I saw a powerful YouTube video on the negative effects of social media that has been shared on Facebook, called Look Up. You may have seen it too?
This video has an important message that I really love. It’s saying that this media we call ‘social’, is anything but. We are losing real connections with real people, face to face, eye to eye.
Some of the gold nuggets that spoke loud and clear to me about social media…
// “We all share our best bits but leave out the emotion”
// “We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies to engage with one another and look into each others eyes”
// “We’re surrounded by children who since they were born, have seen us living like robots and think it’s the norm”
// “It’s not likely you’ll make the world’s greatest Dad, if you can’t entertain your child without using an iPad”
// “So look up from your phone and shut down the display. Take in the surroundings, make the most of your day. Just one real connection is all it can take, to show you the difference that being there can make”
// “When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you’ve missed”
// “Give people your heart, don’t give them a like”
// “Look up from your phone, shut down that display. Stop watching this video, live life the real way”
Pretty powerful, huh? If it wasn’t for the fact my business is predominantly online, I really would “shut down the display”, and probably even close my Facebook account. I’ve certainly thought about it, as sometimes I feel lonely too. Even though I have my beautiful partner, friends, family, and am building connections with YOU GUYS, my awesome tribe, somehow it doesn’t feel enough, like I’m still missing something.
Life is different from when I was a kid. I used to play in the park with the other kids from the neigbourhood; wash people’s cars in my street so I could ride down to the local deli and buy myself a toasted ham & cheese sandwich; and play hide & seek with my brother and sisters in our backyard. There were no computer games or iPads to amuse myself with, only the outdoors, bikes, swings, fluffy toys and interactions with other people. What about you?
So what’s the solution?
It’s a hard one. We all have friends or family members who live in different cities or countries, and there’s no denying that Facebook is a wonderful platform for keeping in touch with everyone and sharing photos. But so is good ol’ fashioned phone calls and mail. Actually, Skype is the best of them all these days!
Facebook and other social media platforms have also become fantastic tools for building online (and offline) businesses, and have enabled many people, including myself, to quit or reduce their time working for someone else in an office space, and instead live their dream of being self-employed and working from anywhere in the world. It definitely provides its perks.
- Download the Self Control app for your laptop. This fantastic productivity app enables you to block your own access to distracting websites and mail serves for a set period of time which you determine. That means if you block Facebook for 1hr, there’s no way you can access it until the hour has finished.
- Make a rule in your household that no technology is allowed from 8pm (for example).
- Turn off the TV when you eat dinner, and keep your phone on silent. Enjoy your food and talk about your day with your partner / kids / housemate instead. If you live on your own, how about inviting a friend over for dinner mid week?
- Start reducing the amount of texts you do, and make a phone call instead.
- Choose one day a week, such as Sunday, to have a technology free 24hrs!
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you feel like you’re losing real connections, or does social media provide you with more positives than negatives? I’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below