Mindfulness, Personal

Unattached For The Holidays

For anyone who knows me, they would know that title is a double entendre… However, today I am talking about technology. I find it interesting that there are two types of people during the holidays – those who “attach” and those who “detach” from technology. There are the SnapChat users who film themselves or the Instagrammers who have to stage the perfect photo, and then the others who are over the age of 30 and still use Twitter and Facebook (*raises hand awkwardly*).

Recently I entered a challenge to detach from the phone (most of the great things in my life start with challenges it seems). “I don’t think you can do it. A whole week without social media? Completely off the radar? No emails? Nothing?” my friend questioned. Challenge accepted – I’m a competitive person.

Off I went. A whole week without my phone and laptop. There wasn’t even a moment of separation anxiety. That moment we all wait for, that “oh my gawwwwwd, where’s my phone?” never came. It. Felt. GOOD. So good actually. And don’t get me wrong – now that I’m back on the radar, I am happy to be, but it made me realize that technology isn’t the problem… people are.

We’ve created the genius of technological advances, and we’ve created the monster that can come with it. Our technology can be used for so much good. Need help with finances? There’s an app for that. Did the battery die on your old fashion alarm clock? There’s your phone for that. We can Google just about anything, and now politely ask your brand new “Alexa” to find whatever you need.

However, it’s also created things like paranoia, stalking (hello you location trackers you), unrealistic expectations and a social barrier between people. The thing is, the technology itself cannot create these things. We as people are creating these things. Which means we have the power to change it too. Things like “location sharing” were created to help people from being kidnapped on a blind date, not to track the people you don’t trust. Social media was created to be social, but not take away from in-person time.

And that’s the point of the holiday season – that in-person time. The time we don’t get often enough. To see those people you haven’t seen in a while and enjoy quality time with them. If you take a quick snap or spread some quick cheer it’s understandable, but if you’re seeing someone you don’t get to spend quality time with often enough, remember that those are a few seconds taking away from your genuine connection just to “share with the world” how awesome that moment was. Fun fact? If the moment is THAT awesome you’re going to forget about your phone completely – trust me. It’s true. I ditched the phone for a whole week and I’m a changed woman.

#Latergrams? I applaud you. I’m all for snapping photos and videos of the memories – I do this too. Sharing them in a quiet moment (guilty of posting while in the bathroom), when you’re not taking away from the quality time. Paying it forward? I challenge you too. Take a break. Disconnect. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

When I’m not posting, I’m living. When I am posting, the moment has passed and I’m enjoying alone time. It’s refreshing. It’s full of connection and discovery. Give it a whirl – not just this holiday season, but for all the good times in your life.

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