Shake things up: it's time to change your perspective
In an age of technology everything is accessible online, gone are the days of cracking open the encyclopedia or grilling the grandparents for information. Despite some questionable 'alternative' facts, the internet has provided us with a means to stay connected near and far. As someone who lives thousands of miles across an ocean from her native homeland I am truly appreciative of this. However, in recent weeks I am finding myself more and more reluctant to engage in social media or read those online stories, good or bad - but especially bad. How ironic that someone who has decided to write a blog would make such a statement! I suppose that leads us to look at the 'why?' Why now? What changed? My perspective.
I've never been much for sharing personal details about myself on the world wide web, but I find that as I grow older? perhaps wiser? or maybe just more content with myself and who I am, I am less and less drawn to those social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Gone are the days of constant updates and checking in and tagging images - now unless it's business related I find myself limiting my posts to 'feel good' fuzzy animals and stories of amazing humans. There's nothing wrong with that I hear you say. I actively go out of my way to only share uplifting and funny posts, because quite frankly I am finding more and more that these platforms just bring us down. We've all done it, opened up our page to quickly check in or share something awesome and next thing you know it's and hour later and you've been sidetracked through endless mini stories, quizzes and images of food/working out and babies. Don't get me wrong I love the photos and seeing people share [I do it too remember], but I hate how much time it takes us away from being present.
How then do we stay engaged across the world with distant friends and relatives whilst still being present in the one we reside?
Step 1: Set times or business hours. We do it for our children, why not for ourselves. Implement a monitoring system - a time constraint on screen time. Set up appts with those we wish to chat to [like when we used to have to make phone calls and leave voicemail messages without expectation of immediate response]. I know this is going to be difficult - as adults we feel we can self regulate and "I'm not that bad"but I challenge you to a social media cleanse. I'm going to do it to! Don't mistake this for going cold turkey and avoiding altogether. Yes checking in with your father or sibling or best friend who lives in another country is important but that can be at a set time, when you are fully engaged. This challenge is more about setting limits on the time you aren't present with yourself, friends and family. They should be our priority.