Struggling to Find Balance with Technology/Social Media

By Richa P

    (This dog is saying, “please get off the computer and play with me.” Photo: Jeremiah T)

Okay, so I may be one of the few people you know that is choosing not to have a smart phone. I still have a phone from 2011 that slides with a full keyboard, it’s super easy for texting. Sometimes, I get funny looks because my phone seems so “old” to others. Do I choose not to have a smart phone because I think it’s inherently bad? No, not at all. It’s been really amazing being able to communicate with my friends and relatives in Nepal and around the world whenever I want. It’s nice to know what people are up to and be able to celebrate milestones with them. The reason I have avoided getting a smartphone is because I have this sort of personality where I can focus on one thing for too long or get attached to things too easily.

I already spend a lot of time on the computer, it takes most of my time at work. I am on the computer when I get home too. I struggle to find a balance between living in the present and being connected all the time. I don’t want to have a life only on social media where I post what I am doing constantly, take a million selfies a day, and generally spend most of my time interacting with people online instead of offline. And frankly, we don’t all need to know what you are doing every hour of the day. It’s just too much. I am trying hard to stay away from that because I already see people in my friend’s list who are like that, people who  you take time to meet up with but they spend most of their time looking at their phone. I get annoyed because I really like to spend one on one time and I feel like I am wasting my time if the other person can’t focus on me, or us. Perhaps I am being too sensitive but I really do treasure that kind of connection.

I recently read a blog post by Jarrid Wilson. This quote stuck with me, “We need to bring our phones back to being an accessory, not a priority.” I would like to tweak that a bit and say, ” We need to bring our technological gadgets to being an accessory, not a priority.” I am already starting to fear what kind of world my future children will live in because everything is moving towards more technology, Google glass, 3-D printers, more advanced phones, cars that drive themselves, etc etc.

It has also affected my time with my husband. He will come home and I can’t take my eyes off the screen or I get mad at him when he is working on his computer after work hours. And it’s becoming too frequent that we sit next to each other on the couch with our Mac books on our laps concentrating not on each other but on other things.

I am working on trying to find a balance though. I have vowed not to check my emails during the weekend, I have been pretty good at it but I still check Facebook constantly (morning, night, day, whenever). I want to take the time and be 100% present when I do the things  I enjoy like being with my dog, reading books, baking yummy goodies, having conversations with my neighbors, or doing nothing. Being present in the moment without having distractions and not being afraid of that quiet space.

I’ve seen a few things saying that social media is making us more lonely. So far in my experience, I don’t feel that way but I can see how some other people might. I recently read an article about a woman who spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery so her pictures on social media could look better. It actually made me really sad that social media has become this place where we have to sometimes outdo each other or make our lives look super exciting. I am also guilty of that, I do crave that attention sometimes and I want people to notice me and the things I am doing.

Social media and technology is great for so many reasons and I enjoy using them. I just don’t want it to take over my life. So today, I am committing myself to spending less time on the computer and more time doing things that I enjoy. I want to live a full life away from the screen and more time with the people I love and the beautiful nature that surrounds me.

What are your thoughts? How has technology affected you? Where do you see the world going? Do you have any tips on learning how to balance?

6 thoughts on “Struggling to Find Balance with Technology/Social Media

  1. Pam Tittle says:

    Richa, I love what you have written and completely agree with your views. The first step in making a change, any change, is noticing what you are doing that is not serving you. That, just that, is a huge step. We can’t change what we don’t see. So, you have already done the heavy lifting part. The easiest way to make changes is to turtle step your way there. Pick one thing to do that feels super easy. So easy that you almost can’t miss being successful at it ~ even if you tried. Like deciding you won’t check Facebook between 9 and 9:15 every morning. Do that for 3 days. Reward yourself with a small treat like a yummy cup of chai tea. Then pick another super easy goal ~ and repeat!! Before you even know it you have turtle stepped your way to creating that desired shift. The key is to treat yourself with little yummy rewards along the way and to set a larger reward for yourself at the end. HINT: pick rewards that are not food based!! That might not be as much of an issue for you as for some of us!! 🙂 xoxo

  2. Yukta says:

    Social media definitely has its pros and cons. It gives you a platform to “stay in touch” with people, though you may really not be in touch in great amounts, I guess it gives you the idea that you are. Some people just live on it! It is definitely not necessary to post everything though, from what you are eating for breakfast, to when you are going to the gym, to your late dinner and all of this from the same person. Like you said not everyone needs to know what you are doing every hour. But it is also great to see posts from people every once in a while and see what they are upto and such! If you are on social media, you are partly there to share some part of your life with people, as you should. pros and cons.

  3. nila says:

    Richa, not only you, these days all young generations, even small kids spend more time with these things. Sometimes i feel people will forget how to interact with each other without their phone, computer etc. Until now, it hasn’t effect my life so much.

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