When I was growing up there was never a lack of things to do , ways to keep my mind busy , kids to play with, new things learned, new situations to experience. I wonder if those who preceded me lived through similar situations at the same pace I did. These wondering thoughts have recently found room in my mind because of the technological changes that have mushroomed so extraordinarily quickly over the past century. As I grow closer to my middle age years, I’ve noticed, that I seem at times attached to my high tech phone which I use for social media. So much so, that social media interactions have captured my mind and kept my hands so busy that I forgot what it’s like to stop and play, to take time to interact personally with people, to make a quiet moment happen to rest, and to refresh my body and mind. Two weeks ago I found myself at am impasse of sorts asking myself “what does this even mean and why do I even care”.
Over the years I have been a great defender of social media , Facebook , Instagram and various other social avenues as being essential to growing my business, essential in todays world of technology, essential to staying connected to what is going on in my community, to stay current events happening around me. What technology began helped me connect to friends far away , to family members I don’t see enough, and as a platform to stay top of my business. This was all well and good but honestly it turned into something quite the opposite. What I mean is: technology, especially the social media side of technology, does all those things; however this obsession has becomes more like a drug or a stimulant that I can’t stop using. It’s affected my life now in a negative way. I feel I’ve lost the art of noticing and enjoying simple pleasures like making time to see the beauty around me, to partake of connecting to others person to person, to keep relationships and family connections strong, and to stay at the top of my business.
I took a break from social media and It hasn’t taken long for me to realize there is a difference in my feelings. What I’ve learned over these two weeks of shutting off my interaction on social media is simple yet powerful enough for me to know that I don’t see myself diving back into that world the way I did before.
Here are a few of my personal observations:
There is a place called the world, where real things are happening ; things that are palpable that I can touch and see.
I’ve been putting value into things , feelings, experiences. and relationships that actually do not exist through social media.
My closest friends of which I can say I have five to ten(closest, like bffs , life long twenty year friends) are some of the happiest people I know and they aren’t active social media and guess what? They’re my closest friends and we haven’t lost contact or connection.
My family, I don’t connect with them on social media—we talk on the phone and visit each other in person so, like well yeah not using social media to stay connected with my family.
The sounds, sights and beauty of nature have been silenced because of my eagerness, anticipation, and desire to check my social media world. I feel compelled to see what I’m missing out on when what I’ve been missing out on is actually what is right in front of me—begging me to pull my head out of my tech equipment and take notice of the real world around me.
This isn’t to say social media has no value to me or that I’ve deleted all my accounts or that I won’t use it occasionally. Its just an observation that for me, real vs not, value vs invaluable, connection vs disconnect. In fifteen short days I have remembered that I quite like the real world, and that I also have no intention on letting day to day life pass me for the artificial world on social media.