Essentially what we learned in Part One is that social media is an evil entity that divides and isolates us from the rest of the world.
I kid… kind of. In all seriousness, though, when used in an overabundance social medias and even constant “connection” can actually increase feelings of inadequacy and loneliness.
The problem is that we want to connect, but have become so reliant on our devices to do it for us that it can feel straight up scary to go without. It’s time for we humans to do the human thing, and practice our metaphorical “Hi, this is Tommy, is Kimmy home?” in the mirror until we get it right.
Here are 5 ways to reconnect with humans, with ourselves, with nature.
- Compliment someone. This simple act can make a person’s day, but it can also do more than that. Although making somebody feel good should be a no-brainer, it can actually be quite challenging to approach another person, even when you’re saying something kind. Practicing this skill by offering a compliment is like working a muscle that will get stronger over time, increasing your ability to strike up face-to-face conversation and connect.
- An hour a day… For an hour a day, shut it down or leave it in the other room. This exercise might sound easy, but it can be eye-opening to discover how frequently you reach for your phone when it’s not there. The habit is so ingrained in us because we use it for multiple reasons… to check the time, to “jot” down a thought, to look up some fact, etc. Just like any bad habit, the danger comes when you’re not aware of it. Have a screen-free hour a day to write, read, do a physical activity, or even just think, to connect with yourself and become more aware of your habits, so you can better discipline yourself throughout the day.
- Play games. Not everybody is super into games, but there are so many different types of games that it’s silly to write them off completely. Games are a great way to connect with friends and family, especially when you’re replacing individual screen time with them. You might get resistance at first, but soon everyone will be so absorbed in the game, all will be forgotten. You can even work up to a phone-free game night.
- Write someone a letter. If you find yourself feeling drained or antsy and, for some reason or another, just wanting to kill time, instead of endlessly scrolling, which can subconsciously make you feel worse about yourself, pick somebody to write a letter to. Snag a piece of paper and your
titanium ballpoint pen and let someone know you care about them by letting them know what’s going on with you, really… not just in some “my life is great” post on Instragram. Give someone the joy of receiving a letter in the mail, and maybe they’ll return the favor.
- Just sit. So often, we reach for our phones because we’re uncomfortable. Yet, rather than dealing with that discomfort, we merely shove it aside and distract ourselves with screen time. Sitting alone and just being gives you time and space to process your thoughts and analyze them so that you can debunk the negative and bask in the positive. If you have any goals, now is a good time to fantasize about achieving them. Bringing this non-activity into nature is a great idea, when possible, because you can simply sit and observe the world existing around you, allowing yourself to feel a deeper sense of (you guessed it) connection.