It’s the day of the US election and the world is waiting tensely for the outcome of the Presidential race. Regardless of where we live everyone is interested in this election because “when America sneezes (or Trumps in this case) the world catches a cold”.
But the smart millennial dad isn’t interested in the election and here’s why.
Election coverage is exciting. It brings people together as we follow the minute-by-minute coverage on TV and social media. No doubt Twitter will be awash with Clinton and Trump hashtags over the coming 24 hours and for a long time afterwards. It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment. I know I am.
I might be part of a sad minority but I’ve actually been to an election party. As a student I stayed up all night through the US and UK elections in the 2000s, playing drinking games and joining in the fun. I guess students like any excuse for a drink. And in recent years I’ve often followed election coverage through the night. No doubt there’ll be some fancy news coverage in the UK on the BBC and Sky running right through the night. In the past it was ok to spend a whole night awake, watching the live results as each electoral college was declared.
The truth is however exciting it all feels, it’s just a passive exercise.
There’s nothing we can do to change the results and over time even the broadcasters run out of things to say as the night goes on.
The smart parent will put the children to bed at the normal time and get some rest.
Try it. Nothing will change. It may feel like you’re missing out on things to begin with but it won’t make a difference. When you wake up in the morning the result will be there, or perhaps not, and you’ll simply wake up to more information than if you watched it trickle in.
The millennial dad knows time is at a premium and needs to focus on using as much quality time as possible on the immediate tasks of family and work.
Anything else will just make you less efficient and accomplish fewer things. I try as much as possible to keep news to a minimum. Even though that means I miss out on some things, if it’s really important I’m going to find out about it eventually.
Try it. Don’t be drawn into the US election night coverage. Go to bed. Wake up fresh. Then deal with explaining the new President of the United States to your four year old daughter.