Stop Documenting, Start Experiencing: Tips for Living IRL

Some people have a hard time living in the present moment. Living IRL (in real life) is about putting away the smartphones, tablets, and devices to start experiencing the life that is in front of us. Too often people think what is happening ‘over there’ in someone’s greener grass is somehow better than what is in front of them. Just because it’s a ‘thing’ now to be uber connected, texting, tweeting, hashtagging, and posting every life moment doesn’t mean it’s necessary. There are ways to live IRL, but it takes determination to not let technology rule your life.

Wired for Connection

When caught between capturing special moments or connecting in a deeper way from outside the lens of technology, it seems people want to capture moments as quickly as possible. As if a person might just miss the real action happening, it seems easier to take a photo and post it rather than be fully alive and present to the moment. Most people outside of the experience of that moment could mostly care less anyways. There is power in connecting with other people right in your world at that moment. Here’s how to let go of that desire to connect technologically and stay present with friends and family in the moment.

Let go of hoarding

Human beings are competitive by nature. In the early days of mankind, humans were a hunter-gatherer society. Social media platforms create ways to accumulate likes and followers, but it does nothing to create tangible feelings of connection to others. A hunter-gatherer society is based on social bonds, structures, and even hierarchies. Having a false sense of accumulation builds a shallow foundation for self-esteem and can lead to depression and anxiety. Letting go of that desire can actually build a more true sense of self-acceptance and peace.

 

Seek acceptance elsewhere

All the likes, loves, and emoticons in the world cannot compare to actually feeling accepted for you, what you bring to the table, and all your gifts. Psychologically we need people to acknowledge us, but also challenge us in the places we need to grow. Our self esteem needs of social recognition, personal worth, and accomplishment, are critical components of happiness. Social media cannot compare to actually connecting with friends IRL who accept us, warts and all.

Take the high road

Don’t get sucked into the instant upload/download process associated with social media. With more handheld devices than ever, people can instantly connect with people all over the world. Professionally, people utilize social media to advance their careers. Put the devices aside and create space for authentic connection. Look family and friends in the eye over dinner, engage in conversation, play games, and go outside. Enjoy living life out from behind the screen and see how much better you feel about yourself and the world around you.

Technology has a place in our lives, but not if it replaces face-to-face, authentic connection. The reality is many people are lonely and desperate for connection. If you struggle to stop overusing technology, or simply want to reconnect with yourself following addiction to substances, let us help. We can support your journey to recovery by meeting you where you are right now. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 561-277-3088

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