I was driving in my car the other day and I happened to see a family taking a walk. It was a lovely day; unfortunately this family did not seem to appreciate the beautiful Arizona weather, as each member of the family was looking down at their cell phones. Mom and dad and even what I assumed was Grandma were missing out on any human contact, completely engrossed in their cell phones. The only one who seemed to be enjoying the walk was a small child sitting in a stroller. This need to be so connected, at all times, completely overshadowed what could have been a lovely experience together as a family.
Every once in a while I think we all need to take a social media holiday. Just a day to unplug from the world around us; we need to unplug from world events, from war, terrorism, political rants, and from people who over share.
Social media can be a fun and positive tool to connect with others, but is can also interfere with healthy relationships and experiences.
We have all experienced a situation where someone completely missed out on a special moment because they had their nose buried in their phone. At ball games, concerts, parties, you name it…people are so focused on their phones that they miss out on experiences and opportunities around them.
Social media can also become problematic for some people. It’s easy to become sucked in to the negativity that can pervade Facebook and Twitter. Especially now, during an election year, the posts and comments can get extreme. Watching people hurl vicious insults at each other can be very disheartening. I care deeply about the future of this country, and I believe it is every citizen’s responsibility to be an active and informed participant in our democracy, but not at the cost of our own sanity. Sometimes we just need to take a break and tune out all of the ugliness.
Even personal relationships can benefit from an occasional social media holiday. We all know someone who has a tendency to ‘over share’ and this happens on social media as well. Being able to take a break and steer clear of any drama is not only a wise choice, but it is also healthy.
Turn off your phone and take a walk. Play a game or have a face-to-face conversation, instead of sitting around surfing Facebook. Make memories without posting them for all to see. We all need some balance in our lives, and taking a social media holiday once in awhile is a great way to achieve that.