Your excessive social media habits are ruining your life. I write these words like a declaration – to you, to myself. It’s true, there’s something beautiful about scrolling through a gallery and being reminded of specific people and places that you love. There’s something strangely nostalgic about seeing a past post and remembering exactly where you were and how you felt.
But sometimes it’s too much; it’s too much.
I used to gravitate towards the feel of water between my fingers, or the sand between my toes. I used to go on runs for miles with only the sound of the wind rushing in my ears. As a writer, I used to love the silence. I would crave the calm of birds and of crickets, mixed with the chicken-scratch of my writing. Now I’m drawn to music, unsettled by the quiet. Now I have keyboard clicks and drum beats – the silence is drowned out by my need to be stimulated. And perhaps by my fear to fully disconnect.
We live in a world where social media is the ruler. Where there are hacks and tips at every turn. Where I’m relying on a pixelated photograph to remind me of someone’s touch, or a robot-voice to tell me where to turn. A world where I’m too focused on a perfect caption that I forget to enjoy the moment as it happens. And updates are more important than actual experiences.
Where have we gone wrong?
We’ve become so obsessed that we’re scared to live without our hands attached to a tiny screen.
We forget how to talk to people next to us or to breathe in the silence. We lose sight of ways we can naturally create an inner sense of peace – one that isn’t dependent upon reading posts, scrolling through articles, or seeing what everyone else is doing while simultaneously being distracted from the lives we live.
We dance around this shocking, terrifying truth: the moment we become dependent upon our devices for connection—for survival—is when we’re not really living anymore.
And yet, is it all so bad?
I read countless articles saying that we’ve changed as a society – reliant on everything but our own hearts, own voices, own hands. There’s still beauty, isn’t there? In memories we can scroll back through, or songs that can fill our homes with laughter and melodies. In messages where I can bring words to life or even send live snapshots of where I am, how I feel.
Maybe it’s learning that there are two sides to where we are – excessive social media habits and rational ones. And maybe we can learn to live somewhere in the middle – a balance – less restriction, less fear.
I wish it was easier to ‘turn off,’ to ‘unplug.’ But I guess it’s more of learning to be intentional. It’s more of finding our rhythm and letting go of the chains that hold us to these devices. It’s more of recognizing our habits and choosing to be different. To look away. To be here, in the present, and nowhere else. To be content. At peace.
Featured Image Credit: Jordan McQueen