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Social Media Stole a Piece of Me and I'm Claiming it Back

With mental health and self wellness being a top focus lately in the workforce and schools, I think we need to take a good look at our use of technology.     



I wake up and the first thing I do is grab my phone and check Instagram, Facebook, and my email.  Then I find my way to the coffee.  The phone gets placed back on the charger and I will randomly scan it for recent activity as I pass by.

There's three typical uses of our Smartphones.  We use them for business, socially, and to seek information fast!  Everything we need is at the tips of our fingers.  It's no wonder we are constantly face down in our devices.

Most jobs function at some level using a device.  Whether it be a text, email, or conference call...a lot of business is handle from our devices.  My husband and I have an e commerce site (check it out here!) and I can't tell you how often we are contacted with questions.  Those that own an online business know its 24/7.  At any given moment you are contacted by customers. Since owning a business is like having a baby, we tend to it regardless of the day.  Then there's the social media aspect of having a business.  Many businesses are driven solely by social media which means...more screen time!

I think we can all agree...if we post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram we find ourselves more glued to our devices. Whether it be our dog cuddled up with us or our children doing something extra cute...posting on our feed is like attending a social event and you're actively there!  I enjoy interacting with anyone who leaves a comment and I love seeing those likes. 

Recently, I've been observing this digital world we live in. In elementary schools children are assigned ipads, toddlers maneuver touch screen devices with ease, and even the baby boomers don't leave the house without their devices.  Technology is rapidly changing at lightning speed and it's hard to keep up. Just think...the instant you purchase a new phone or ipad it is old technology.

I pull my phone out when I'm going for a walk, bored, sitting in the doctors office, waiting in line at the grocery store, hanging out with my kids, and even when I am with my friends and family.  It dawned on me one day that I am constantly in my phone and it just may be affecting my mood and my children's mood.  In fact, I know it is!

To best describe my symptoms, at any given time, I can feel anxious, distracted, at a loss for time, and irritable. As I reflect on my busy and demanding lifestyle, I've come to realize that I haven't always felt this way.  I remember when I didn't have a phone.  I recall my first pager and half the time I forgot it.  How about those days when you took quarters with you so you could use a payphone to check in with your parents.  Do payphones even exist anymore!?!  What about writing notes in school?  Now just send a text.  Times have changed and they've changed so rapidly...no wonder I feel so anxious.  Everything is at lightning speed!

Interesting Facts

  • World Wide Web created in 1989
  • First Website launched in 1991
  • Smartphones became popular beginning in 2010
  • Pinterest March 2010
  • Facebook went public in May of 2012.
  • Instagram hit 800 Million users in September 2017
  • 51% of internet traffic is "non-human" and 31% is made of hacking programs
Don't get me wrong, I love technology and it's pretty useful, but I think we need to have some type of balance.  There are many things we can do to bring our attention back to what is happening physically around us rather than our virtual world. Below I compiled a list of ideas to claim our freedom back.  To get back to the basics. To unwind from being distracted.  Even if we just picked one of these and stuck with it, over time we will have improved our presence in the moment. 

Claim Back our Present Moment

  1. Don't sleep with your phone.  Leave it on a charger in another room. 
  2. Turn your notifications off.  
  3. Read a physical book rather than an ebook.
  4. Take social media apps such as Facebook off your phone.  
  5. Have a charging station for phones and keep them there.
  6. Have scheduled times to check email 
  7. Limit Social Media to evenings such after the kids are put to bed.
  8. Never text and drive
  9. Turn internet off of phone and unplug
  10. Do a 30 day technology detox 
  11. Honor your weekends. Take a small break.
  12. When visiting with family and friends keep your phone out of reach.
  13. Use Moments on your iPhone or iPad to track your usage spent on your device and set limits. 
  14. Designate a family night where no devices are present.
  15. Claim back your time by establishing business hours 
I can't tell you how many times I've looked up from my phone to find my kids into something they shouldn't be because I'm distracted by one of my many devices.  I wonder where my anxiety comes from.  I have good reason to believe it comes from times when I go on Instagram and find my friend is enjoying a beautiful day outside while I struggle to get dressed.  Or I get a business email that I feel I need to answer right away but I'm in the middle of family time. It's constant and it's catching up to me.  It's time to claim back that part of me that didn't know about Smartphones.  That woman that didn't look for a text, or didn't work on weekends because my email was not on my phone.  It's time to enjoy my present moment and stop looking at my digital world for socializing.  There's plenty to be done right in front of me. 

Help me add to this list.  What other things can we do to claim back our presence in the moment?


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2 comments

  1. I agree with you in that smartphones are a double-edged sword. I definitely grab mine in the morning and look at email, Facebook, and Instagram first thing ... I'll be honest and say this is usually done in the bathroom, lol (I have an immunodeficiency disorder though so I spend a lot of time there). I find it refreshing when out with friends to leave my phone in my purse, though, and I've been trying to do that more often that not.

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  2. I'm happy to see I comply with almost half of the list of claiming back presence in the moment. Luckily, as I've gotten older, my vision is slipping, so any 'quality' time I spend on Facebook is at my computer. I usually don't even open the computer on the weekend ;)

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