It’s important for us to be aware of how quickly our nation has become addicted to technology and social media, and the effects this is having on our relationships. Humans thrive on their interpersonal relationships, and without them, depression and social anxieties begin to take hold. Today we are going to take back our wellness, our sense of organic connection and really implement it in its rightful place in our lives: center stage.
Without looking up to say hi to someone, without truly listening and having honest heart-to-hearts with people, our brains will stop processing intuitively and compassionately. We will continue to become victims of data mining, addicted to the latest social media trends. We can’t let that happen because we need our free will to remain intact.
Our quality of life must be prioritized to keep our society healthy. Living in Los Angeles where social media is all the rage, I too experience the temptation to hide behind my phone or my laptop and avoid social situations by binging Netflix.
But it has to be called out for what it is. This is a mass social media addiction - one we need, desperately, to detox from.
The same way any other addict might not know they have a problem, social media addicts are so deep in it that they don’t see how it’s affecting them and those around them.
How To Kick The Addiction
It will take a strong will to shift the habits we’ve created over the last few years. But if you begin to see how important face to face, real conversations are, you’ll be motivated to do more real-life exchanges and less digital ones. We can’t rely on our social media status to bring us happiness because it’s fleeting, it’s not real and it’s not healthy.
Social media should not be something we get anxious without, and we shouldn’t base our self-worth on the version of ourselves we project over these channels. We need to talk with people and stop obsessing over ourselves, because narcissism is one of the hardest habits to recognize and break.
Happiness comes from helping other people, not from popularity and image. So it’s time to detox. Let yourself check social media once a day for a set amount of time (maybe 10 or 15 minutes) but not constantly. Try to avoid it while eating, while standing in line, and especially while conversing with loved ones. The obsession is absolutely out of control and it’s hurting you. What’s scary is it’s free and we get our fix anytime, anyplace. Mark Zuckerberg just became the 3rd richest man in the world, richer than Warren Buffet.
People are profiting off of your addiction. If you don’t get real with your own social media behaviours, if you are checking your phone hundreds of times a day and avoiding real interactions or conversations, it could change your brain immensely and very quickly. It will take over, to the point where you’re no longer able to survive without it and you’re no longer making decisions based on what’s good for you, but rather what will look good on your Facebook.
How To Be More Human
We are not meant to be looking down, scrolling through images, watching glimpses of people’s lives we probably don’t even know. We are not meant to be engaging with people through hearts and emojis. We are losing our humanity and it will allow our brains to be programmed in a short period of time. In fact, we are already programmed. Think about how much time you spend on social media, how many times you post, or your first impulse when you see something that moves or excites you. Is your first impulse to grab your phone to snap a picture or make a post about what you’re doing?
When did we allow social media to enter our lives in such a major way? Just as junk food was introduced to the public without us realizing it was addicting, we are in a new form of digital junk addiction. We need to sign off, meet people in person, talk to them for hours and get to know each other again. The stresses we are dealing with in this fast-changing time are different than they were 5 years ago.
We can date, work, and eat in totally different ways than a few years ago. We are overwhelmed with options of how to spend our time; we need to keep grounded and pointed towards goals that will actually provide us with real happiness. The get-rich-and-famous-quick mentality, which is preyed upon by so many social media apps, has stolen our ability to cultivate meaningful relationships.
So get dinner, cook together, stay up late and go for hikes. Be human again and don’t let yourself be sucked into the digital abyss.
Challenge yourself to use social media less and really pay attention to how much time you spend on it. Notice your impulses and habits and how it’s become such a deeply ingrained part of your life. Try going without it for even one day and see how much time opens up in front of you. You’ll start to notice your surroundings and see your quality of life improve.
Social media can be used for building connections, activism, and awareness, but more often than not it’s used by people unconsciously seeking validation. Don’t let yourself be taken for a fool and stand up for our culture by taking back control of your mind. Discuss this with your friends and family and see if you can work together to do a social media detox. Talk about how our social skills are atrophying. Talk about how we are easily manipulated by the identity crisis of social media addiction.
Have the intention to bring back kindness and compassion to our society. Technological advances are not always beneficial. The average person’s attention span just a few years ago was 50 minutes. Now it’s 12 seconds. Think about that. How will we continue to learn when we are so easily distracted?
Reclaim your ability to focus by reading, studying, and learning new things and stop reading digital tidbits, half sentences, and communicating through miniature pictures that are meant to replace entire paragraphs. Challenge yourself to open up to the feelings that make you human.
Related Article: Break Through Unhappiness: Recognizing Selfish Thought Patterns