Living in the digital age can be a bit of a conundrum at times. The new advances in technology – instant messenger, FaceTime and even apps like Snapchat – mean that it’s now easier than ever to stay in touch with people. In fact, we may have some ‘friends’ online who we have never actually met in real life. That is the beauty of social media and the internet age, and for many of us, it can be really great both on a personal and professional level. But, as with most things, it is a double sided coin, and you may find that digital communication brings with it some disadvantages too. For example, do you find yourself spending a lot of your time online and as a result, neglecting your ‘real life’ relationships? The issue with social media is that a lot of it is, unfortunately, superficial, and getting too reliant on it could cause you harm in the future. Here are some ways you can start to strike a healthy balance between the online world and the real one.
Have a “Facebook cull”
No, it’s not as violent as it sounds! Take a look at your Facebook friends (or whichever social media platform you are on) and see which of them you are genuinely friends with. If you have over 1000 friends on Facebook, it’s fairly likely that at least half of them are not ‘close’ friends. Of course, a lot of us have people on Facebook due to mutual friends, or maybe even for a potential career opportunity. But if you are feeling smothered by constant updates from people you don’t really know, it might be time to start pressing that ‘delete’ button.
Make an effort to stay in touch
It might seem crazy to the 21st-century woman that there are ways to stay in touch with people that don’t require an internet connection! But speaking to a friend via another medium can be much more personal than a quick Facebook message, which we all know are very easy to send. Sometimes, making more of an effort with your attempts to stay in contact shows the other person that you really do care. This could be going to see them in person – after all, nothing beats a face-to-face chat. Or, if a friend has recently done something nice for you, how about sending them personalised thank you cards?
Monitor your time online
Access to the internet is an amazing privilege and something that many of us appreciate being able to use. However, it is easy to get overly dependent on it, especially due to the culture of instant gratification that it seems to promote within our society. There’s no need to give it up completely – after all, it can have amazing benefits. But try to be mindful of just how often you use it, or how often your phone is in your hand. We spend more hours than ever before glued to the internet in some shape or form, so next time you meet up with a friend for coffee, leave the phone at home.