Social media has undeniably changed the way we feel about our connections to others.
We are addicted to the constant buzzing of texts and emails. At the same time, we crave more intimacy and genuine closeness with others.
Do you ever respond to global events posted online?
Do you sometimes feel waves of suffering that seem to shout out from your screen?
It is easy to become overwhelmed. Once we internalize others' stories, our brain begins to register warning signals. For example, we might become anxious and cancel that long-dreamed trip overseas.
Monitoring our device usage is critical to staying calm amidst the competing stories which today view for our attention.
What do you communicate on social media? Is your social media an ongoing reflection of your values or do you use it to complain and comment about all that is right/wrong with your life?
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said that "you are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time." On social media, we scroll through endless posts and invest our time with hundreds of people. It's dramatically more effective to narrow the group of friends we follow.
Following only those who lift us up with their optimism and compassion is a wiser choice than, for example, secretly faulting or feeling superior to others who think differently or express opposing political views.
Do you ever talk to others about the impact of social media in your life? Devices add another means of communicating with others, but limit the much needed interpersonal communication.
Meet up with friends, co-workers or family members and talk about how devices prevented you from being present in a live conversation. Share stories about listening with purpose and without Apple and Android on the table. Explore ideas and questions about finding meaning while competing with YouTube. Gain fresh insights into how your digital communications often undermine heartfelt expressions best shared in real time.
How will you hit the pause button on your device? Set phone alerts to check your devices at an appointed time. Drive your urges to check, check, check what’s happening out there. Set another alert to remind you to check, check, check what’s happening inside you.