Carpenter Creative
Damien Hirst at Tate Museum


Intentional Social Media

It's no secret that since I've had an iPhone, I have struggled to be present in the moment. Just ask my wife. There have been countless occasions where she's given me the nudge or the "What you doing, babe?" question, which really translates to "Put your phone away."

The real problem is not that I engage with social media, but rather I'm not engaged with my actual life happening in front of me. 

"With one eye on our gadgets, we're unable to give our full attention to who and what is in front of us-meaning that we miss out on the details of our lives, ironically, while responding to our fear of missing out." (Lori Deschene, Using Social Media Mindfully, p.133)

While I have gone between extremes of deleting social accounts to near social addiction, I have landed in a place where I believe the answer is intentionality with social media. 

In her contribution to 99u's book "Manage Your Day-To-Day", Lori Deschene gives some helpful questions to consider as you engage online and I want to share those with you.

  • Is it necessary to share this? Will it add value to my life and for other people?

  • Can I share this experience later so I can focus on living now?

  • Am I looking for validation? Is there something I could do to validate myself?

  • Am I avoiding something I need to do instead of addressing why I don't want to do it?

  • Am I feeling bored? Is there something else I could do to feel more purposeful and engaged in my day?

  • Am I feeling lonely? Have I created opportunities for meaning connection in my day?

  • Am I afraid of missing out? Is the gratification of giving in to that fear worth missing out on what's in front of me?

  • Am I overwhelming myself, trying to catch up? Can I let go of yesterday's conversation and join today's instead?

  • Can I use this time to simply be instead of looking for something to do to fill it?

  • Do I just want to have mindless fun for a while?

While I don't have it completely figured out, I at least feel that I'm headed in the right direction and Lori's thoughts are definitely helpful. More than anything, I want to have a healthy social media practice in order to be present and not miss out on the life that's happening right before me.

I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Do any of you have helpful tips or tricks you use to have a healthy relationship with your devices?