Being a Social Media Dad
One of the frequent questions I receive is, “How do you find time for your family?” People see my hectic travel schedule, my rigorous blog posting and other writing projects, my conference attendance and speaking gigs, and they imagine that my family has no idea who I am. The thing is, social media has done more to bring my family closer together than one might think.
When I’m away on a trip, I’m not relegated to my cell phone. I can use iChat, Skype Video, or ooVoo to reach home and share a visual of where I am and what’s going on with my children and wife. If not live, I can at least shoot video using a Flip camera and share that with them later. I’m more connected to my kids now, which is nice.
My daughter has grown up using social media tools. She was my intro voice for my first (and second and third) podcast. My son and my daughter both use my Mac’s photobooth software with reckless abandon. (Sometimes, I have to remove some of these photos, because one of them loves to put up pictures of one’s bottom). We do some of this stuff together, and we have fun doing it. I recently wrote my daughter a Happy Birthday blog post, sharing my feelings with her to the web. I shot a video for my son’s first birthday. So it’s a way to collaborate.
But the truth of the matter is, what people don’t know much about, and what can’t be accomplished by software, is that when I’m home, I’m really home, and I spend a lot of time and affection and attention with my children and wife. I’m not nearly as fidgety as I used to be when I didn’t work in social media and when I didn’t travel around sharing my dreams and aspirations with the outside world. I LOVE spending time at home with my family, and they get a lot of tickling, tumbling, imagining, playing, and story time from me when I’m there.
I hope this helps others who are wondering how it all blends. It takes work, but you can definitely maintain a creative and media-filled life while raising a family. I’m grateful that I have a job that allows me to spend as much time with my family as it does, and further thrilled that I get the best of both worlds. Here’s hoping you’re every bit as fortunate as I am for that.