Thursday, May 7, 2015

Does Social Media Keep you from being Mindful?

****...this was originally a MindBodyGreen submission that was not selected. So now I can post it here!!  (:      

Over the past several years, I have refrained from an addiction to social networking. I check my Facebook when I am near a computer. I allow myself a few minutes of Instagram every couple of days, maybe weeks. I have had the same flip phone for five years and I still use T9Word to text message. When I go on vacation, I send postcards. Sometimes I even approach strangers face to face when I have a question(since I don’t have a computer at my fingertips).

I post pictures to social media, but I do so when not in the moment of enjoying my moments. When I am out with friends and family, I like to give them as much of my full attention as possible. I want there to be some mystery to my life, so that when chatting with old friends, we can chat and they don’t already know everything I have been up to.

Social Media also gives us a really strange disadvantage to compare ourselves to others. You can sit there all day and watch people you know, and some you don’t, becoming more successful than you. Having a bigger family than you. Having more money than you. Traveling more than you. Going to a better school than you. Receiving better job opportunities than you. Although, if you are an optimist, you will be happy for your fellow social networkers. But let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to be optimistic when you log in after you have had a bad day.

I recently watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” And there was a scene when Sean and Walter  are talking. Sean is sitting with his fancy camera about to snap a picture of a snow leopard. They sit in silence, watching. Walter asks, “When are you going to take the picture?” Sean says, “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.” Walter asks, “Stay in what?” Sean replies, “Yeah. Right there. Right here.”

So the next time you feel compelled to snap a picture of that delicious, mouth-watering California burrito on your iPhone and immediately post it to Instagram, maybe try not doing so.
Take a couple breaths. And enjoy the moment for yourself, and maybe whoever else you are with. Really soak it in, and really enjoy that moment. Without the distraction. 

...Stay mindful.   (:

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