During my holiday, I decided to completely disconnect from FaceBook and email. No posts, no scrolling down the newsfeed, no replying or even checking for emails – not logging in at all.
Possible? You bet!
Was I tempted? A little (ok, more than a little)
Were the moments lived and the memories created worth leaving cyberspace behind? Absolutely!
Relaxing at the beach, with amazement I watched people pass by seemingly glued to their phone screens whilst walking on the beach and even going into the sea, and not just over dinner I noticed couples and sometimes even whole families each sucked into the virtual world on their handheld device missing all that was going on around them every single moment. Not even aware of shooting stars, colourful flowers, the beautiful scenery, inviting gelato displays, even missing whole conversations as they were tuned out to what was going on, not paying attention to their family, spouse or friends…
Did I miss any of what social media is offering? Not one bit. The reward of drinking in the real world was so much bigger and better than I could have even wished for. Loving every second of the time spent exploring, discovering, enjoying and conversing in real time with real people, tasting real food. Living in the moment, creating and sharing memories.
Life and happiness are not created online, nor are relationships. Real life happens in the real world every single moment. So dive in, be present and live mindful to experience happiness, your true nature, and a feeling of being content. All that comes from inside whilst experiencing, enjoying and being grateful for life instead of getting sucked into an edited and curated world social media wants us to believe there is.
I am not saying to shut off completely, however prioritizing time and making sure real life comes first guarantees a life truly lived. When this ride is coming to an end, I am pretty sure no one will ever wish they would have spent more time on the internet.
From time to time switch your phone on silent, quieten your mind and awaken your senses, be it in class, at home, outdoors…take the time to be fully present.
Below are three of my “balanced life” rules I have committed to a few years back:
No email checking between 8pm and 8am
No phone calls after 9pm
No phone checking at the dinner table or when meeting friends
Go ahead, give them a try.