Next time you attend a concert or festival, wedding or birthday party, pause for a moment and look around at how many people are on their phones instead of enjoying the event.
More often than not, you’ll be surrounded by faces covered by smart phones taking photos and videos, posting them to social media and checking how many likes they got.
I find myself in the middle of this smart phone, social media obsession somewhere between enjoying taking pictures of events and places I go, but also wanting to simply enjoy activities and life rather than feeling the need to document my every move.
When I scroll through Instagram or browse Facebook, I find pictures and posts of the various activities and events that people feel the need to share with the world.
It makes me wonder if social media and the world of smart phones are taking away from enjoying the beauty of life.
A recent report published by CNN suggests that tweens and teens between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of nine hours a day using social media.
The article compares this to the amount of time most people this age spend sleeping or with teachers and parents, and the study, which sampled 2,600 young people, does not include the times when social media is used at school or for homework purposes. Nine hours a day is a striking number to me, considering I feel like I barely have nine minutes to spend on social media.
I was also surprised by the ages included in the study. Eight-years-old sounds incredibly young to be using any of the popular social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat. I also considered when the nine hours of usage would be occurring.
If most teens spend about 7 hours sleeping and 7 hours in school, that leaves 10 hours per day, during which most young people spend eating, playing sports, participating in extracurricular activities or doing homework.
The limited number of available hours to spend socializing online implies that many teens are multitasking and using social media during homework and other day-to-day activities.
What are we missing out on with our faces behind our phones?
I love sharing photos of my daughter on Instagram and Facebook, but I also realize being too involved with my phone or social media can mean missing out on watching her grow and learn, and enjoying my time with her while she is young.
On the other hand, I am a complete concert junkie. I love any and every show. However, recording a video of the band playing a song is nothing like living in the moment and enjoying it live.
Are we losing the full effects of the show that the artists intended because we want to make sure to have those pictures and videos to share later?
Next time you are trying to make sure to get the perfect picture to post, or recording your favorite song live at a concert, consider putting your phone away and enjoying the moment before it is lost.
Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.
Email Erika at: firstname.lastname@example.org