My teenage years mostly took place before social media came onto the scene. More accurately, during a social-media-lite phase of reality.
I had a website and a public MySpace account, where I posted about my surfing, books and travels. But I barely spent any time on those platforms at all! And eventually, when I did get a Facebook and Instagram I can’t say it made my life better.
What was I doing before social media stormed our lives? I was out adventuring the island with my friends and family, surfing, diving for shells in the ocean, picking fruit from trees, and just being creative with my girlfriends. I was going to youth group activities -where we’d play the wild and gross games that the leaders had planned for us or attempting silly pranks. Those years are filled with so many precious memories of being in nature, having fun with the people around me, and soaking in life experiences.
…And I still do a lot of this with my kids! We hardly watch TV; we are always looking for some solid fun “real life” quality time making the most of what we’ve got around us!
In the past 10-12 years our cultural approach to technology and the intense daily priority given to social media has taken a major shift. Now we are checking Instagram several times a day to see what everyone is up to. Spending time isolated in our houses on social media, or vegging on TV, video games, etc. instead of having meaningful experiences and conversations with family and friends…
Here’s a thought, these are digital isolated experiences or relationships, versus tangible in-person experiences and relationships. I’d argue that social media gives us a false sense of ‘knowing’ what’s going on in someones life, whereas an actual conversation is real life connection and bonding.
…Or maybe we are out enjoying a beautiful beach day, but not forgetting to pose for photos to post on IG or SnapChat. During family time, we are responding to “important emails” on our phones. Interrupting face to face conversations because of calls we “have to take.” …Yes, at times I too am guilty!
Well, I’m calling us all out, cause friends, this is NOT how life was meant to be lived. We’ve just eased into all this stuff as a culture, welcoming it into our daily routines, and accepting it as the way things are, but it’s not the way they’re supposed to be. We are not made for this digital overload.
So what can we do when we are constantly faced with these distractions and when our energies are pulled away from the things that matter? How do we refocus back onto the truly important things… things like relationships, homework, chores, or taking healthy steps toward our goals in life? Because both our energy and time are limited commodities!
In a recent conversation with Kate Merrick for my Unstoppable Year online course Kate told me how she completely disconnected for several months; no cell phone, no email, no social media. When she tells people this she gets so many people who say, “well I’d go off Instagram… but I just don’t want to miss out!” They’re having “F.O.M.O.” (Fear of Missing Out).
“What I realized is… we’re afraid of missing out on other people’s lives… We need to be afraid of missing out on our own lives!” -Kate Merrick
I love that! Cause I sure don’t want to miss out on my life!
And isn’t it so true?
Here’s the thing:
Being present is POWERFUL. It sets you up to face your current season and situation. That’s why we’re flipping F.O.M.O. on its head to say that slowing down and being present is the first step to Living Unstoppable. I’m excited to share with you more of my convo with Kate on being present in our own lives, and in our own experiences.
I’d love to have you join me and hundreds of others who desire to live a life unstoppable. Check out The Unstoppable Year.