Why we all need to be “without” once in a while
When’s the last time you unshackled your brain from its electronic frenzy? Most of us begin each morning with coffee and email. Then maybe we move onto Twitter, then Facebook…and see who’s been creeping our LinkedIn profiles.
Do you know how to disconnect? Truly disconnect and live an hour, a day or week without creating a status update or reading your friend’s updates? If your (honest) answer is in the minutes category, it’s time to take a closer look at your personal connection strategy.
Why you need to disconnect
I’m not a self-help guru or even a visionary. I’m an online marketer and I spend an extraordinary amount of time gazing intently into one of my many computer screens. And while I love playing and working in this space, I know it’s not healthy to do it as much as I do.
Recently a Facebook yoga instructor was fired because another Facebook employee checked her cell phone during a class and the instructor reprimanded her. Why would anyone check their phone during yoga…?
To help me find balance and learn there’s a time for social media and time for other things, I did some digging into how this new medium is changing us. Sadly, mental and physical health issues that stem from overuse media, isn’t a new theory and the article, Blame the Media on Mental Floss, details 6 disorders caused by the Internet, TV, magazines and movies .
Tweeting can make you feel insecure
Numerous studies point to how empowering social media can be for introverted people but a new UK-based study suggests a darker side. For some, engaging on social media cripples self-confidence. While social media opens many doors, there’s no denying the existence of cliquish groups that thrive on exclusivity – which can demean those on the outside looking in.
Look at your personal connections on social media. If a group of people are making you feel unimportant or worse, asking you to do something that feels wrong, time to rewire your brain and remember what truly makes you a valuable and important member of the human race. You matter – and not because of your klout score.
Electronics rob us of healthy sleep
Wall Street employees are far from the only people who suffer digital withdrawal – and what’s happening to them is happening to all of us. The more connected we are, the less we sleep and that equation can lead to serious health issues.
If you sleep with your phone under your pillow or you check your mobile before you get out of bed, try to remember back to a time when you didn’t. It felt good, didn’t it? Our brains need space to explore and dream and they can’t do that when they’re tethered to the Internet.
Too much of anything makes us stupid
No man (or woman) is an island and if we spend too much time on the island of social media we forget how to live. There are fabulous meals to make and eat, amazing families aching to share our space us and breathtaking vistas waiting beyond the digital shore.
When’s the last time you yanked out that plug, took a deep breath and dove into something physically stimulating? If your thumbs are twitching, waiting to check your email while you’re reading this…you know what you need to do.
Social media isn’t THAT big of a deal – honestly
I operate my business in this space and depend on it for my livelihood. But I admit we spend far too much time on it. Neil Pasricha, author of 1,000 Awesome Things, says that we have 168 hours in a week. If only 40 56 are for work and 56 are for sleep – I’m being generous here – what are you doing with the remaining 56? Playing on Twitter? Angry Birds? Seriously
I love how social media has made our world smaller, humanized brands and removed the gatekeepers. But I have to be honest and say that I don’t love how we’ve begun to believe our digital pulse is a reflection of our real pulse – the two are not interchangeable.