THE BLOG
06/09/2018 07:09 BST | Updated 06/09/2018 07:56 BST

As A Disabled Mum, Social Media Is My Main Contact With The Outside World - But I Still Need To Learn When To Put Away My Phone

I’m home alone most of the time and would be cut off without my phone - but would hold my hands up and say I’m addicted

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HuffPost

In HuffPost UK’s 28-day scroll-free challenge, we’ll be trying to find a better balance with social media. Coinciding with the Royal Society For Public Health’s Scroll Free September campaign, we’ll be publishing experiences, tips and motivation. Sign up for our daily email featuring tips and motivation – you can start the challenge at any point in the month.

Like most people, social media has become a huge part of my life. It started as updates here and there, funny anecdotes about my children and the odd picture of our family life.

As social media became more ingrained in our daily lives, I found myself completely consumed by it. What began back in 2007 with the odd status update each week, has now become several updates a day. Every move we make is captured on my phone and posted to Instagram.

I am disabled and mainly housebound. Social media is my main contact with the outside world. On the one hand I can chat to friends online, feel part of the outside world and see what everyone is up to. On the negative side, it highlights the life I’m missing out on. It often makes me feel inadequate as a parent, that I’m not able to do as much with my family as I see other parents doing.

Following the loss of my son to meningitis in 2010, I started blogging and created a huge social media campaign. Celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Harry Styles and Lord Sugar were tweeting my blog. It was an insane time with hundreds of celebrities getting involved and I quickly became obsessed.

I would tweet night and day, desperately trying to get people with the most followers to retweet me. It was for the right reasons, the campaign was a huge success, but it proves how easy it is to get sucked into the social media bubble.

I now write a personal blog and have private and public Facebook and Instagram accounts and Twitter. As I’m home alone most of the time, I can easily spend most of the day keeping these updated. The problem is when my family come home, I struggle to put my phone down. 

It’s one of my husband’s biggest gripes about me...I don’t even notice I’m doing it."

It’s one of my husband’s biggest gripes about me. I don’t even notice I’m doing it. I see it as my job. I don’t go out to work so writing is my purpose in life. To keep that going it’s important I have a high social media presence and have a good following.

I would hold my hands up and say I’m addicted to social media. For me though, I would be cut off from life without it. I’m part of online support groups and got to know people who I now consider lifelong friends.

I’ve met local people online and friends from different countries, and even people I’ve been on holidays with. I chat to them on Facebook daily and they have become a great support network for me. We’ve supported each other through big events like births, deaths, divorces but also just day-to-day life.

Social media has so much to offer and I believe the positives outweigh the negatives. There are many perks to it and I’ve had opportunities I would never have had without it.

I’ve even recently been described as a social influencer and would never have been in that position without investing my time and energy into it - I just need to learn when to put my phone away and be present in the moment.

It’s like any other addiction, knowing you have a problem and learning how to stop. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet and I have no plans to stop altogether.

I just need to cut down before my husband decides to change his status to “divorced”.

This September HuffPost UK is challenging readers to back away from their social media feeds for 28 days in order to find new balance in our relationships with technology. Coinciding with the Royal Society For Public Health’s campaign Scroll Free September, we’ll be delivering the tips and motivation you need via a daily email. And the best part? You can sign up to start the challenge at any point in the month. So what are you waiting for?