We are more connected than ever, but it is killing us.
Every day, I see people walking around head down fully immersed in a four-inch screen. Today’s smartphone provides access to the newest and most addictive drug: social media. We get high off likes, loves, comments, DMs, and every other way to interact through a screen.
Seems harmless, right?
What we see through this screen is a highly filtered, carefully selected, well-staged reality. We are living in a world where we are criticizing people for being fake or untrue. We criticize the use of airbrushing or photoshopping on magazine covers’ models, but we scroll through filters on our phones to select one to best hide our imperfections.
I’m not preaching because I am just as guilty. I have done it. It’s an intoxicating drug that provides us an immediately elevated sense of self. It sounds so cool to have followers, but it can be a highly destructive behavior.
When we indulge in this world, we are no longer present for what is really happening around us. We are no longer immersed in those around us. This has dramatically changed social interaction. We do not converse, we snap. We no longer date, we Tinder. We no longer share a story or joke with a person, we post.
This is happening with adults and children. We are drunk on social media, creating vastly worse unrealistic expectations of “normal.” We are exposed to the highlight reels. People rarely share their fears, their failures, their sleepless nights crying.
This is a major psychological issue that isn’t being addressed by most people. Did you know that if you unplug you will be okay? Did you know that getting away from your phone and going outside is actually healthy?
Aside from that, there is a slew of physical issues. For starters, sit up! When you are constantly slumped over your phone or computer (like Gollum pining over his precious), you are messing up your body.
We aren’t made for largely repetitive tasks like hunching forward for eight to 12 hours a day. We are meant to lift, climb, push, pull, carry, sprint. Not punch keys on a computer while sitting in a chair on wheels in a cubicle.
You need to decompress from this information overload that is draining you of your life, your joy, your ability to engage. Try this: Put your phone in a timed safe or have someone hide it for just three hours.
I know for some of you work may be an issue so perform this on a day off or a weekend. Sleeping doesn’t count.
Get away from it and do something. Go live out in this amazing place called earth. Take pictures with a real camera if you must. Have conversations with a person, face to face. Get lost in your town. Go to a museum. Live!