In today’s online world, it often becomes difficult to draw the line between your digital life and your actual life, considering everything we consume these days is in front of a screen, whether it is content, news, entertainment, and often even social interactions. So, when you do take a break, what do you do? Watch a movie? Read a book online? Talk to friends over the phone? Here is where the balance is necessary. Being so connected digitally can cause our nervous system to be on high alert, because you never know what you will see; therefore, intentional breaks from technology can definitely have a benefit in ways like bringing our attention back to the here and now, and this way, it is easier to practice and engage in a valued and driven life. Here are some things that blur the line between our reel and real life, along with a few suggestions on how you can define these lines further.
Social media and the online world are known for the portrayal of unrealistic standards and even though we are aware of the unrealistic aspect of it, sometimes, we still engage and compare ourselves to a life that probably only happened for 15 seconds.
What you can do to disengage yourself from this process is by knowing that you can only control yourself and your own actions. What someone shows online isn’t necessarily their actual life, and you have to set your own expectations and know your own limits to be happy.
Mindlessly scrolling for hours on social media takes a toll on your ability and capacity to keep focus. Attention spans decrease because of the content we consume every day and this reduces our tendencies to try or learn new things.
In order to maintain a balance, you can limit your use of social media and dedicate equal time to doing an activity that doesn’t require any technological device, and requires your full focus and concentration. It could be anything, depending on your interests.
Constant notification sounds, repeatedly checking messages or the urge to check our feed serve as frequent distractions and almost always divert our attention away from the work we may be doing.
Silencing your phone, turning notifications off, or simply changing your setting to ‘Do Not Disturb’ can help in avoiding any distractions.
Allowing people to constantly have access to us makes it quite difficult to set and maintain boundaries. It might even build a certain kind of pressure to always be present and available online, which is an unfair expectation.
You can set boundaries by telling people, even if that involves close ones, what time is convenient for you to be contacted. You can also try to be mindful of what you post on social media so that you can keep track of what information you’ve shared with the world.
Having access to an infinite amount of information online is a great thing because it lets us form our own opinions and thoughts about certain things, but this can often backfire because it is easy to get influenced by someone else’s opinion without knowing the context of anything.
Perhaps having different sources for consuming information can help in getting a broader sense, so you wouldn’t have to be entitled to one opinion. Giving things a few days also helps in getting the full perspective.
Connecting with people online can sometimes feel sufficient, but it may not always be enough. Even though the internet has allowed us to connect with people all over the world, it is also important to maintain relationships in real life.
Going out with friends and family and spending time together can go a long way. Sometimes, just online interactions can lead to feelings of loneliness and a craving for actual physical interactions, so make sure you maintain the balance.
As much fun as it is to play video games, and engage in e-sports, unfortunately, it isn’t the same as physical sports. Physical sports require a lot more physical energy, when compared to esports, and it is important for your body to be active and moving in order to stay healthy and fit.
Perhaps dedicating some time and energy to outdoor sports can help you maintain a balance and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Striking a balance between your reel and real life is more about mindful use rather than cessation of use. The internet and social media aren’t bad things, and it’s unfair to entirely portray them in that way. It’s only about how you make use of them.