Over the weekend my husband and I watched the Netflix documentary #thesocialdilemma. Have you seen it yet? It is most definitely a necessary and important watch.
I have to admit that I was quite shocked by the level of manipulation of users in social media land. And what struck me the most is that WE are the product that is being manipulated…our ATTENTION is what is being touted for on social media platforms. It has really made me consider my phone and internet use as a whole. I was also incredibly saddened by how social media use is affecting our young people, and can be so destructive to their mental and physical health.
I had a session just recently with a client discussing how distracted she is, and how unproductive she feels. It struck me that the digital age is DESIGNED to keep us distracted from what we really want to do, and engaged with what other people want us to focus on. It’s time to take our attention back! Be on our own timescale and not the timescale of others, when they want our attention.
The irony is not lost on me that if you are reading this, you are on one of the very platforms I am talking about.
Not all social media is bad….of course not. Great social change does and can happen here. It allows people to connect with friends and family from all over the world, and allows people like me to be visible to the people who want support to have a better life.
However, my 2 key takeaways from the documentary are:
1) This industry MUST be regulated!!
2) Just how much all the notifications, beeping, advertising, rabbit holes we go down etc. takes us away from being truly present in our lives. If we follow every beep and notification we don’t get to decide where we place our attention, unless we take back some control.
The documentary has some key action points, some of which I am embracing:
- I have taken off all notifications from email and apps on my phone.
- I have activated the ‘down time’ facility on my phone from 8pm to 7am every day.
- Sunday Sabbath of no social media/email/phone use (other than my yoga app!)
- My 7 year old son will not be using social media for a long, long time! And he will no longer be able to watch YouTube (we haven’t broken this to him yet, it was a weekend ‘treat’ for him).
It feels so important in this digitally connected world that we have carve out some daily time just to be with ourselves, to be silent, not distracted, not engaged, just letting ourselves hear that inner voice that is always trying to guide us. Time to listen to our OWN wisdom and intuition which is the very best knowledge we can access.
Do you have boundaries around social media/phone use?? I’d love to hear how you manage this.
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