This morning I woke up and did what I often do. I said “Hello” to the Twitterverse before I had really even connected with my family. (Yes, I am admitting to this.) Let’s face it; the ease of having my Blackberry close to the bed makes this a reality on so many days. Frequently I tweet “Good Morning from Vancouver” before I am even truly awake or before I have connected with my kids.
As I lay there this morning, I thought about how the day could unfold. I thought about all of the work that I should do on the many great projects that I have on the go. I mean, only this week I launched my new blog here at www.boydjane.ca and it got off to an amazing start when Chris Brogan sent out this tweet regarding the new vision that I have for myself and my work:
I realized that I could spend the day further enhancing what I had begun; since Chris had really helped to send lots of new traffic to the site. Then there is another site that I have been working on with @aprilennis over at www.aprilandjane.ca. It is in need of some new content and obviously if I truly focused I could crank out some new posts before the day was through. Beyond all of that; I am also in the midst of establishing a strong foundation for Early Learning & Child Care Canada. It will be an amazing new online community for early childhood educators and families that will serve Canada from coast to coast. Today would have been a great day to dive into that site much further. So clearly there were a lot of things that I could have been working on. Except as I headed off to make my coffee, I thought about my family. I thought about my kids and the fact that they often see me working in front of the computer for long periods of time. I questioned if that was what I wanted for yet another Saturday or if perhaps for today something could be different. If perhaps something should be different.
By the time I was out of the shower and ready to really start the day, I knew I had my answer. I knew that NO; I did not want to lose yet another Saturday of time with my kids. With that thought I decided that I would spend my time with them, instead of working. Even more, I decided that I would fully disconnect from all forms of social media so that I could be completely present with them.
Now, I won’t lie; the thought of this actually made me pretty nervous. It was sort of like that feeling you get when you know you can’t eat or drink before important medical tests. The more I convinced myself that I was going to go offline (no computer and no Blackberry); the more I realized I was already having withdrawal. I thought about what being disconnected would do to my Klout score; which had already taken a nosedive this past week. So…to convince myself that I really could do this I sent out the following tweet – just to make it really real.
Emma, Adam and I then discussed all of the options that we could do for the day. We considered Science World. We talked about the Vancouver Aquarium. We looked at the show schedule for the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. At the end of the discussion they told me that what they really, really wanted to do was go to a great local swimming pool that they had not yet been to. Now, I’m not that much of a swimmer; so the hesitation must have shown on my face. Emma very quickly said; “It’s OK Mom; you can just sit there with your Blackberry and work while we swim.” I realized right then and there that my kids are growing up seeing me work way too much. So very firmly I said “No, I won’t work, I’ll go in the water with you.” Honestly, my two kids looked at me as though I was from outer space. They were shocked but happily accepted that I would be joining them in the water.
So off we headed for the pool where we all swam, played and had lots of fun.
We then had a late lunch and even managed to bring my Mom along for some grandparent connecting as well.
Finally, we went and did some pumpkin shopping.
Not once during this whole time did I check Twitter. I didn’t look at Facebook. No email. Nothing. I read nothing. I focused on my kids. I talked to them. I played with them. I was present. I will admit that a few times I wondered what I was missing online. I recognized that for some of the time I was actually thinking in 140 characters and I really had to work to restrain the social media thoughts that jumped into my head. All of that said, I was really present and I really connected with my kids. They were truly the only people that I was thinking about influencing for that moment in time.
About 6 hours later, once we were home and the kids were happily engaged in their own activities I logged back online to check out what I had missed. I immediately read this tweet from @seanmcginnis in response to my earlier announcement that I was going offline for a while:
I decided to announce that I was back online and sent out this tweet:
A few minutes later, in response I received this tweet from @chrisbrogan:
And yet another from @stepstate
And another from @seanmcginnis
Finally, this one came from @bobhcc – my husband. (He and I had talked about the day and fact that I had truly disconnected from the online world to really be with the kids. Since he knows me so well; he truly recognized that this was an important moment for me.)
So, as I sit here tonight typing this blog post I recognize a few things. I love my life of online connections. I love it immensely. I enjoy reaching out to people and creating conversations that can lead to amazing things. I love the updated vision that I have for my business and am excited about the potential of the projects that are before me. However, I love my family more. Much more. So with today’s experience in mind; I am really going to make sure that I keep working on my #FamilyKlout – I know I won’t always be perfect at it; but I think I stand a pretty good chance of improving it greatly.
How about you, what is your #FamilyKlout score? What are you doing to improve it?