Have you ever contemplated the appeal of online life?
What is it that makes it so enticing for you?
Is it the fact that you have everything at your fingertips? The flexibility of being able to go online even in the middle of the night and socialize?
Could it be that you enjoy the anonymity it affords you? The fact that you can simply be whoever you want to be, at any moment, with anybody?
Does the freedom of commitment have a pull on you? That you can strike up a conversation with anyone without the responsibility to carry the relationship any farther than that single chat?
Or are you more hooked on the rush you experience when you post on social media and receive a lot of likes or retweets?
A lot of people don’t mind settling for these kinds of superficial social connections. It satisfies their needs for socializing just enough to keep them feeling alive.
But is this really the life you want?
You see, part of feeling alive is experiencing the depth of human existence. Savoring every nuance of the amazing opportunities that may come your way. And asking the difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions to actually tune into a deeper sense of yourself.
Is that not what you want life to be? Don’t you have dreams and goals? At least… you had them at one time, right?
Can it be that your online life has interfered with these dreams?
Signs Your Online Life is Keeping You From the Life You Want
You have a million twitter followers but no real-life friends
What happened to the life you want? Having or engaging your family, a loving partner, children, and close friends?
Of course, these days your social network and online reputation have become a natural part of your identity. But if it has become your only identity, you might want to stop and think. Remember, your social self is just one aspect of who you are.
When those in your online social network are your only friends, you’re missing out on important physical interactions. Letting your online life isolate you will rob you of the beneficial effects of interpersonal bonding, true intimacy, real communication, and empathy. All the things that are necessary for good relationships, including finding a loving partner.
Tip: Try to practice digitally detoxifying on a regular basis. For example, schedule staying offline during certain times of the day so you can be completely present in the real world and for those that occupy it with you.
You litter the social media scene with a wealth of useless information
What happened to the life you want? Going to college, starting a career, and having a great job?
Sure, there’s a lot you can learn online, and there are many sites dedicated to the job market. But does all the information you accumulate through your constant online presence really give you the knowledge that will help you in school or a career? Or is that trite data actually crowding out the abilities you truly need for achieving real goals?
Plus, dumping a lot of questionable, crude, or crazy pictures and memes on your social media pages can work against you for job prospects. Your future employer may look you up online, and what will they see? Someone they want to hire? Or someone with questionable judgment? And what about spending way too much time online, letting you current job responsibilities slip? Sooner or later that may cost you your job.
Tip: Learn to censor yourself online so that your social media identity doesn’t negatively affect your real life career opportunities. It may be beneficial for you to read more edifying material, instead of surfing the internet for the newest gossip or meme.
You think of yourself in terms of your online moniker
What happened to the life you want? Self-discovery, fulfillment, confidence, happiness and contentment.
If you see yourself only as two-dimensional as your username or online handle, it may be time to unplug for a while. That kind of flat identity – narrow and without spirit – can do a number on your mental and emotional health.
Not only that, behind constantly comparing yourself to others online lurks the trap of social depression. There is a lot of stress involved with always keeping up. Plus, needing to post on social media, craving the gratification from getting noticed, and being unable to stop checking your phone all the time are signs of addiction.
Tip: Take some time off to discover your true “self.” Go out, exercise, try new hobbies, expand your mind. Allow yourself to simply experience the fun things you can do offline or the tranquility of doing absolutely nothing. You may become a lot happier.
Nobody says you have to completely give up your online life. But when it interferes with the life you really want – offline – it’s time to exercise self-control and self-discipline. With a little effort, you can achieve the balance you need.
Copyright 2017 Denise Aden - Servicing Davenport, IA | Bettendorf, IA | Rock Island, IL | Moline, IL
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