Anti-Social Media     

Anti-Social Media     

I’ve been taking a social media vacation. I needed a break. The more people I speak with, it seems that I am not alone. Others are also spending less time in their online communities yearning for a simpler way of life without the need for constant connection.

How is it that the very thing called social media has actually created a world that feels more lonely than ever before? Why does it now take effort to post, click, and interact, when it used to be light and fun? Why are many of us feeling anti-social with a need to disconnect?

There are a number of factors at play. The main reason this is happening is because we are actually having less and less physical interaction and the cyber world of likes, friends, and emoji’s has attempted to replace communication and connectedness. The bubble we’ve created of online dating and socializing has finally hit us hard. We’ve become burned out from this seemingly artificial way of feeling loved.

The problem is that we have forgotten what it’s truly like to bond and have intimate relationships which can only be created by speaking, listening and being present with another human being. Instead, we partially get involved when in truth, it isn’t a complete relationship. If we aren’t talking on the telephone, facetiming, or meeting up for coffee, then it’s somehow inadequate. Is it better than nothing? Probably. But when it comes to feeding our souls and uplifting our spirits, it may just be having the opposite effect.

With an increase in depression and suicide rates, it has shown that over time, this world of online chatter can magnify our feelings of loneliness, and leave us feeling depleted and unsupported. To top it off, if we’re already feeling down and then tune in to other’s fabulous lives on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it only deepens our isolation.

Maybe it’s time to do a social media detox. Here is how:

  • Take a Break– Especially if you’re struggling emotionally or spiritually, stop scrolling through your social media accounts. The world will not end if you take 7 days away from your feed.
  • Replace it– Once you start your week long detox, replace your social media time doing something else. What excites you creatively that you’ve been putting off? When was the last time you read a book or took a class? How can you get back into real life instead of your online one?
  • Stop the Habit– Any habit or addiction takes work to overcome. You’ll need to literally make conscious efforts to leave your phone in the car or in a different room in order to be more fully present in your life. If you’re out with friends, stop with the impulsive need to check your accounts and BE HERE NOW.
  • Back to Basics– Start booking lunches and hikes with friends and make a point of bonding physically. Reach out to old friends in order to reconnect. If you’re looking to date, spend less time on the dating apps and more time at networking events or social gatherings. There is nothing more important than that we have physical connection, especially with those that lift us up.
  • Change Your Routine– It is so easy to do the same thing over and over again and sometimes structure is a good thing. But during this cleanse, force yourself to do something different. Finally book that group bowling or karaoke night or take a two-day getaway without the need to post every single detail about your trip.
  • Delegate – If you use social media for work purposes, hire somebody to help. There are plenty of people who can take over and assist with your online messaging. Learning to let go and asking for help will free you up and make room for exciting new opportunities and relationships.
  • Selfies to Selfless– For goodness sakes, stop with the selfies already. Feeling the need to capture every moment of your day is just boring and truth be told, nobody really cares about what you ate for lunch. Instead, be present in what is and breathe in every second instead of looking for the perfect lighting and backdrop for your next photo.

If you’re like me, you may feel more isolated and disconnected than ever. While it’s easy to blame social media, we cannot be held captive any longer. We must make a conscious choice to break free from this modern way of being and get back to living life fully. Spending time in nature, enjoying community, relaxing over candlelight and wine, and listening to soothing music are some examples of how to do this.

If you’re feeling burned out it’s up to you to make choices that lift you back up. The very thing that we have come to rely on to make us happy and to give us a sense of support, is doing the opposite. There is no better time to take a break and see what it’s like to enjoy yourself without the busyness of our online world. Day by day, start to cleanse and recreate new habits that are life-enhancing, heart opening, and ultimately, the way things were meant to be.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness and Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

Two Ears and One Mouth, Use Them Accordingly

Two Ears and One Mouth, Use Them Accordingly

We’ve all heard this saying before. The reason that we have two ears and one mouth is so that we can listen more than we talk.

Unfortunately, in this world where many have become self-obsessed or just plain busy, we seem to have forgotten the valuable art of listening. Instead, as you may have experienced personally, we go from party-to-party, coffee date-to-coffee date, and meeting-to-meeting feeling completely unheard and unseen. Many of us have discovered a shift in how people are communicating or should I say, not communicating. If you’re sensitive to people’s energy like I am, you may feel overwhelmed or drained by others doing too much talking and not enough listening.

In this world of social media frenzy and instant gratification, we don’t communicate the way we used to. In fact, making a personal phone call or having a face-to-face chat has become almost passé. People spend much more time texting, on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat then having an intimate conversation.

Because of this, people are feeling lonelier than ever before. A time has come when we must make important shifts towards getting back to basics. And to start, that means learning to listen. I mean, TRULY listen.

Being present isn’t always easy especially with so many distractions. These days we are bombarded by everything from our iPhones to shiny billboards so it’s no wonder people aren’t communicating. We have forgotten how. Spending time with somebody doesn’t mean what it used to. Instead it’s common to see two or three friends at dinner all on their cell phones with heads down to their screens.

I am writing this article as a reminder and to bring awareness. It is time for all of us to become more conscious. There is an epidemic of lack of focus, patience, and presence that has never been seen before. And it is only getting worse. But we can begin to make positive changes today.

Awareness

Awareness is the key. Simply being aware that you aren’t aware is the first step. When we become conscious of a negative pattern that we keep repeating, we can then step up and change it. Once we recognize that something is no longer serving others, or us we can begin to reprogram our minds and our negative habits.

Listening

As difficult as it may be, we need to force ourselves to be present with others. We must make ourselves listen intently without distractions. When we have private time with friends or if we’re at a party and somebody is telling us a story, we owe them the honor of being heard. And vice versa when it’s our turn to speak. True listening doesn’t mean interrupting and going into a personal experience that is similar but instead it means standing firm, being quiet, and simply taking it all in. Often people don’t even want our opinion, they simply need somebody to listen. Their desire is to feel acknowledged and heard.

Practice

Just like anything that we aim to master, practice makes perfect. Once we become aware of where we need to improve, and we put it into practice, we then begin to work on shifting things for good. We practice not picking up our phone during a dinner with family or while your child is telling you about their day at school. We make it a point to schedule more time with our friends rather than simply texting or instant messaging on Facebook. We plan a walk or workout without bringing our cell phone.

It won’t be easy at first but as we change things up, it will become more and more of our natural way of being. We’ll begin to remember what it’s like to be present, living life the way’s it’s meant to be lived. We’ll begin enjoying the small pleasures of connecting with people around us in a deeper and more meaningful way.

We have two ears and one mouth, let’s use them accordingly.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.

http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL The 12-Week guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!