Is social media distracting you from living in the present moment?

I deleted all of the social media apps off of my phone for the last 48 hours. And it was the most relaxing 48 hours I’ve had in a while.

Over those 48 hours I was able to be more present. I was able to fully enjoy sitting on the beach listening to the ocean waves. I was able to spend more time journaling and reading, because I wasn’t staring at my phone as much. I was able to really think about and consider everything happening in my life, instead of being side tracked by someone else’s life. 

Over those 48 hours I also realized how often I pick up my phone and open social media. It has become such a frequent and automatic habit, it’s amazing I manage to even get anything done. As someone who is building an online business, but is also a functional nutrition practitioner and realizes the negative impact that electronics and social media can have on health, this is something I really struggle with. There are days I wish social media or cell phones didn’t exist. Social media has taken away from the value and beauty of being present.

Yet, in a way I really do love social media. It has connected me to so many people around the world I now consider friends, who I would have never met without it. It has allowed me to help others whom I wouldn’t have had the chance to work with otherwise. 

But yet, it can make a big (negative) impact on our daily lives. How many times have you mindlessly ate way more than you intended to because you were staring at your phone or laptop while eating? How many times have you wasted an hour or more scrolling through social media when you could have been exercising or reading a book? How many times have you not been fully engaged in a conversation because you had your cell phone out? 

We do these things all the time, perhaps without even realizing it. Taking a social media hiatus, while brief, reminded me how important it is to be present. We only have the current moment. The past has gone, and the future isn’t here yet. The only opportunity we have to fully enjoy life and all it has to offer is in the present moment.

When we are living in the present we aren’t as concerned about what has happened in the past, or what may lie ahead in the future. I find I perceive things differently. When life is going full speed ahead, I’m stressed. I’m worried about what’s going to happen in a week or a month from now. I’m worried about getting everything on my to-do list done. 

But when I take the time to disconnect I am reminded that all I can do is what I am currently doing. I can get all those things on my to-do list done, but only if I stop stressing about the future so much and live in the present. 

How often have you had a long to-do list that you haven’t gotten through as fast you planned because you caught yourself looking at your phone every few minutes? How often have you taken an hour or two to do something that could’ve been done within 30 minutes if you weren’t so distracted by Facebook?

How frequently have you added more mental or emotional stress into your life because you were concerned about what was happening in someone else’s life? Because you fell into the comparison trap on while scrolling though Instagram?

I urge you to incorporate a day into your week where you don’t use social media. Or maybe a weekend every month, or even a full week every few months. See how you feel without it. I think you’ll find you actually aren’t missing out on much without social media, and in fact have been missing out on the present moment.