Social media is a double-edged sword. You can keep up with friends and family in situations where you might not have telephoned for updates in the "olden days." Digital life also generates FOMO: fear of missing out. Your life may not seem as fabulous as the lives of others as presented online.
In our real world interactions, we may be an absent presence. Sure, we’re in the same location with someone to share an experience. Chances are good that at least one person in your small group is spending that shared experience in the digital world, not really engaging in what is happening in real-time.
Yes, those likes on your photo can give you a little dopamine boost. The problem is that personal value is now being judged by likes, shares and comments. Social media does not determine your worth.
Digital life may be impacting simple skills that earlier generations learned through social interaction. Social media doesn’t teach how to create real relationships, resolve conflicts, or negotiate a successful relationship. The value of these things make relationships sustainable. We need to work on making human connections.
We are tethered to our devices, increasing our stress levels. We take them to bed and treat them like a human participant in our lives. It’s difficult to be mindful.
Ways to Stop the Digital Takeover
- Stop sleeping with your telephone on. Overnight notifications deprive you of sleep. Don’t check your social media as soon as you wake. You need some downtime. Turn off push notifications. Buy a separate alarm clock.
- Work on being present. Don’t keep your phone on the table when sharing a meal. Put your phone away when you attend a social gathering.
- Put the phones away for family time. Parents can’t have phones out when the kids don’t have phones. Keep your kids off devices overnight and hand the devices over after morning routines are complete.
- Be sure you don’t let your couple become a thruple. Your device isn’t a member in your partnership.