The internet bombards us with information – and when you’re a marketer, you feel that you’re a part of this problem. I love what I do, but sometimes it can get the best of you. When I look around at a restaurant, and I see friends and families staring at their phones or stopping mid-conversation because they saw their phone light up with a notification – I instantly feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment.
Sometimes I wonder, when I promote social media and urge business owners to utilize this valuable tool, am I part of this problem?
Social media is fun and valuable, yes. But is it worth interruption in your friendships and relationships with your family? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone who is attached to their phone, it can make you feel unimportant, undervalued, and just plain small.
It’s difficult for me to promote social media so much, when I firmly believe that so many people are abusing it. It’s difficult for me to advise people to create themes and strategies for their Instagram accounts, when sometimes, I just want to tell them to be themselves and “screw the tips and strategies you read!” (lol) It’s difficult for me to tell business owners to hop on live video, take photos of what’s going on in their lives, and be super active on social media, when I really just want them to pay attention to the person in front of them.
I’m not knocking social media, and I’m not telling you to stop using it. But I really want you to think about the following questions:
- Does your phone really need to be out on the table when you’re enjoying dinner or drinks with your family or friends?
- Have you found yourself asking friends to repeat themselves, because you were looking at your phone and didn’t hear what they said?
- Do you post on social media multiple times per day, and have the need for validation from family, friends, and complete strangers through likes, comments, and shares?
- Are you really connecting with the people in your life if your hands and eyes are glued to your phone while you’re with them?
- Is sharing your life with hundreds (or thousands) of people online more important than sharing your life with the people right in front of you?
I’m sick of being next to people who can’t take their eyes off of their phone. I’m sick of seeing moms and dads post multiple times on Facebook per night, when I know they have loved ones at home who aren’t getting their full attention. I’m sick of seeing a whole concert recorded on Snapchat, and wondering why someone would prefer to watch a concert through their phone, and HOLD their phone the entire time, instead of holding the hand or arm of their loved one next to them. Side note – NO ONE cares to see your entire concert recorded with terrible sound and video quality. I’m sick of being next to people who feel the need to check Facebook SEVERAL times within a few hours.
I hate to be negative on my blog, but I hope this inspires you to think twice each time you pick up your phone while you’re spending “quality time” with the people you love. My life is so much better when I “forget” my phone in my car or purposely leave it in my purse when I have the chance to be with the people I truly love and value. I’m proud to not be attached to my phone at all – even when I am fairly active online and do enjoy the benefits of social media.
Take pictures. Take videos. Document your life. Social media is fun! But after you document a few moments, for the love of all things holy, PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY! Post them the next day, or when you’re on your own time.
Because if you’re taking multiple photos, videos, and posting them multiple times throughout the day, are you really living in the moment? Are you really “having the best time”, or whatever else you put in the caption of your post, if you’re staring at your phone?
Remember what (and who) is truly important.