments because they are just that, family moments. And I would never pop a photo up of someone else’s children without permission first. I’d never get my phone out at a funeral. Nor would I ever share a photo of a bride’s wedding dress or someone else’s newborn baby. When I go to a concert or event, I’ll take a few quick photos and then put my phone away, because frankly people who film live shows with their phones shit me. And I only occasionally do food shots because chips and gravy aren’t that photogenic. And if a friend asked me not to take photos I never would. I also wouldn’t write about a friend’s life. I’d hate to think people wouldn’t want to hang out with me for fear of becoming fodder for the next blog post.
When my kids play sport or we’re doing an activity, I’m engaged and involved. As too when I’m one-one-one with someone. This doesn’t mean I don’t get my phone out occasionally, because seriously anyone who has watched kids play sport knows it can be painful to watch. And don’t even get me started on that stupid website that shames parents who are on their phones while they kids play at the park. F*ck that shit. Sometimes the park is the only time all day you’ll get a moment to interact with anyone other than your children and you might just need that escape. I’m pretty sure that’s why parks were invented in the first place.
I have boundaries. I also would not judge someone for their career choices. Each to their own.
But I draw the line at feeling guilt or judgement for doing something that I enjoy. For engaging in an industry which makes me feel part of something. For pursuing something which has already afforded my family so many amazing opportunities and at times has helped pay our mortgage.
It’s been said a bazillion times to find something you love and you’ll never feel like you’ve worked a day in your life.
Well I’ve found something that I love and at times what looks like frivolous fun is actually my work. What’s the difference with other jobs is it also happens to be at times frivolous and fun, yet I make a living out of it. Well, I’m getting there anyway. And I fell darn lucky.