Text by Meghan C. Hills
How long do you think it’ll be before August has a Facebook account?
There’s been an age old debate about the effects of social media, technology and video games on children, and more specifically on whether or not kids get out to smell the roses enough. One unexpected father has penned a beautiful letter encouraging his new daughter to get away from the tech and play outside though – namely, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Mark’s new daughter August was born just yesterday and like any of us, he took to Facebook to announce it to the world. As with the birth of his daughter Max in 2015, he penned a thoughtful letter about his hopes for her future and how he wanted her to take her time to grow up slowly.
Addressing his daughter August, he said, ‘The world can be a serious place. That’s why it’s important to go outside and play. You will be busy when you’re older, so I hope you take time to smell all the flowers and put all the leaves you want in your bucket now.’’
A portrait of the family was also attached to the post, showing Mark, his wife Priscilla Chan, Max and the newest addition to their family. While his letter touched on ‘the advances in science and technology’, his hopes and dreams for her were notably technology-free, referencing ‘Dr. Seuss books’ and ‘[riding] the carousel with Max until you’ve tamed every color horse’.
The message was a huge contrast to Mark’s sombre letter to Max in 2015, which doubled as a detailed mission statement for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to ‘advance human potential and promote equality for all children’. The organisation focuses on supporting scientific research, new technologies and empowering community leaders in order to ‘make the world better for generations to come’.
Like any parent who’s experienced sleep deprivation at their baby’s hands, Mark also wished that August would be ‘a great sleeper’ and wished her ‘a life of joy, love and the same hope you give us’.
For now though, Mark will currently be making good on his two-month long paternity leave plans that he announced a little while ago. He also broke new ground when they revealed that Facebook employees receive up to four months of both maternity and paternity leave, encouraging parents to be with their newborn children.
Sometimes when you hear about big personalities, their lives seem so unattainable and completely out of our own realm. However, Mark’s emotional letter to his daughter is a reminder that no matter how famous we get or how much money we make – we’re all still connected by our humanity.
From Marie Claire UK