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5 Ways to Be a Hands-Free Parent

I’m still thinking through that article in the WSJ.  However, I’ve started being more of a Hands-Free Parents by following 5 Golden Rules for Social Media.

1.  Don’t post anything negative.

Having recently earned my M.A. in Communication, I can say with certainty that complaining can be a healthy communicative activity.  However, calling a friend, sibling or parent is a much more productive way to deal with annoyances.  Personally, I feel better about laughing about situations that bug me, so I call like-minded people who will get it.  If it isn’t worth sharing with a friend, it’s not worth injecting it into the world of Facebook or Twitter.

This goes double for complaining about people.  This, my lovies, can go terribly wrong.  Remember when I explained how a friend’s acquaintance on Facebook posted something along the lines of not being able to help the fact that her toddler was kicking the reclined seat in-front of him.  “Reclining your seat is a privilege!,” she declared.  Over 50 comments later, you had everyone debating everything from kids on airplanes, to using car seats, to how rude it is to recline your seat in Economy no matter who is sitting behind you.  Do you really want to spend your afternoon trying to un-ring that bell?

2.  Get rid of all push notifications on your cell phone. 

These include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email and Apps.  In addition to distracting you from interacting with your children (and people around you), they can be really disruptive when you are using your phone.

3.  Set aside a specific time for personal Email and social media.

After I moved to San Diego for grad school, I had this bad habit of checking my Email every time I turned around.  And then it dawned on me:  I would no longer be getting any emergency requests from a boss I no longer had!  It was freeing.  Now the challenge is treating Email like texting.  However, I’ve found that if I set aside a brief period of time in the morning and evening to Email, I get more emails written and don’t engage in emailversations

My biggest pitfalls is Instagram.  After posting a photo, I often find myself taking the time to scroll through a bunch of photos in my feed.  So, my new resolution is to employ #Latergram and post photos at a time when I’m not busy with Avery.

4.  Stop before you humble brag.

Are you guilty of the humble brag?  Read this article in the WSJ to find out if you fall in with this sect of the Hollywood crowd.  I guess most people don’t have Emmy Awards from which to hang our Christmas stockings, but you get the idea.

5.  Don’t post pictures of food.

Unless you’re a food blogger, it’s a special occasion, it’s part of an interesting story, or it’s made by a world-renowned chef, refrain from posting photos of your breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in-between.  Trust me when I say that no one really cares what you eat.

Last time I had bonuelos y chocolate was when I was in Valencia for Las Fallas.  I was surprised to see them at Michael Mina’s restaurant, American Fish, when I was in Las Vegas for a wedding.  There, a special occasion, story, and a celebrity chef…and I bet you still don’t care.  Food photos are almost always pretty lame.

What about you?  How do you keep Hands-Free?

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