How often do you find yourself mindlessly surfing Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or other social media sites? What do you gain from the experience? What do you lose? What satisfaction do you reap from the experience?
I asked myself those questions and decided that personally, I could be using my time better by making meaningful connections with others. Most of my close friends and family live in other locations, so we communicate by email, text or Zoom. I admit that when I am busy with work projects, I don’t stay in touch as often as I’d like. I want that to change. In the Psych Central article, “The Importance of Connection,” the list of the benefits of connection include improved mental health, longer lifespan, improved quality of life and increased fulfillment. We have known for years that spending hours on social media impedes meaningful connection and continue to do it anyway.
Over the past year, I have disconnected myself from routinely checking social media. The messages were becoming repetitive and I am pleased with the choice I made to step away. I found that I was missing the real connections that make me happy, feed my soul and give me a feeling of self-satisfaction and self-worth. Now I find myself making time for activities that I enjoy – reading, walking, connecting with family and friends for coffee, a meal or a virtual chat and surprisingly, just relaxing. That change has led me to shift my perspective and pay attention to my work-life balance which has been lopsided for most of my life.. Recently, I have received an increase in emails from old friends, former clients and training graduates, sharing tidbits about their lives. It is wonderful to receive direct messages, a sign that others want to feel connected too.