Why bring up social media in this context? Let’s see: most of us do use social media to some degree, be it fully fledged online social networks like facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, pinterest, Instagram and similar outlets, or your good pal WhatsApp and the simple text message/email or phone call. Ah: got your interest now, right? Most of you may have forgotten about those last three and their friends like Skype or Zoom and friends, right?
At this point, I’d ask you to take a step back and think for a moment which channels you use to communicate with your friends, with your work colleagues, with family. Some may find that it’s different channels for different groups, others may see a huge mix of all kinds of people on each channel. While this is interesting to realise, the real shocker is how much we are using online media to stay in touch.
Next step: now that you have identified which social media channels you use, let’s find out how often you use them and for how long. As before, imagine a typical weekday and how you interact. If you find it hard to determine how much time you actually spend with social media that is not entirely hard to understand, and you certainly are not alone in this: we all have integrated social media so much into our lives because it’s possible to access anything and anyone with a swipe on your phone and voilà.
While this is a wonderful thing in some cases, it also forms a bit of a trap: you can in fact get in touch with the world at your whim, but so can the world with you! It’s a constant interaction and your intrinsic wish to stay connected stands against your need to be focused and/or alone at times. Multitasking is never a good thing and being interrupted by beeps and rings all the time is neither productive nor conducive to the quality of your relationship with those people. Everything will ultimately feel flat and uniform because there is no longer any level of ‘special moment’ in either of those interactions.
And now do the same with a weekend day! Without the interruption of work requirements you may find that you spend even more time online or in communication with people who are not near you. Have you ever been on a night out where suddenly you find yourself surrounded by people who spend more time on their phones than they do with you and each other?
What about summer time then? Well, being away from your daily routine will bring a lot more opportunities to experience, see and do things that you may want to show to all those people online. Maybe it’s worth considering that you actually want to get away from it all and enjoy what you are doing right now for a change.
Social interaction with those at home is grand and I definitely will not keep you from sharing special moments, but there is something to be said for interrupting your social media participation for just a while. If you are engaged with people (family, friends), BE with them fully rather than slipping in and out to update your status. If you are travelling on your own, enjoy the opportunity to meet people, observe and note what strikes you as interesting (by all means: take pictures for yourself and without considering their postability on social media).
Social media take away from the full experience of doing something new, unusual, with different people, and most importantly: they take YOU away from that group, and they leave you separate from those that surround you in real life.
Perhaps a weekend’s trial run would be good to see how it feels? Follow these three tips for a day or a weekend:
Important advice: once that period is over, take a moment to determine when and why you struggled, to which degree you were successful and most importantly: how it felt to NOT worry about social media.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.