Our lives are filled with distraction. Now it comes at us 24/7 by way of social media. Look around you. How often do you see people staring at their phones as they walk, drive or even while they’re in conversation? Are they fully engaged in life or are they disconnected and living through the lives of others via social media? Don’t get me wrong, I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linked In and I enjoy catching up and seeing what my friends are doing. And I post for work and to update my friends and family. But when I’m looking at social media, more often than not, I get annoyed because I know there is no way I can keep up with all the data coming in, all the pictures, the videos, and the updates, yet at times, I waste my time trying. I see it affecting the loved ones around me as well.
My teenagers are glued to SnapChat (which is way beyond me). And my husband over the past year has gotten addicted to Instagram and Twitter. Yes, he reads some news on these sites, but he also gets his mini adrenaline rush each day by watching video feeds of daredevils on motorcycles or people taking near death strolls along towering cliffs and skyscrapers, or by watching MMA fighters beat one another up and talk smack. A narrowcasting of social media geared to his liking. But too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.
It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole. You pop onto Facebook to see what your friends are up to. Next thing you know you’ve watched a few funny or inspiring videos that someone has forwarded and you haven’t even caught up with what your friends are doing, nor have you finished the dishes or the laundry or the bills. Or written your book. The dishes and all the other work around the house are distraction enough when it comes to writing or doing the things that you love to do, so when we add social media, watch out. Time is sucked up at an unbelievable rate.
How do we fix it? Good question right. We can’t fix everyone else’s distraction, but we can work on our own. Limit your social media time. Maybe you only check it morning and night? Maybe you set a time limit when you get on and stick with it? For example, ten minutes and that’s it, off it goes. Maybe you cut down people or groups that you follow? Do you really care what Adele and Sue Bird are up to? (Well, maybe a little.) Make a conscious effort to see what’s around you when you walk. Listen with focus when you talk with someone. Put your phone down. Live.
It’s not easy to focus fully on our lives and to break the social media habit. But we can try. Do you ever feel like you HAVE to open your phone or computer to check Instagram or Facebook? Do you NEED to see what others are doing or show them what you’re up to? Social media can be addictive, so it’s important to take note of your use or abuse, your possible distraction and make a conscious effort to enjoy it as an enhancement to your real life.
*Limit yourself and be in charge of the madness…and if you’re looking for some good distraction, you can follow Sonya Gaubinger Elliott or the PeaceLoveBasketball Facebook Page. 😉
WRITING PROMPT: Write about distraction in your life.