Who just repinned my new wishlist backless dress into their boards? Who’s been commenting on my Instagram photos on Facebook?
What’s the deal with this new company representative joining my LinkedIn Discussion? Oh no! Forgot to re-tweet Annie’s invitation to the others, now what!?
Our unprecedented and unforeseen immersion in social media, not only befuddles sociologists and worries psychologists, but it also makes our mums lament the gloomy future of the next social-media-bred generation.
Keeping sane and still in the know, amidst all the information, developments and facts is almost impossible. Currently, we’re being held captive of our own greed; we constantly want to be connected; it’s unthinkable to miss anything worth repining or re-tweeting. This has made us terminally obsessed with a parallel online life, leaving us ignorant of how harmful this is.
In an honest effort to get you —and ourselves—out of this social media obsession, we provide some common sense rules you ought to (try to) follow, unless of course you’d like the idea of being sucked into the social media vortex with no (sane) way out!
Nothing online can ever be as urgent as things going on in real life. Unfortunately, we tend to gravitate towards relatively insignificant online stuff. We forget how blogging photos of our precocious baby’s first steps is not as important as actually being there, taking in that delightful moment.
Living the moment will always surpass in significance the mere action of communicating the experience.
It’s like getting ice-cream and watch it melt away in your attempt to let the world know: “Hey, look what I bought”, when what you should be doing was devouring it, like there’s no tomorrow. A kid would do that, but not a social-media obsessed adult.
Setting social media boundaries
Boundaries mean having a clear sense of social media as work and social media as play. Confounding the two is a lethal recipe as it makes it impossible to switch off and return to reality.
The other aspect of having boundaries, is the daily allocated time for social media. Make a pledge to never exceed it, in fact make efforts to gradually decrease that time. This will translate in more time actually living, rather than posting and pinning about (how we’re supposed to be) living.
When your online life is unplugged, it’s the end of it. No exception should be made, unless of course some celebrity got divorced and the virtual community dies to learn what you think, right? I’ll let you decide.
Once you remember how much you’re missing by staying in, rather than being out there, you will somehow find the courage to resist the temptation to be part of what’s hyped. Seeing through it will enable you to reckon what’s worth your time and what’s not.
Real Life is Irreplaceable
Avoiding actual socialization— the one requiring your physical presence, face-to-face socialization— in view of an allegedly hassle-free virtual communication, is like exchanging your life for an elusive, insubstantial, non-rewarding prize. We often confound being alone with being lonely, figuring out their difference will be rather enlightening.
Don’t ever forget how life was in the pre-social media era, when a break meant a stroll in the park meeting with friends. Life exists and matters beyond the social media sphere, will you join us?