We live in a world where everything is buzzing, dinging, and loading either in our pockets or purses. We have given the world one-touch access to us, and we have instant access to it. Social media has changed the meaning of being social in many ways. Facebook's word choices (like, following, friends) were brilliant marketing word choices, but we must be careful not to let social media take the place of what has always been valuable to us.
There was a time when friendships took years to establish. Now, we have to request to be "friends" on Facebook with one click of a button. Our group or clique were the folks who knew the most about us, and we shared memories and experiences. Now, we can create a group and not know 95% of the people in it. Suddenly, our lives can be followed on Instagram by people worldwide that we will never know. But in real life, a stranger following us around is creepy.
I'm not bashing social media, and nor do I hate it. Social media has been an effective tool for me to encourage other moms to press the reset button in their lives by focusing on self-care. It's also a great way to share pictures and updates of our kids with our families, who we see only once or twice a year. However, call me an ambivert, an Aquarius, too private, old school, or anything closely related, but I can't get to a place where I'm just totally in love with it. I guess I'm more old-fashioned than most people these days. I absolutely love connecting in-person or offline and often need alone time to focus on dreams and goals. Or should I say, I really enjoy connecting IRL. In case you don't know what that means, it's "in real life". Don't feel bad, I recently found out too.
It's so easy to get lost in scrolling and get distracted by timelines that we subconsciously neglect the things that make our lives complete. I want to encourage us all to disconnect from social media, even temporarily, to connect or reconnect to what sparks chemistry, ignites passion, and burns our souls.
Although it's hard to remember a time without cell phones, that time did exist. Before cell phones and social media, we relied on our memories. We made it just fine through an era of smiling when we thought of a place or the vibe we had with friends. Disconnecting from social media allows us to feel and see everything around us just like we used to. Call a friend and meet up for coffee or take the kids for a walk in the park. Even though I know you'll be tempted to take out your phone and capture the moment, don't. Be truly present with who is in your presence and only share that experience and create that memory with them. Focus on your goals and dreams, even if motherhood has forced you to adjust them. Write that book, launch that podcast or clothing line. Open your Etsy store and show off your creativity. Do something new that you enjoy or something you know you need to do. Read a new book, adopt a new hobby or get up and exercise. Sit down and color with the kids or stand up and dance with them. Create a new family holiday unique to your family values and beliefs. Go on a date with the one you love. Hold hands, complement each other, admire each other and make plans for a romantic getaway. Take it all in.
Replacing the time we spend on social media with "me" time could be what we need to feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and re-energized. Capturing the moment of authentic, meaningful social experiences with those we share our lives with is more important than responding to notifications on Facebook. There's nothing better than being in the presence of people you value and who value you. We can't hug through our phones, and no amount of comforting words in someone's DM can replace the importance of physical touch. No smile emoji can ever take the place of seeing someone smile. LOL can never replace the sound of really laughing out loud. So, even though it's okay for us to enjoy social media, we have to remember that there's more to life outside of entering in a username and password. You don't need a password to love, like, LOL, comment, share, care, follow, or be friends IRL.