January 1, 2015

Maybe disconnection is the first step to better health?

Today I was reading an article on CBC.ca that focused on the growing addiction of smart phones, blackberries, hand helds, or whatever you want to call them. Families are searching out mental health support, not just for the kids, but for all family members.  Although I knew this was coming, I honestly didn't think it was going to be this bad.  People are getting killed because they are texting and walking at the same time (is this Darwin or are there more evil underpinnings?).  Movie theatres aren't safe, streets aren't safe, dinner tables (if anyone eats at a dinner table anymore) aren't safe...is this the end of humanity as we have known it? What's next, people wearing their PJs in public? Oh..wait...that's already happening (at least in my "neck of the woods").

I'm truly scared.
This is me being scared..sort of (I wish I looked this good being scared).

Our social connection is depleting, our connection to nature is depleting, our connection to our own lived experience is depleting (because every time we have one we take a selfie).  We are removing ourselves from everything healthy.  The art of writing is lost (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and even writing itself). Is this just the beginning? I think so. I also think we are in for a world of hurt if we don't shake ourselves awake and critically think about what we are doing. Or maybe this is just like the social change after the invention of the pen, or car, or that dreaded rock'n roll.  Maybe I am just another middle aged woman stuck in her youth and remembering the good old days (stupid aging).  But maybe there is something to be concerned with here...no matter just humour me and consider that following...

The new year is here and we all have an opportunity to make change in our lives. Perhaps, instead of the usual resolutions, consider reducing the use of social media? Is social media slowly robbing us of our humanity? Are we slowly becoming a population of narcissists? Have we forgotten what it is like to participate in life as a real person in the world or do we have to document every moment to the point of disconnection?  Just askin'.

There is a pool of research to suggest that social connection (with real people) elevates the good hormones, decreases heart rate and blood pressure, and strengthens the immune system.  If this is the case, and social media is chipping away at this connection, could this mean that we will soon see news headings revealing the relationship between twitter and cancer? Will there be a blue ribbon for the Facebook survivors? Just askin'.
If we were to keep track of how much
time we spend on-line, we could probably
find the cure for cancer, write that book,
or build that castle we always wanted.

Perhaps I am asking the questions because I have never taken to social media like most.  I appreciate the good it can do and understand it is a fabulous way to connect with friends and family, but I don't get it.  I certainly understand how selfies can make us prettier and younger-looking than we are based upon the time it takes to manipulate the pic.  Taking a selfie has helped me remove my double chin and enhance my cheekbones. I get that.

I just wonder if it is making us healthier or sicker for it.  If we were free of social media (and the social comparison that comes with it) maybe we could make more choices for ourselves and be happier for it?

Just askin'.

That's all I got (oh...and happy 2015).

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