When was the last time you disconnected from your mobile and internet devices and enjoyed some good old-fashioned, face-to-face social interaction? What about a few hours of uninterrupted silence? Hard to imagine in today’s world inundated by tech devices and social media. If it’s been so long, you can’t even remember, this post is definitely for you.
Nielsen recently released some statistics in their 2014 Digital Consumer Report which measured the amount of time consumers are spending on social media. According to the report, almost half (47%) of smartphone owners visited social networks every day in the last year. In terms of monthly usage, the average amount of time spent on social media per person on smartphone apps (in hours and minutes) is: Facebook (7:43) Instagram (3:40), Twitter (3:07), Pinterest (1:39) and Google+ (0.11). When asked where they access it, 31 percent of Americans said they use social media in the car; two in five (39%) get digitally social at work, and one in five (21%) have logged onto social sites while in the bathroom.
There is something to be said for living life without constantly fidgeting with your phone, texting or scanning the latest social posts. It reminds me of a recent TV ad I saw where a teenage girl sits at home behind her computer touting her latest Facebook friend count, while her parents are out and about embracing life. While your reason may sound more acceptable –a dedicated professional available 24/7 to address work-related matters—the end result is still the same. You are missing out on life.
I’m not suggesting you throw away your phone and inactivate your social accounts. But, I am encouraging you to find some balance by disconnecting once in a while. You’ll be amazed how refreshed you’ll feel when you make it a personal priority to unplug and unwind. The clarity and perspective that can emerge from a time like this is well worth it!