I did an experiment throughout the summer by deactivating all my social media accounts (except the HopeHouse International® accounts I manage). And to tell everyone the truth, I actually didn’t miss it one bit over the summer.
Things I have learned and experienced from deactivating my accounts:
1. I didn’t have my head in my electronics. I didn’t let social media control me. Instead, I controlled social media.
• There is a huge world outside of my phone and my electronics. I believe that everyone should try it. Look up because it is not until we put down our phones, switch off our computers and look in each other’s eyes, will we then be able to touch each other’s hearts.
• The few times that the world really comes together on social media is when there is a natural catastrophe.
• So many people text or do social media while at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table. It saddens me that when I go somewhere to eat there are people who constantly text or do social media and they don’t have a conversation with each other. I believe that family and friends are sacred and we shouldn’t take them for granted. There is no connection that we can make with any screen that compares to the moment we understand every human being has a soul. When we put down our technology, we talk about things that are important to each other…too important to text or say on any social media app/site we connect with and to each other. When we listen to someone, they will tell us things.
2. I got closer to God.
• When I was on my electronic devices, it was keeping me from spending time with God.
• God doesn’t communicate through social media or technology. He communicates with us when we read His word that is God-Breathed.
3. I got closer with my family.
• Family is more important than any social media.
• We should enjoy every moment with our families.
It’s a very sad fact that we don’t connect to or with one another very much anymore. It’s very rare, unless you were in the era without phones, to see someone looking up and interacting with each other these days. It is like we can’t exist without technology. There was a time when the world didn’t have phones and all of these electronic devices and everybody was happy about that. Thanks to Steve Jobs (creator of the iPhone), Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook), Jack Dorsey (creator of Twitter), Mike Krieger (creator of Instagram), and Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown (creators of snapchat), our generation completely destroyed all of the generations that didn’t have phones. We use emoticons rather than emotions. We have become an unfeeling generation of zombies because we cannot seem to disconnect from our devices, but we can change that by disconnecting from our devices.
I would like to challenge everyone, including myself, to replace at least one text a day with personal contact. We are losing the art of real communication since the invention of text messaging, Facebooking, Instagraming, Twittering, and other social media sites we engage with. Parents, if you want a real relationship with your kids, please ask them nicely to put their phones away when you share meals. Modeling this is key!
Social Media serves a definite purpose in business, marketing, awareness and as a means of keeping in touch with others. But it will never replace the infinite value of connecting on a personal level with those around us.
Who will join me in this Disconnect to Connect Challenge?