Healthy Connections

VNET & Erie News Now (Wednesdays at 12:30 PM)

  • Take a Holiday from Social Media

    You might have heard that we may be entering a very dark winter. Yikes, Batman! That’s grim. It’s not all bad news. There are some things you have control over that make this season less foreboding. So let’s cut to the nitty-gritty and talk about breaking our social media addiction.

    Thou shalt not covet!

    We’ve had enough stacked against us in 2020, so do we need to be feeling down and depressed about how small and humble your home looks next to the photos of your friend’s newly purchased beachfront Miami home?! *Did I get to specific?* It’s hard not to fall into this trap. People tend to post their best photos for their friends, so sometimes it looks like nothing but sunshine and rainbows for them. Blame it on our culture, blame it on technology, but I think it’s in our DNA *no citation.* It is the Tenth Commandment for a reason!

    Competitiveness

    We tried for the “perfect” family photo, we got this. We didn’t notice my sons hand until we got home.

    Have you ever stopped to think that social media is a giant competition where virtually nobody wins? If I were to make a board game with that premise, I don’t think it would sell very well. Social media encourages us to share our thoughts, moods, photos, videos, and more to place that content in front of our friend’s eyes so it may be judged. Imagine how it feels to post a photo of a delicious pie that you baked from scratch. It garners dozens of “likes” and comments of adulation and want. It’s even shared with Paul Hollywood from the Great British Bake Off and shares it?! Oh, what a feeling! But that’s not how it went down for me. My photo was junk, and my pie, well, nobody cared. Depressed, I ate the whole thing myself, and then I was left sick AND depressed. Say goodbye Thanksgiving to the competitive mindset that the social media platform holders have roped us into and relax. Instead of Facebook or Instagram, share your pie IRL with someone you love. That’s a “share” and “like” that has meaning.

    The Fear of Missing Out

    We have become addicted to knowing things everything first. *Thanks, TMZ!* Most likely, if you’re reading this article on VNET.US, you remember a time when you might find out about a celebrity death in the grocery store at the checkout line. Or you were aware of newsworthy items at 6 PM on your local news affiliate station or 6:30 PM for national news anchors like Peter Jennings. Oh, and if you didn’t have cable, you might have to turn to AM radio or the morning paper to see who won the previous evening’s game. I’m not saying those were better times; it’s just a reminder that we don’t have to be slaves to our social media to find out what’s happening. The news will reach you, and I’m pretty positive if it’s REALLY important, the news will find you.

    Take the Red Pill

    Don’t misconstrue that title and turn to drugs. I mean it in the “The Matrix” sense, where you get unplugged from your screen and get out in the real world. When we spend too much time online, the effects are often feelings of loneliness and sadness. Of course, with COVID-19, it’s complicated, so be sure to exercise proper social distancing, etc. Fresh air and some (distanced or virtual) face time with someone can go a long way to rejuvenating your day.

    Don’t live in the Past
    Social media platforms are great for digging up the past, aren’t they? Whether you have good things back there or bad, it’s sometimes a somber time reflecting on them.

    Facebook, “Remember that great time at Disney? Yeah, you were EIGHT YEARS younger, 20 pounds lighter, and your kids still liked you.”

    Happy?

    Instagram, “Oh, look, remember that ex you followed? He married a model and they just won the lottery.”

    Thanks, social media!

    Leave the past behind you as you bask in the glorious present.

    Freetime!
    Wow, with no social media this holiday season, you have time to knit hats for the family you won’t be spending time with because of COVID-19! Sorry, that got dark. But, seriously, the average smartphone user gives 1 hour and 40 minutes of their 24 hour day to social media! Take it back! Now, what will you do with it?

    And finally, get plenty of laughs, identify your blessings, love a neighbor, and be safe this Thanksgiving!

Healthy Connections Segment

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