We live in a generation of computer screens, iphone/pads, televisions, Netflix and Fitbits. And while I congratulate technology, I mourn real life experiences.
Remember when you actually took a walk through a park and did not immediately think of taking a picture of flowers with your phone – or posting your pondering to Facebook? Sadly, it’s hard for me to remember a time when social media was not in the equation.
Facebook has been around since I was a freshman in college. And, social media has escalated from that point on really. It has skyrocketed. I am not going to complain about this burst of new media – because partly, it encompasses a lot of what I do in my daily job.
Yet, it is sad to think that my kids won’t know a time when a flower was just a flower and a hike was just a physical experience, not one that you share with the world. There is something peaceful about ditching the hyper media scene and just breathing air – listening to sounds and being comfortable in your skin without virtual accolades.
I made a list of things (below) that I miss the most about real, tangible life– and need to remember to do and reflect on –especially with social media now pervading our world. I hope this list encourages you to leave that iphone at home when you are on a nature walk. Or simply listen to the stillness instead of automatically clicking on Pandora.
Life is real. It is tangible. People are not icons on your screen. Embrace feelings, emotions, facial expressions and the magical sounds of laughter over robust coffee. It’s your choice to live in a virtual reality or really breathe in the full, bodily life. You only have one life. Live it.
Try to soak in these things. Swap the screen for a real scene.
Human Touch – we are so used to looking a pictures on the computer and feeling the keys on our keyboard. Go out with a friend and give them a big bear hug. Hugs are underrated. It’s said that you need at least 8 hugs a day and that’s no joke. So give a friend, your partner, your mom a hug. Hugs create a happiness your computer screen cannot generate.
Read Good Books – what happened to the days we read before going to bed? Now, we are caught up in Dancing with the Stars or whatever junk show is on television. Get lost in a good book. Use your imagination and expand you brain power. Cry over the pages of Wuthtering Heights because you feel the printed words in your soul.
Listen to the Song of the Birds – there is something about nature that soothes the soul. Take time to listen to nature. Lay out in your backyard and listen to the chirping of the birds. If you are in a tiny apartment, take a blanket to a park – lay out and just listen to the music in the trees. Digest real life.
Handwrite a Poem or Anything for That Matter – buy a journal and jot out your thoughts on paper. Bleed your heart through pen and ink. Write a note to a friend or your grandmother and send it via snail mail. Penmanship is really being lost in this age of the computer. Exercise this talent. It;s not old fashioned. Written words have endured for centuries or more.
Create an Art Project – that’s right, make an art project. Don’t look at your phone for inspiration. Create something from your heart. Paint with messy colors, clip pictures out of magazines – to construct a collage. The sky is the limit. Let your amazing creative juices flow free.
Throw a Tea Party with Friends – have a basket at the door ready to collect everyone’s phone for just 30 minutes. Drink strong tea out of fine china and talk. Connect with one another. Talk about books, your kids, whatever – just don’t use social media. Think of yourself in the time of Little Women.