Is social media taking you away from your family time?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

More and more I’ve been seeing people online constantly! I have to wonder if this taking away from their family time or their interaction with the world. I would criticiz eteenagers that don’t leave their mom’s basements, spending all day and night playing video games, is social media and what you are doing really any better?

There are times when I’ve left to go show homes, or to go coach baseball, and when I’ve come back and they have been on Activerain, Facebook, or Twitter and you see that they have left 125 tweets in those few hours. What? You didn’t sell any real estate? You didn’t talk to your family?

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I do understand the importance of tweeting, as I picked up my first client today from it. I’ve gotten most of my business in the last 2 years from blogging on Activerain, but there is one thing that will and always has come first and that is my family and family time with softballthe parks (which I integrate in to my blogs) and the family dinner.

So, has social media taken over your life to the point your family has to wait for you finish typing one last comment or one last tweet before you will even look up to say good morning or good night?

Think about your answer then go kiss your family and say, “I’m sorry.”


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Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Todd- It can be hard.  I am still adjusting to having a baby in the house.  But I have found if I get up at 4 or 5 AM I have time to work and have family time.  Not Ideal as I could use more sleep, but I have to work and have family so I have to work it all in somehow.


May 30, 2009 11:06 AM #51
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Todd~  It is important to keep everything we do in moderation.  I would much rather spend my time on the computer than watch TV.  Some people log into these sites and walk away from their computer to do something else and do not log out, so they may not actually be on the computer.  I have found as far as Facebook goes, I can sometimes just check in and see what is happening with my friends, families and clients, and not have to make the phone calls to check in and that SAVES me time!  Also, it is so much more efficient to send them a message or a email. 

May 30, 2009 02:29 PM #52
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate


My thoughts are along the same line as Shane's and John's. I could be working on a computer at someone else's business for 8 hours or sitting at my office and just yakking with other agents.

Instead I sit at home working on my computer "growing my business".

Todd, this has been a great post and instead of continuing on with my comments I am going to jump over and write a post with my further thoughts.  I will put a link back to this post.


May 30, 2009 02:42 PM #53
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Todd -- Great post.  I think real estate should fund life, not the other way around.  In the end, family, friends and real connections matter.  Real connections can be made on here, so I'm not minimizing it, but the whole work-life balance needs to exist as well.  I manage to play basketball and baseball for 10-15 hours a week, every week, busy or not, as that is always a huge priority for me.

May 30, 2009 04:19 PM #54
Christianne O'Malley
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Todd - I do my raining, blogging and tweeting in short bursts throughout the day. My evening burst is during TV time that the kids have or dinner cleanup...and then of course after they go to bed. My morning routine is before everyone gets up. I try hard to make sure to not neglect them and always try to stay cognizant of the amount of time I am online. The nice thing about twitter is I can tweet from my phone which I can use on the sofa in the family room, so I'm there, even if I'm not really into whatever it is that they are watching...

iCarly just isn't my bag, baby!

May 30, 2009 04:22 PM #55
Harrison Painter
GoGladiator Media - Carmel, IN
New Media Consultant

- My computers are always on.

- My Blackberry is always on.

- A laptop is mounted in my car.

I am always connected.......


May 30, 2009 04:24 PM #56
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

As delicate as it maybe, it can be done and I would think you are proof of that.

May 30, 2009 04:39 PM #57
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd, in a word, the answer is MODERATION.  Everything is better in moderation, including social networking and blogging.  When it overtakes your life that is not a good thing.

May 30, 2009 06:07 PM #58
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Todd:  I am guessing you have two choices.  Go kiss your family and tell them you're sorry for all the time you have spent away from them... or you can kiss your family goodbye.  That second choice, which is often made by default, can be extremely painful.  Trouble is... that once you realize what you have done... it is often too late to reverse it.  Thanks for sharing...

May 30, 2009 06:32 PM #59
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Todd - when I took about 2 months off from blogging recently, it opened up an amazing perspective on what blogging and social media "work" is important. Well, if I am working that is fine, but work when the kids are in bed or block out time to work. You can't work because it is a habit. And flat out, the family has to come first in practice, not just talk. Great post. Hopefully many people shut down their computer to spend time with family. Just like we need to shut our cell phones off at times.

May 31, 2009 01:31 AM #60
Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio
Real Living HER, Powell Ohio - Powell, OH

When my youngest was a teen, I was working 9hr days at a corporate job, going on business trips, going to college 2 nights a week and cracking the text books in "spare time" until the wee morning hours.

My kids are now grown with kids of their own. It's now just me and my dog. My time on the computer is to build business (SEO), communicate & work for clients. I read newspapers online rather than on paper. I read business mags online rather than on paper. I get news feeds on Twitter rather than on the TV. I can talk on my cell while looking up info on the computer. I happen to work from my home rather than sitting in an office so I can be more productive. Thus, I can chat with neighbors when I go out to get the mail or take an hour or so to pull weeds. I can continue to work while sitting in the lounge waiting for my car to be repaired. I can talk to clients while picking up groceries or driving. They can email questions at 10 at night and I can answer them right back.

Bottom line, my life now vs 20 yrs ago is far more flexible solely due to the computer & my Blackberry. Life isn't so different with "social media". It's just life in a tech age. We're doing the same type of things ... just using a different tool to achieve it.

May 31, 2009 02:18 AM #61
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Todd - Agree.  We are like Tony & Darcy above, both in the same room, each on their own computers on their own sites.  Are we together because we are in the same room? Not at all. If one speaks the other doesn't have a clue what they are talking about and maybe even a little annoyed to be interrupted!!!

Beyond that, have you noticed how when you are with someone and they are texting, or reading e-mails on their blackberry's from someone else.  Very strange; they are texting people they are not with and not talking to the people they are with!  Strange behaviour. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

May 31, 2009 02:24 AM #62
Christine McInerney
The McInerney Team with Realty Executives Associates - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

I blog and spend time on active rain mostly at night after the kiddos are in bed- I use the computer often as my "bedtime virtual book"

May 31, 2009 03:13 AM #63
Katiejo Franks
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Great post and I totally agree with your comments above. Thanks for sharing with us.

May 31, 2009 05:51 AM #64
Katiejo Franks
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Great post and I totally agree with your comments above. Thanks for sharing with us.

May 31, 2009 05:51 AM #65
kristi defazio

That is why I have been gone so much from here lately- More family time and Lovin it!!!

May 31, 2009 12:52 PM #66
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


Just me and hubby in our nest. One of my relaxations has been to play a computer game for an hour each evening - sometimes while doing laundry, baking, etc.  Chip only likes the "find hidden object" games so when I play a differentkind, he is on his own. He actually prefers to see me spend an hour on AR than on a game he doesn't like because some good is coming from AR. Too, Chip is one of my subscribers because he likes to real my posts and the comments from you guys.

As for business, I have blown off plans with Chip for business from time to time - but discuss the possibility with him before I make any changes to our schedule. Must admit I'm blessed with a super supportive spouse - he'll have a great dinner ready when I get home from an Open House or he'll run around and get my signs on icy nights. AR will never yield the rewards that Chip does!

May 31, 2009 01:52 PM #67
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


Yes...FAMILY FIRST always...!!! Thanks,   Fran

May 31, 2009 03:41 PM #68
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

I always knew you were a dedicated family man.  Your family is lucky to have you.

Jun 01, 2009 02:17 PM #69
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

A study just came out that said internet is about to pass TV as the number one thing that distracts families from spending quality time together. The report said people were coming home from work and instead of watching TV they were on the computer for hours and hours until bed time and not spending any time together. (Really a shame if you think about it)

Jun 21, 2009 03:56 PM #70
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