By: Tyler Center
Social media is a great way to build relationships, however recently I have noticed that millennial age people in particular are not doing much connecting outside of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
The whole idea behind social media is to make connections with people you wouldn’t usually connect with. Whether that is through direct messages, status updates, or followers. However, with social media ruling the world, it makes it much easier for us (yes I am including myself, because I am guilty of this too) to sit at our house & talk at a screen, rather than face-to-face interaction.
Especially with the creation of dating apps, it has made it even easier to match with someone, and get to know them all through an app, and never meet in person. While, to my parents that sounds crazy, to me that sounds pretty normal. While, I am not a huge user of dating apps at the moment, many of my friends use & love them. It is an easy way to meet people without the awkward interaction of bar introductions. I digress, the whole tech age of social media, dating apps, etc. has made us lazy, now I am not reinventing the wheel with that statement. Everyone has read some sort of “study” or article about how social media has made us more dependent on our phone and less dependent on social interaction. However, there are scarce articles about what exactly to do about this problem we have developed.
As someone who is constantly on my phone, tablet, or computer I can relate to this problem first hand. It is something I have dealt with when I am in a room full of people and we are all on our phones, not even looking at each other. One day I finally looked up from my phone and realized we looked so stupid. We had made “time” for each other, and yet we weren’t present. We all agreed that it was time to put down our phones and communicate face to face.
We made a pact to do a cleanse, not a juice cleanse, a phone cleanse. For one week this past summer we deleted all of the social media apps on our phones, and simply lived in the moment. Yes, that sounds cheesy, and ironic, however, it really made me reflect on how much time I spend online. Now, don’t get me wrong I love social media and will use it for as long as it is around. However, sometimes you just need a break, a break from the constant “interaction”. Once the week was up I downloaded all of the apps, and I can honestly say I felt such a difference feeling logging back on. I felt such a sense of urgency to constantly be available, and like photos, and post. After the “cleanse” all of that pressure went away and I felt like I truly connected with the people I was with when I was hanging out with them. It also helped me go out more, instead of looking at Instagram on a Saturday morning; I got out of bed and went on a run outside, which was very refreshing.
Social media is a fantastic tool to connect with people, however too much of a good thing is never good in the long run. Take a minute and reflect on your social media habits and try doing a “cleanse” even if it is just for a day or two.