Dear Gaby Social Media and Family Time

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Social Media is at the forefront of today’s society. Whether you’re Snapping, doing it for the Gram or checking-in on Facebook, we explore the effect that social media has on us, our family, our friends and even our relationships.

We kick off by catching up with one of our most loyal clients  – Director of Art Dubai, the inspirational, Myrna Ayad …oh and did we mention one of the Forbes 100 Most Influential Arab Women?

Here’s how it went…

N.Bar: How do you feel about your kids using social media? Would you let them? Why?

MA: Social media is today’s global currency, so of course my daughter is going to use it eventually, which makes me very worried and cautious for different reasons – not only the dangers of sexual predators, but also psychological factors. I grew up in a very liberal home, but at the same time we were conservative. It’s not ok to post bikini selfies or other revealing images. However, as a parent you don’t want to always go against the current and need to find a balance of sorts. There are values and principles that we need to abide by that I feel social media lacks.

“I would be very concerned about who her [my daughter] role models are on social media and wouldn’t want her to be out of touch with actual reality vs. the ‘reality’ portrayed on social media.”


N.Bar: Do you have “me time”?

MA: Honestly? Not enough me time. My me time is weekly manicures at N.Bar! It’s the only time I have to myself. I try to squeeze in a reflexology every now and then to really relax, but I’m guilty of being on my phone trying to do 2 things at once!


N.Bar: How do you feel when browsing the different social media channels? Do you like what you read/ see in your feeds?

MA: Facebook is a source of information for me – I’m not an active poster, more of a scroller. I’m also on Instagram – I post and look around –  it’s entertaining and a source of news. We are a visual generation and I love photography, so I enjoy seeing the beautiful images that appear on my feed.


N.Bar: Describe a scenario where you feel social media might impact family time. Does it happen to you?

MA: Absolutely – reaching out to my phone and scrolling has become a bad habit. It does annoy me that we can’t sit down with family and friends without taking a picture – some feel compelled to post something instead of just enjoying a meal. Not everything is an “Instagram moment” and I don’t post or allow images of my daughter on social media.


N.Bar: What do you think about the idea of a “digital detox box”?

MA: I like the idea of it, but honestly, there has to be an interesting alternative for me to be interested to occupy my mind elsewhere. It has to be so good and luring for me to switch off from my phone!


N.Bar: What do you think about people who are glued to their phone?

MA: I don’t like them, they’re not my friends! You can’t talk to them so how can you have a relationship with them?


N.Bar: Do you use social media for work purposed or do you find that social media distracts you from doing your work?

MA: I use social media purely for personal reasons –  I have a good work ethic so it’s not a distraction from work at all. That said, I do follow and look out for posts by galleries, artists, institutions and other individuals and entities in the art world.


N.Bar: What do you do when you’re not working? How do you unwind?

MA: I love tidying up the house!  Every closet, room, the fridge – everywhere! I’m continuously re-organising and I love it! I clear stuff out all the time and enjoy giving things away. I don’t like excess and if there is excess, there is a purpose for it.


N.Bar: In one word/sentence, describe social media

MA: Our friend who is also your enemy!


N.Bar: In your Forbes video, you said that you’re a big advocate for the local culture – what are your thoughts on social media and local culture – do you think it erodes or promotes it? Are local influencers using this platform enough to celebrate their roots?

MA: I question what is ‘local’ culture as I don’t think that it has been defined. Is it Emirati, or UAE-based or both? There are many sub cultures in the UAE, are they represented in the term ‘local culture’? As a whole, we definitely do not use social media enough to celebrate our roots, cultures and traditions. Social media and influencers can be used to celebrate our cultures, but it’s not done enough and I feel there is definitely room for an authentic voice to show the energy of this place.


Photo: Abbi Kemp