Has there ever been a morning when you haven’t checked your phone before you got out of bed?
Instagram: check. Facebook: check.
Emails, Twitter, LinkedIn: check, check, check.
I know that I am addicted to (anti) social media. The real question is: are you?
I often find myself ‘hanging out’ on Instagram, lost in a sea of photos of lives, which are deemed as perfect. Constantly allowing our self worth to be compared with the number of followers and/or likes we have.
On average, we spend 4 years of our lives looking down at our mobile phones.
We spend our days tapping at, listening to and constantly plugged into at least one device, instead of paying attention to our immediate environment.
Doesn’t it seem kind of ironic how our touch screens are actually making us lose touch?
We are stuck in a generation of media over stimulation.
Don’t get me wrong: I like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They have their time and their place. They are great outlets for sharing news, creativity and pictures yet our constant use of social media is becoming a substitute for the human brain.
Young people struggle to fully engage in conversation without glancing at their tiny screen that is beckoning them to disengage from life and the world around them. I know am guilty of it myself. Who isn’t?
Being social has become a lost art. Most of Generation Z and Gen Y are all totally immersed in social media – which poses the question will our social interaction and dialogue with real people slowly decline? For future generations, social engagement as we once knew it will be gone.
These important social skills are not based around posting a status or re-tweeting an inspirational quote for your “friends” to see. The tried and true social skills allow us to talk to someone with confidence, look them in the eye, hold a conversation and critically think (without reaching to Google it on your phone).
Perhaps we are willing to sacrifice our sanity and humanity in return for the momentary rush of re loading pages filled with ideas, opinions and photos, constantly changing every minute.
But maybe we are not.
Maybe we can learn to make a conscious effort to put our phones down, pay more attention and engage with the world and the people around us.
You would be surprised how much more of the world you see without having your head down. It’s the simple things, the tiny details which you miss out on.
I class myself as ‘In Recovery’ – starting with baby steps: not using my phone on my commute to work, reading books instead of my Facebook news feed and eating my food instead of instagramming it. It’s not hard. It’s about allowing yourself to be mindful about your constant habits, which are letting life pass you by.
Let’s start to live in a world where we smile when we have low batteries. It’s easier than you think.