We recently watched this TED talk, and were asked to react to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trVzyG4zFMU&feature=youtu.be

It took me a while to formulate my response to this assignment. I had a visceral reaction to it. I wanted to remove Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram from my phone. Then I watched the video, and something that Paul mentioned resonated with me: “Leaving the internet won’t fix your problems, wherever you go, there you are.”

I have noticed that whenever I feel bored, I start surfing my phone. There are so many other things that I could/should be doing. So I guess I’m addicted, in a way, to my phone. I hate being bored. My mom said, “I’m bored mommy” was my first sentence, and my dad swears it’s true. I love the idea of unplugging for a year. If I were to do that, I would want to go to some buddhist temple or something remote like that. I don’t think I could do that and still work.

Here’s the way I use social media, so that it remains a positive experience:

  • I choose not to let social media isolate me from my surroundings, and keep me from enjoying the small details. In fact, I feel closer to my family because they share photos and videos. I get to see my family, almost daily, while they live far from me.
  • It might have the ability to waste precious time and energy, but it can also make you more productive. As Paul says in the video above, he didn’t use his time away from the internet wisely. I think maybe it’s difficult for anyone to fill their days being productive. Your brain needs some down time and relaxation. Not every hour can be filled with something meaningful.
  • I do think that too much emphasis is placed on social acceptance. That’s a personal battle to have though. I like being liked, but my real friends are far more important to me than online acquaintances.
  • I don’t compare my life with my acquaintances. My mother brought me up under a simple rule: “Never try to keep up with the Jonses.” I live within my means, and focus on my own journey.
  • I try not to overshare (this one is tricky, as I tend to be very opinionated).

How about you? What are your thoughts on social media? Has it brought you closer to others, or do you feel it’s purely an addiction?