Having found myself in a situation where I have been phone-less for almost a month (it’s a long story, getting things fixed in Mexico can be an experience), I’ve come to feel that I have actually enjoyed the break from being constantly connected wherever I go.
I actually had to plan, remember, and make sure that I am where I say I will be, when I said I’d be there.
I’ve had to hand draw maps, actually ASK people for help if I am lost, and it has been a pleasurable experience! I have enjoyed it so much that I almost don’t want to have my technology back.
I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on how technology is influencing modern society. The benefits are obvious – instant access to information when and where we need it. However it is not often that we think about the negative influences of technology on all of us, particularly social media.
Emotionally, is social media benefiting us as a society?
In reality, it only exists so that others can make money. Is that really worth the impact on our emotional well being, not to mention the associated privacy invasion? Why are we sharing quantity and not quality, loudly broadcasting our every move to anyone we have ever come across, rather than sharing intimite moments with close friends in a much more personal way? Why do we feel so alone when our mobile phone hasn’t alerted us to a new message, email, facebook message or tweet in the last hour?
Consider the many hours spent trawling through social media posts simply because we might miss something. Does spending our free time looking through all those posts add value? Or what about the search for instant gratification on posting a story to social media, and the consequential success or failure to impress our ‘friends’?
All the while we are missing out on someting truly important, real life. We as society are spending less and less time interacting in with others in the present space and instead resorting to this online presence where we grandstand the best of ourselves and omit the struggles and difficulties. Personally I know at times it makes me feel like I’m not doing or achieving enough compared to others. But what I can’t see is all of the hard work, the sacrifices and opportunity cost of bygone choices that my peers have made to be able to showcase their wins.
Maybe they too, feel like something is missing and in some way wish that they had a different set of cards to play in their hand?
We all have a role to play in the effect of social media on our lives. Do we choose to participate and let it take over? Or will we choose to step back, take time to enlghten our senses and spend time with those closest to us, those who matter the most.
I know what I choose.
Reality wins everytime. Therefore from now on, I’m choosing to be present in the currnet moment, surrond myself with great positive people and put the mobile phone away unless I’m on my own. A hard ask, considering the addiction that has been built over many years of being constantly connected.
I’m also going to make a conscous effort to choose to read and post only content which is relevant and meaningful rather than reaching out just for the sake of it (to be honest no one really cares what I had for breakfast or how good my run was anyway).
Vive the journey. And live in the moment!