It was the most beautiful northern spring evening.
I walked out into the middle of the lake, still frozen solid from the winter’s deep freeze, and the mountains surrounded me—embraced me really.
Seriously, it was a 360-degree view of jagged peaks, and the sun sat in the corner of two mountains straight ahead, kissing everything.
There was no one else to be seen, only snow, ice, mountains, the kissing sun, my friend, and my two little dogs.
I felt like screaming.
It was so gorgeous and empty—I just needed to make my mark. But I was as surprised as the ravens on the hills when I heard myself yelling, “F*ck Facebook!”
It was a weird thing to yell out into the cosmos, but it was just suddenly so clear: how can staring at a screen of other people’s experiences and random thoughts all day even nearly compare to the divine greatness of the “real” world?
This is what I was feeling.
Everything in that moment was just so real and alive—and after a winter of cold and dark screen staring, it was suddenly clear that I was done with it.
This moment was a blessing—to see my own frustration at my screen (and social media) addiction.
I felt grateful to hear my own cursing truth.
And I know you know what I am talking about.
Don’t you get frustrated with your constantly beeping and buzzing phone and computer? Don’t you crave a deeper connection?
I know you do—and I also know that probably none of us are really going to totally unplug. Because this is our life now; it’s the way we relate to each other—the new norm. Talking, organizing, and connecting through screens and devices.
I know I’m not going off-grid any time soon.
I love my devices. I love seeing what people are doing and thinking. I love being able to easily reach my friends, family, students, and clients. And when I am bored, it is such an easy go-to, and my business would probably be non-existent if I couldn’t connect with my peeps and tell them what I was up to.
Connect we must! This is essential to our journey.
But perhaps we have gone overboard with all this computer connecting. I know I have.
So, how about we make a deal? I will spend more time in the mountains and less time on Facebook—and I hope you will too.
I will take fewer photos for Instagram and spend more time just staring off into space daydreaming—or even better, just being totally blank and empty, and I won’t tell you about it.
I will like your posts of your dog and your kids—because yes, they are cute and deserve a thumbs-up. However, I will do it much less, and you won’t take it personally. You will be happy for me—happy that I’m out and about and not looking at your pictures or reading your comments.
Because we all need to do this computer thing less and touch real ground more. We need to hear live laughter and touch each other’s skin in our in-the-moment embraces.
We don’t need to completely unplug, but we do need to get a grip on our tech addictions.
So here’s to less fewer screens and more real-life connection—this is where I am taking my life, and I hope to see you there.
How I Freed Myself from Facebook FOMO.
Author: Ruth Lera
Image: Instagram @ecofolks
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
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