Lately, I’ve been trying to restore a normalcy almost forgotten – life before smartphone-ageddon.
Contrary to popular belief, there was a time before social media. (sarcasm intended)
This, of course, excludes those born in the Generation Z era (mid-1990’s and early 2000’s) who would think we were crazy since they were practically born with a smartphone in their hand.
Once upon a time, we would communicate the old-fashioned way by talking, making eye contact, and establishing healthy interactions – not in a semi-distracted, not-quite-here manner constantly lost in a virtual world.
Have you ever found yourself wondering why a friend hasn’t posted in a while or why they might have disabled their social media accounts, yet never think of just reaching out through a phone call or text? Of course, how close you are to someone will also determine the length you would go to to reach out, but it’s no secret that social media has left a permanent imprint on the way we think.
In some cases, the communication has broken down so much, that you’ll find some people playing this game of innuendo through Facebook or Instagram posts or a lack of engagement on yours thinking their being smart by indirectly trying to get your attention, hoping you’ll get a clue and then reach out to them. I’ve noticed that the best way to snap these people out of their silliness is to just ignore it and never entertain it. This way, they will (hopefully) realize at some point, that they are being ridiculous and that if they have an issue, to communicate it in a normal, proper way without social media being the vehicle for it.
Content is Key, So is Moderation
Too often social media feeds are flooded with content that makes you go, “why do I need to know that?” Now, at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I have been guilty of doing that because I fell into that same rut. But now, I’m trying to break away from it in order to establish a renewed sense of living because, really, what are you accomplishing by letting others know that you’re about to eat a sandwich, or that you just got yourself a coffee? What value is your content bringing?
We engaged in all of these activities before the smart phone era and never had an urge to post or broadcast it, so why now? Have we become that attention-hungry that social media has conditioned us to always think through the lens of a camera phone? Scary thought, isn’t it?
What happened to just having dinner – and that being it. Enjoying your time with your company by actually talking and interacting with one another without being concerned about what your next Instagram story is going to be. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy your time so much more since you’d be giving yourself the opportunity to actually engage in the company of others. It’s like going to a live concert and having your phone up for the entire show. You have to give yourself a chance to really enjoy and absorb those intimate moments that you actually paid for, instead of feverishly trying to capture everything on camera.
I’m not trying to be unrealistic and suggest that you should never want to snap any moments at all, of course, when there is a reasonable break in the conversation, capture those memories and take those photos – but in moderation. It’s all about balance.
Now if I take a picture of my meal, I try doing it with a purpose – to advertise the establishment or the food itself, so that anyone viewing the post may want to try it out. It’s free marketing after all, and a different approach than just posting a what I’m eating for no reason.
All I’m saying is that, if you’ve become an Instahog, try toning down the amount of time you spend posting and when you do post, think about the value of what your posting. Try just having a meal with friends without your phone and your Instagram feed taking up most of the night, and see how much better of a time you have. Don’t miss out on key opportunities to meet new people, establish new, healthy connections the good-old fashioned way. Let your phone take a back seat for once and relive a reality almost forgotten.