By Daniella Aryeh, Guest Blogger
When I was in my later years of high school, I would go to family gatherings and all my cousins, my parents, aunts, and uncles were all staring down at their Smartphones. It always bothered me. I have a large, close knit extended family and I wanted to catch up with them. But apparently whoever was sending my family members a text, BBM, or email was clearly more important than the person sitting across from them.
And then it happened to me.
I was going to study abroad for a year and my parents decided to get me a Blackberry as well, so I could communicate more easily with them and my large extended family. From then on, my eyes were cast down.
I once read something where the author said that not only do we suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but we also suffer from the Fear of Becoming Irrelevant and Fear of Being Forgotten. I find this to be incredibly true. We are all hooked to social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. We post our lives on these social media networks for everyone to see us having a good time, so we can seem incredibly social. But we are all so wrapped up in getting the amazing picture that we aren’t even present in the moment!!
I was watching an interview of Amy Poehler where she was discussing social media. She was saying how before the days of digital cameras and taking selfies on your phone, there were cameras with film (who remembers those days?? I do!). You would be at a party or out with friends, and take some pictures which you wouldn’t get back until weeks later. When looking at the pictures when you got them back, you would already have a great feeling and memories from that party. You would put them in an album and only ten friends saw them. She said that at that time, “your experience was separate from the party, now the photo is the experience. Now every moment has to be captured…it doesn’t exist unless you have a photo of it.”
I fall victim to this as well. But don’t get me wrong. I do think social media has incredible benefits. We can quickly get in touch with others, keep in contact with those in different countries, and cause such immense change in the world with social media.
Yet due to our constant need for our phones, our eyes are always glued downward. And I think we miss so much of the world because of it.
Yes, we may miss things that are going on in the world if we put our phone down for a bit, and take a break from social media. And it may be upsetting.
But when you stop looking down at your phone to see what you are missing and finally look up, you will see what you are actually missing.
Instead of grabbing your phone to Instagram a picture of you with your friends or family, BE with them and listen to what they are saying. Instead of grabbing your phone to post on Facebook a hilarious joke you heard, laugh until you cry and your stomach hurts.
It’s great to take pictures to look back on, but be present to make those memories. Take the pictures that are real and genuine, that capture you and your loved ones with smiles that say “we are actually enjoying each other and this is not the tenth time we are posing for this picture.”
Always be sure to look up, and be present in your life.
Let's Chat! How are you making conscious efforts to be look up and be less dependent on your phone? Share with us here!
Daniella is a certified speech language pathologist living in NY. She loves traveling, meeting new people, hanging on the beach, and will read anything she can get my hands on. She is obsessed with country music and constantly quotes Friends and One Tree Hill.
image via 5minutesformom