Aiming to be a better father, person and player Dylan Walker has taken himself off social media.
The Manly centre turned five-eighth had an epiphany earlier in the year while minding his young son, Leo, one morning.
"The reason I did it is when I was playing with son in his playpen and I found myself on my phone," Walker said.
"That’s when I felt like I had to check it all the time and update my current status. But I’ve put it behind me now and enjoy the moments with my family and friends.
"It does get addictive – they call it the old rabbit hole when you get stuck on one bit and just keep going."
Coach Des Hasler has not instructed his players to shut down their social media accounts.
"It’s a personal choice. Social media is such a big platform in society for so many people," Walker said.
"I think I’m going the other way. I used to love it; be on it; post a lot of stuff. But now I’m being 'in the moment' and enjoying them as they are. I’m a bit old school now."
So old school that when Hasler gave his players a couple of days off after last Thursday's 32-12 win over Wests Tigers, Walker, his partner Alexandra Ivkovic, Leo, and members of her family headed off to the snow.
Walker relishing switch to five-eighth
"I’m not allowed to ski – I’d get in trouble [from Hasler]. But I really enjoyed it," Walker said.
"I just stayed in the cabin when my partner and her family went skiing and looked after my son with my mother-in-law. We had fun – went tobogganing … he touched ice.
"It just helped me clear my head for the run home."
Manly has one of the toughest journeys into the finals with the Raiders in Canberra on Sunday, then Storm, and finally the Eels – all top-eight sides.
Two of those – Raiders and Storm – have a history with Walker.
"I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said laughing, before a video session at Manly's North Narrabeen headquarters on Monday.
Most Raiders remember the April 2017 match when Walker harassed a few players and then kicked a penalty goal in golden point to win the game 20-18.
"I know I’m not a popular man down there but that doesn’t bother me any more. I don’t really get too much involved any more [in banter] – well, some sides maybe I do.
"I like that confrontation because that’s what football is and I think fans love that. They come to see how hard you play your footy games, even if they come to boo me, that’s okay.
"The fans really love their team and want their team to win. Even if I have to play the villain a couple of times, it’s all good."
Walker said he was not as confrontational as he had been in the past.
"I just want to play footy. It’s never been me starting it – maybe it looked like that I do – and maybe I did start it once or twice," he said.
"I probably have to keep my nose clean more these days."
Since being cleared of domestic violence charges in May this year, where he missed Manly's opening 10 rounds, Walker said he had not been sledged by opposition players. He received a fair amount of abuse on social media though.
"After games some have congratulated me on getting through it and say welcome back. That’s the great thing about rugby league," Walker said.
"After the fulltime whistle has gone you have that respect to each other. As long as you play the game hard, come off the field and respect each other, that’s all you can ask for."