The phones over 94% of Americans carry in their pockets has revolutionised the digital age. Everybody is connected to everyone; all at once. Yet, the rate of happiness collected globally has seen a massive decrease. Most, if not all people would agree that our phones are a contributing factor.
Social media portrays the vision of ourselves to others that we want them to see. When I was younger, when i was having my photo taken, I would always tense my biceps; to look strong. There wasn’t much of a difference in the photo, and now I am always reminded of how I felt when the photo was taken. I wasn’t happy, I wanted people to see how strong I was ( I was 15).
3 years on from this, and I can see old classmates acting the way my 15 year old self did. The stylised, sexy photos people post to instagram and on their snapchat stories, aims to gain some sort of admiration from their followers. People want to be known, and liked by all (social validation). We think this would make us happy, but rather it does the opposite. Being constantly self aware, self conscious of how we present ourselves to others, has led to the movement of Digital Minimalism.
This art was named by Cal Newport, the author of the book by the same name. Cal states the benefits of cutting back from technology, embracing having less than more, can make you happy. Being an advocate for this, I have experienced many benefits.
For example, the purpose of social media is to keep us connected globally. I have met new friends from across the world using these sources, but not close friends.
I found I speak to my closer friends more frequently without the use with social media. I come across as less insecure, and more confident with my own beliefs.
Cutting back on using my phone has led to a creative spark within me to pursue making content. Although the blog website does not get many views, I don’t care because I enjoy making the content I publish. I am ahead of my schedule when it comes to making posts!
Finally, the main benefit I discovered from cutting back is I read more. Usually, It would take me a couple of weeks to finish a book. This week alone, I have read 2 books, over 300 pages long. I am starting to see benefits in sleep as well, which is very important.
I can’t tell anybody to do something, but if you feel as though you are too connected to social media, and your phone, it is time to pursue a more intentional life. Digital minimalism is the way.