Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Social Media and Our Health

Most of us are blessed enough to have certain resources in life that make it a whole lot easier. Resources like smartphones, the Internet, and even social media have transformed the way our World communicates and relates to one another. I think that there is a lot of good that comes from social media. If it weren't for Facebook, I wouldn't be able to see pictures of my relatives who live all the way in Michigan, and they wouldn't be able to see how amazing Sawyer is at hitting a baseball. If it weren't for Facebook, Instagram, or SnapChat, I probably wouldn't even really know what my siblings were up to these days because we lead such busy, yet different lives. I think that social media can be a very good thing in staying connected to the ones who mean the most to us. While there is a lot of good that comes from social media, we cannot ignore what negative things come from it. It is my hope that through this blog entry that my readers will see that even the use of things like social media should be used in moderation.

Two weeks ago, I had a huge eye-opening experience. When I woke up that morning, I immediately looked at my phone and browsed my social media accounts. It was like a second nature instinct to do so. I started out browsing Facebook for a few minutes, and when nothing interesting came up on my newsfeed, I immediately switched to my Instagram account. Scrolled through Instagram for a few minutes. I liked a couple of pictures of food and some other miscellaneous pictures that were posted. Once I realized I had reached pictures that I had already once seen before, I automatically switched to SnapChat, because obviously people have updated their stories by 8 am every morning. Amidst all of this, my 3 year old was watching my every move and said, "Mommy, get off your phone and snuggle with me, please." That, right there, was what made me realize that there was something that I need to address with myself. This was something that I don't just do in the mornings. No. This routine is something that I have found myself doing more and more throughout the day. I found myself constantly looking at other people's pictures and the lives that their social media accounts portrayed, instead of actually living my own. I was so buried into my phone that I didn't even realize that I had friends and family who were trying to spend time with me and wanted so badly for me to be present with them in that moment. So as of late, I have made a conscious effort to lessen my mindless social media usage a little bit each day. I no longer check it when I wake up. Instead, I snuggle with my son and enjoy the little time that I have with him in the mornings each week. I honestly have gotten to the point where I only look at social media when I am using the bathroom. In the evenings, I spend them with my husband as much as I can instead of trying to figure out what everyone else is doing based off social media. My heart has been fuller these past couple of weeks than ever. I am beginning to realize that living in the moment is so much more fulfilling than trying to capture the moment on your phone and post it on Instagram and Facebook for the world to see. And while I have not completely cut out the use of social media, I have been able to reach a balance with it.

I shared this story with you because I wanted to be real with you. I always want to be real with my readers. This is something that is not necessarily nutrition or fitness related, but absolutely health related. If we spend our time constantly wondering what other people are doing with their lives instead of actually living our own, that is not a healthy way to live. I want to challenge my readers to take a moment out of your day and evaluate how much social media usage you partake on each day and if there is ever a time where you could have put the phone down and spent time with family or friends, or read a book, or go on a walk. Take time out of your day to actually live in the moment, instead of trying to create, capture, and post it.

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