Emotional Safety: Taking A Break From Technology

I heard an amazing statistic at a presentation today by Adam Braun, founder of Pencils for Promise. The average person looks at their cell phone an average of 144 times a day. It was shocking to say the least. My first thought was that there is no way I check my phone that many times, but when I started to think about it I realized I am probably guilty of this. My second thought was that this is just an average, so some people check their phone more! Wow.

We are constantly inundated by technology and social media these days. The options for connecting with others on social media seem endless and are constantly evolving. Social media supposedly allows us to have a glimpse in to the lives of our “friends.” What we see however is a glimpse in to the life that a person chooses to show us. Even though we may perceive it as such, it is not reality. Are all the people we have on our friend list really, truly our friends? Probably not.

A recent study demonstrated that Facebook users emotions were effected by the content they viewed on the website. It is very easy to look at Check-ins, Vacation photos, etc. and wish we had the same lifestyle.  I certainly am guilty of living vicariously through other peoples vacation photos. It is easy to get sucked in to social media sites and realize so many minutes have been wasted without really accomplishing anything. Other times a person may not walk away and fall into despair wishing and wanting more in their life. Perhaps at that point, they begin to look up past relationship partners to see what they have been doing and comparing life events. Even though we may feel good about connecting with some people through social media, there are many ways that we may feel negatively.

Social media can give us the opportunity to connect with people we know and from our past. It can be helpful to make connections, network, and easily catch up on other’s lives. It is important to remember the shadow side of social media – Cat fishing, bullying, effects on mood, etc.  One thing remains true, the most authentic relationships we have in our life will be maintained in person. So let’s all make an effort to put the phone away and experience life in the present.

How many times do check your cell phone a day?

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