Imagine being out to dinner (pre covid!) and the person you are with is checking their phone and answering texts. Most likely you are feeling that they are not fully present with you – because they are not!
Or imagine that your partner is spending a lot of time on social media, instead of spending time with you. Or perhaps your child is more interested in the screen of his or her phone, than having family time.
Or perhaps you spend your time on social media and are spending less time engaged in positive interaction with some of your friends, children or your partner.
Instead of noticing the natural world around you, you are caught in a constructed cyber reality. While perhaps you are relieved at this electronic baby sitter, you aren’t communicating emotionally with those you care about.
Social media can be fun. It can be informative. It can also provide misleading information. It can negatively impact our skills of relating person to person with those around us. It can contribute to depression and a withdrawal from our core social support system. And it can become an addiction.
It's best to evaluate how social media is impacting yourself and those you love. Limiting screen time can have positive effects on our relationships with others. The next time you pull your phone out to get on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or the like, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need to do this right now? Can this wait?
- What am I looking for, or hoping to get out of this right now?
- Can I find peace in the present moment and who I am with or where I currently am?