Whether we like it or not technology is advancing around us, and shapes how we live day to day. Most of this tecnhology can be helpful, but we are now spending the majority of our life, living online.
We do our banking online, shop online and may even dab into the world of online dating. A lot of things are automated, and we sometimes have no need to speak to an actual person these days.
When we are shopping in person, a lot of us will opt to use the contactless option on our debit card to pay (paywave) to create a quicker transaction. What are we in such a rush for?
No doubt, many of you will have read about the Australian teenager Essena O’Neill who made a song and dance about giving up on social media. In part, I agree with her. Last year I wrote about how I felt unsociable, as a travel blogger. I agree that living in the bubble of social media creates a ‘like mentality’ and can contriubute to low self-esteem.
However, I am not here to tell you to give up on social media. You can choose to spend your day as you wish. What I am challenging you to, is a detox. Giving up social media over Christmas (25th and 26th of December).
Disconnecting from social media
This is something my family and I did last year, and found it incredibly benefical. Each of us left our phones, tablets, and laptops in a basket, and had two days of just being with each other.
For some of you, this may fill you will dread. Social media provides an escape from your real life, and makes you feel better about yourself, but by giving it up for just two days, you’ll learn so much more about yourself, the people you love and your World around you. Disconnecting from the online World, can often make you feel more connected to the real World.
Here are my tips for how to have a social media free Christmas
1. Carpe Diem!
Sieze the day! If you’re giving up on social media for a few days, there are so many things that you can do, and you’ll find that your life is more fullfilled and meaningful, and the time – you have so much of it!
Get up early, spend the morning with people you love. Choose a favourite spot, and go for a walk. Spend time noticing what is around you, feel the wind in your hair, smell the coolness of the crisp winter air, and just be.
This year, my family and I are going to one of my favourite beaches in my local area on the North Coast of Northern Ireland – Portstewart Strand. We’ll walk the 3 mile stretch, and have breakfast together, before returning home, and welcoming our family into our home.
Doing something different, and not within your routine, can often be quite liberating.
2. Capture the moments
Before you reach for your phone, and decide which filter you’ll use on your picture of your Christmas dinner – STOP! Leave your phone out of Christmas – a perfectly captured mince pie can wait for a few days.
Capture your day, and the moments with those you love with you eyes, rather than through a screen. Sure, take pictures with an actual camera, but don’t make this your focus. There is no need to rush to upload these, or share them with the World.
You’ll want to remember as much of these moments with how you felt in your heart, and not relive them through the photos on your phone, or feel you’ve enjoyed them more by the amount of likes they have achieved.
3. Take time to share
One of our Christmas family traditions, is to open gifts from each other, together. Slowly and one by one. It can often be a performance, in a house of 7 people. However, we take time to share with each other – to enjoy the gifts we have given and recieved.
Take time to appreciate this moment, and give thanks for the people you have around you.
4. Create an atmosphere for your loved ones
Although the thought of spending most of the day with your Nana Betty, who is hard of hearing, or your uncle Jim, who will have fall asleep in front of the fire by 2pm, can fill you with dread, these are the people who are part of the fabric of your life. They are part of you, and they love you. Show them that you love them back.
If you are having people over for Christmas – rather than looking like a zombie on your phone, create a welcoming atmopshere and an environment that you can all enjoy.
Be creative with your table settings. Spend time helping to cook or prepare food; make something new or different. Challenge yourself in this way.
When people come round, take time to really connect with them. Ask them about how they really are, ensure they feel welcome in your home, and that they are loved. Find out something new about someone you’ve known for a long time. What is making them tick these days?
5. Go back to old school entertainment
Before computers, phones and smart technology, we still had a life, and we had fun. Instead of having your face stuck in a screen, connect with each other through old school games.
OK, so if the thought of trying to play pictonary or charades with your family, makes you want to climb the walls, then mix it up. There are plenty of more modern games you can play. Add in a few glasses of wine, and you’ll have a whale of a time!
The ever popular cards against humainty is a great one to mess about with.
Our family usually play monolpoly around this time of year, and get incredibly competitive.
So there it is – a challenge, put down your phone/laptops/tablets – and live in the REAL WORLD this Christmas
Image from Kid President
Wherever and Whoever you’re spending Christmas with this year. Have a great one and live in the moment.
(Photo credits – For all photos in this post, unless otherwise stated, belong to Jess Morrison)