Finding Balance | Notifications vs Conversations

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echnology has drastically changed the way people interact with one another. When we interact with people through social media, text messages and other forms of digital communication it grants us the opportunity to formulate a calculated response that you are not granted in normal face to face conversation.  Behind the vail of technology you can be as tough as you want often saying nasty comments you would never verbalize in person.  You can highlight all your best qualities through calculated responses over text and Instagram DMs deliberately choosing every word to help paint whatever image of yourself you desire.  In no way am I claiming every person with a social media account has these behaviors.  Maintaining our social media image, however, can add mental stress to people.

I guess you can say things just started to matter more than others used to. Change definitely needed to happen and it was time I took that first step.

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hen we are connected on our devices, we are missing out on the physical present moment.   We sacrifice the attention we give our friends, family and children for checking how many likes our last photo got on Instagram or that notification that some old friend tagged you in.  We can all feel a change happening in the way we connect with one another.  Many of my friends get so fed up they often go through periods of time closing all social media accounts.  For people who are not daily users this is an insignificant issue.  However many people these days spend hours of their day interacting socially through their devices.  Again, I’m not trying to preach that technology is ruining our connecting capacity.  Just sayin times are a changin’.  My friend Andrew hasn’t opened his social media accounts in over 2 weeks.  I think many people would love having 20K followers on Instagram, 5,000 Facebook friends and loads of Snapchat fans but one day he just decided he had enough.  While we were driving to Surfer’s Point in Ventura we talked about what motivated him to give up his social media.

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veryone has been asking me why I left Social media. 20k followers… and I just hit delete? I think I just wanted to start over. I wanted to begin a new chapter. Reset my priorities. I guess you can say things just started to matter more than others used to.

Change definitely needed to happen and it was time I took that first step. I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that being off social media is easy. It’s not as simple as you’d think.  Imagine being a drug addict surrounded by other addicts and then going cold turkey while still having to be around others using. My biggest concern was what I was going to do to fill up my time. So i set a goal and a date. My objective had to be something real, something I strongly believed in….so I choose Love and I only gave myself 365 days to figure it all out.”

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fter I devoured my Italiano Melt I kicked off my shoes and reflected on the conversation.  What I discovered is like most things in life it is important to have balance.  The entertainment we get from our mobile devices can not take a priority over people and “real life”.  That is what deserves our full attention.  How many beautiful moments will you never remember because you were focused on your phone?  How many conversations have you had with people while they passively listened?  Texting through their phony “That’s SO Crazy!” and “Are You Serious?!” comments.  How many times have you wrote out a whole thought just to second guess yourself and delete it.  We have developed a bad habit of celebrating the artificial that we’ve lost TRUE connection.

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his is a new habit we have picked up though and one that takes some time and practice to change.  It simply comes down to what takes priority over your life.  Like Andrew sometimes a break can bring clarity, an opportunity to re-focus and time to re-invent yourself.  Maybe we just all need to practice a little more phone consciousness and remember to invest in things that our hearts know truly matter.