Social media is odd in a sense that it really offers no sense of relaxation (even if you are zoning out) and no sense of productivity. Most of us are addicted to it and it would take some serious effort to break the habit. An easy test is to leave your phone by your side all day and only use it for phone calls and I’ll even say text messages. See how easy it is for you to NOT use your phone for anything else. If you have to use an app or email for work, fine, just don’t open Facebook, Instrgram, Pinterest, Twitter or anything of the sort.
Think about it.
Have you ever been at a social event or sitting at a family gathering on your phone and you look up and everyone around you in on their phone?
Have you ever been at a restaurant and noticed a family of four all consumed by their phones at the dinner table?
Have you ever been out with a sole friend or sitting at home with your loved one and realized you are both sitting their playing with your phones?
Now, have you ever wondered in all these situations what would be happening if there were no phones around? What would you be doing? Talking? Laughing? Engaging in conversation and sharing thoughts, experiences and ideas perhaps? Trying a new activity?
Here is how social media’s connections have really disconnected us all, from each other and reality.
1. We are using technology as a form of communication without really connecting. We are not really being seen and heard literally and figuratively.
Reality Check: When you are with people communicate with them and resist the urge to pick up your phone.
2. Social Media is everyone’s highlight real. It often showcases our best and happiest moments. Vacations, celebrations, fabulous hair, bodies and outfits, the happy couples and the happy family. We do not live without struggles, we just rarely share it on social media. It is an odd way of proving our self-worth to the world. “Look at me, I am ok” is really all we are trying to say. It is self validation in a sense.
Reality Check: Social Media is not what it appears to be.
3. Comparison is the thief of joy. In regards to number 2, we see these highlights and often compare our bodies, our lives, our homes, etc. Everyone is putting their best self out there. How many times have you taken 5 selfies and then deleted the most undesirable looking 4? I have. What we do in turn is compare ourselves to other peoples bodies, lives, jobs, and think we are not enough. When really, two minutes ago before you opened Facebook you were, until you compared yourself to someone else. Don’t let social media steal you joy and everything wonderful about you.
Reality Check: Resist the urge to compare your life to everyone else’s highlight reel. It is unfair to you!
4.We like LIKES, followers and “friends.” We like pictures that get 50 likes, when our Instagram followers increase and feel proud with how many Facebook friends we have. Again a form of self-validation, that we are ok and worth it, when really these likes have very little meaning or validity.
Reality Check: Develop your self-worth by building better relationships with people around you and put your social media time into activities that bring you joy, happiness and accomplishment. And then delete any follower or friend who you really don’t know or would not be able to strike up a conversation with in person. It is not mean and they probably do not care either.
How To Break The Habit
To break the habit, set a 30 minute time frame in the morning to check social media and a 30 minute time frame at night. Really, do you need to be on it for more than an hour anyways? During the rest of the day be present in your job, whatever activity you may be doing and most importantly be present with the people in your life.