Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all so heavily integrated into our daily lives that to be without them (even just for a few hours) is difficult.
Suddenly, you’re having to figure out what to do with your time instead of spending it scrolling.
Conversations that have been going for days or even weeks have now come to a standstill but you still have so much to say.
And now, you have no idea what the the people you are connected to online are doing, eating or wearing.
Somehow all of this stuff seems important yet at the same time, when those 3 apps went down on Monday 4th October 2021 you also realised that none of matters as much as you often think it does.
It could be considered strange that we know that life is finite yet we choose to focus so much on the things that bring us the least joy.
We spend our time doing things that take us further and further from our core selves and then wonder why there is so much emptiness within.
Often we choose to try and enjoy life from the perception of outsiders. We focus on doing things that will look good to other people rather than simply trying to please ourselves. And it’s not that you do things that make you miserable but that you place the perception of others above your own joy.
It could be choosing to do something because you know that other people will be impressed or even jealous. Meanwhile you’d have been much happier doing something else.
But all that stuff about other people doesn’t matter as much you might think it does. It feels important because you choose to make it so. When it comes to enjoying your life focus on you, the things that you like and the things that bring you joy.
Sometimes things that aren’t that important get dressed up to be the most important thing in the world.
You react by getting overwhelmed and stressed. This effects you’re sleep, general mood and how you interact with others.
As much as you want to feel good within you’re body, you can’t help but sacrifice that for the sake of the thing that is important.
But then you might find that the deadline you’d been proiortising was much more flexible than you thought.
And so, even though you rushed about trying to get things finished, it turns out it was pointless. You were much better off making yourself priority.
We might not like them but we have to have them.
We put off difficult conversations because they make us nervous.
We’re worried about how our words will come out, how our words will be perceived, how the person on the receiving end will feel, we’re scared of being vulnerable and we worry that we might regret it.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, no matter how you might feel, the conversation still needs to be had. You can have it now or you can have it later.
As much as it is difficult it is also important. I think that’s the bit worth focusing on and is much more of an incentive to get yourself talking. Don’t focus on the nerves or hoping you can control how the other person will react. Just remind yourself that the conversation is important and worth having.
It’s important to show up for the things that you care about and for the things that matter. It doesn’t need to be for praise and attention, simply do it for yourself.
This can be applied to so many things. Maybe you’re passionate about the environment, you might even have lots of good ideas or thoughts worth sharing. However, you don’t share about it online, you don’t volunteer and you don’t talk to your friends about it.
I think all the reasons to not show up stem from fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged even a fear of being seen.
It’s okay to feel all those those things but don’t let that stop you from showing up for the things that you care about.
Sometimes when it comes to doing what’s best for you, you don’t consider yourself to be important.
And so, instead of making a decision based on what’s best for you and your wellbeing you put other people first.
You make choices based on people pleasing and fear of letting people down or having them be disappointed.
When you do that continuously, you’re the one that ends up feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, everyone else is totally oblivious to the fact that you’re over extending and on the brink of being worn out.
You have to learn to set clear boundaries such as not over working yourself to please people and being okay with saying no when you know you don’t have the time or energy.
As we go through life we develop ideas of what freedom would look like or feel like for ourselves. It may come from how you were brought up, the career aspirations you have or maybe just how you feel in particular moments.
If the idea of feeling liberated matters to you then it’s worth while creating a life that aligns with that.
Maybe for you liberation comes from being able to have last minute getaways a few times a year. It could be a day in a new city or a week somewhere far away. What matters is that you have the choice to do it.
It could be that freedom for you comes from being able to speak your mind without worrying about what other people will think.
Or perhaps you feel free when you don’t have to explain yourself to other people, as in you’re free to make choices without having to justify them.
Choosing a life that conflicts with what makes you feel free only leads to frustration. Frustration towards those that have become a barrier to your freedom and frustration towards yourself for ending up in these circumstances.
In all this, one of the most important things to remember is that freedom is a feeling. You might not feel free right now but you can always feel differently tomorrow (or a few months from now once you’ve made some changes in your life).
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
The way your world operates would be quite different if you lived in another period or in another country. You’d be living a life made up of slightly or even totally different systems to the ones you currently know.
That’s something that may have crossed your mind multiple times.
But, do you ever take it one step further?
What if the systems upheld in our current society, that contribute so heavily to what we consider important or even real, were given an over haul.
Maybe some of what you consider to be ‘just the way things are’ could change and become something different, something better.
It’s worth thinking about, not to inspire you to overthrow the status quo but because this is your life.
Many times we get so caught up in the way the world is, that end up placing the most importance on the things that matter the least.
Some of the most valuable conversations to have are the ones that are most difficult but that shouldn’t be a reason not to have them.
Even though it might be difficult, challenging or uncomfortable it allows room for learning, growth and understanding that may have not taken place otherwise.
Of course, there is a chance the conversation won’t end well and perhaps you’ll walk away feeling frustrated.
But if the conversation really matters then perhaps it is still worth a try.