Last week I shut down my Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to make more time for my self, my family and my life. It’s a temporary change, but it feels very necessary at this stage in my personal and professional life. Why? I feel frustrated and annoyed with the amount of time we (as a culture) are spending on our phones and laptops…snapping away, tapping away and tweeting away our life in a bid to gain more connection with the rest of the world.
‘Get with the times, social media is where it’s at’, I hear you say. Yes, I agree, but so is deep intimacy and human connection, and social media isn’t providing that for me (and I’m guessing it’s not providing it for you, either).
Deep connection with other humans is essential for our wellbeing, so essential that the connectedness we experience in our relationships impacts the way our brain develops and performs. In Brene Brown’s book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, she writes, “Sometimes we only think we’re connected. Technology, for instance, has become a kind of imposter for connection, making us believe we are connected when we’re really not - at least not in the ways we need to be. In our technology crazy world we’ve confused being communicative, with feeling connected. Just because we’re plugged in, doesn’t mean we feel seen or heard.”
So what is the solution to my latest personal (and I’m guessing cultural) dilemma? To be honest, I don’t have one right now. But I do have one thing that I didn’t have a week ago - since dropping social media I feel clearer, I have more time to read those books I’ve always wanted to read, I feel more present and able to connect with my daughter, I feel like hours of time has opened up for me to connect with friends face-to-face, and I’ve realised that I’ve let the connection slip with my lover and that I need it back because it means the world to me.