While on a walk this morning, I kept looking at my phone’s Facebook app. Click. Scroll down. Like. Scroll down some more.
I was like a robot walking mindlessly through Grant Park in downtown Chicago with a short-term canine friend on a leash. My thoughts kept taking me elsewhere. I wasn’t in the moment or the present.
Throughout the hour walk, I kept feeling bad about how I wasn’t doing X, Y, Z. I thought about I wish I could be doing A, B, C. Usually, movement makes me happy and puts me at ease. Maybe it was the fog?
My (Sort-Of) F*ck It Moment
I put my phone in my pocket. My canine friend – a German Shepherd Husky mix – bolted. With me attached.
After getting my bearings, we stopped abruptly. We looked at each other for a few seconds.
And then at the same moment, without a sound, we went.
We sprinted about 300 meters all-out. Faster than my usual 12 MPH all-out at Orangetheory. A lot faster. But my mind was clear; I was in the moment.
I don’t know what the speed was, but I was completely out of breath. While laying on the ground to recover, I saw this:
The sun started to slowly make its way through the clouds. The water of Buckingham Fountain washed in the background. It was nice – especially without the usual traffic that early in the morning.
Movement Without Presence Is Meaningless
If we go through life mindlessly or without meaning, what is the point? I don’t intend for this to be a conversation on “the meaning of life”, but my walk made me realize how in-sensitized and, at times, unhappy certain aspects of social media can do to people. A few thoughts:
We often spend time, money, and energy on trying to impress people we might not necessarily care about.
More importantly, it’s better to focus your efforts to cultivate more meaningful relationships with those that you do want to be around.
Social media can be a great way to connect with new and interesting people. However, I’ve found in-person and/or verbal communication to be the most meaningful and effective to me.
I haven’t tried to log my usage time on Facebook, but I know it was a lot. When I was bored or didn’t have something to do, I’d scroll.
But then it became something I did when I woke up. And then something I did while waiting for the bus or train.
Enough. Enough. Time to take the time to think about how we spend our time.
Related: Change: Improving Based on Feedback
Perhaps related to the other two, I do find enjoyment and staying connected with friends, families, and colleagues via Social Media.
But I don’t want it to be the primary – and certainly not the only – vehicle to utilize.
I love getting page views, likes, and comments. The feeling of instant gratification or the “hit” you get when you receive the real-time feedback is powerful.
Being mindful of something that can also takeaway and erode that happiness or fulfillment is important though. It’s a balance.
Turn that Sh*T Off
It would have seemed difficult for me to Google how to do this a few hours ago. Not anymore:
After a few steps (which Facebook does make easy, but tries to “are you REALLY sure?” you a few times), it was done:
It feels good.
Looking Back and – More Importantly – Ahead
Don’t forget the past but don’t try to re-live it.
Prepare and plan for the future you want, but live in the present.
Readers, what are your thoughts on social media? How do you stay connected and maintain meaningful relationships? What are you trying that’s new or different?
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