Why do we need social media to measure our success, compare our performance, or assess our worth? Sadly we spend more time today connected to our devices than to people. We never escape our jobs since we are always a call, an email, or a text away. It’s no wonder that we love those vacations where we are out of the cell phone service area and are unreachable. Social media consumes an excessive amount of our time and energy, yet we seek affirmation through our posts and pictures. Our worth is tied to how many “likes” we get rather than the internal satisfaction of the post. We’re driven by the external rewards, praise, and approval instead of generating them from within.
So why do we base our value and worth on the number of contacts, likes, and positive comments? For starters, our devices give us easy and quick access to a number of people and since we are not very good at delaying gratification this is a perfect venue. We can also remain somewhat anonymous and detached from the process since we’re not engaged in a face to face interaction. Some of us have become more comfortable interacting with a screen rather than in front of a person. Maybe we feel less vulnerable or can be more honest with the screen message. We prefer to confront the conflict or share the emotion with some sort of barrier between us and another person.
Relying on our devices to find self-worth, confront conflict and acquire approval is not the best approach and limits our personal connection. Our laziness leads us to follow the path of least resistance and avoid the discomfort of everyday life. We assume that our devices are a more efficient and effective way to deal with conflicts, build self-confidence, and connect with people. The reality is that deeper connections and personal relationships develop from face to face interactions and self-confidence is an inside job, not based primarily on the feedback from others.
Think about how much time you spend with your devices. How would you feel without access to a screen for a day, a weekend, or even a week? I challenge you to consider taking one whole day or for those who can’t handle the withdrawal feelings, half a day to be without all of your devices. How would you spend that time? Consider watching a sunset, riding a bike, playing a board game, or even having a meaningful conversation. We miss out on so much when we bury ourselves in our screens. Decide today to take the plunge and replace your screen with a person, nature, and/or a physical activity.