Throughout the world there’s constant pressure to be plugged in 24/7 and leading medical experts are demonstrating that it’s causing serious health problems. A lady in Finland who always had her face in her phone was outside walking one day. Her walk took her to a familiar place by a lake and a pier that went out over the water. While completely engaged with her phone on a social media site, she quickly became aware of where she was as she walked off the pier and fell into the freezing water. Fortunately for her, the water was shallow enough so that she was able to emerge only with embarrassment and a frozen bottom. For the first time in human history, we can connect with people across the globe in a matter of seconds in one place. It’s an astonishing concept that our ancestors would call fantasy.

are you addicted or connected may-june joy read

So, why doesn’t the internet make you/me/all of us happier? The truth is this. Screens might link us to people across the globe, but screens disconnect us from people across the room.

The advent of social media promised new mechanisms to connect us with others. Today, almost 80% of Americans use social media; 69% of adults use Facebook. Yet all that “connecting” hasn’t reduced our feelings of disconnect and loneliness. Why?

“Screens might link us to people across the globe, but screens disconnect us from people across the room.”

Renowned author and lecturer, Dr. Brene Brown of the University of Houston explains, “We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hard-wired for connection, love, and belonging. Connection, along with love and belonging (two expressions of connection), is why we are here, and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Addiction to social media causes a sense of false intimacy, unrealistic fantasy, counterfeit connections, and loneliness. A recent Cigna survey revealed that nearly half of Americans always or sometimes feel alone (46%) or left out (47%). Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that they are isolated from others (43%). One in five reports that they rarely or never feel like there are people they can talk to.
are you addicted or connected may-june joy read
If you find yourself isolated or lonely in this sea of social media, ask yourself if you are more addicted or more connected. If you lean towards the addiction side, here are 5 things that might help you break that social media grip.

1. No phones at meals. Everyone turns off their phone/tablet when you have a meal together. Real conversation might happen.

2. Call someone just to say hi. (Do it right now!)

3. Talk to someone and become a really good listener.

4. Volunteer. Giving of yourself makes you and others feel connected.

5. Write. Keep a journal and begin to know yourself and what is most important to you.

 Deepak Chopra said, “Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.”

Real connections will bring you greater joy and as always……Choose Joy!

By Melanie Kasper

By Melanie Kasper

liveJoy Founder and Life Coach