I wrote this for Becoming Rooted and heads up I am sharing all of the posts I write for BR on this site from now on! Natalie and I agreed to double post to reach our completely different audiences, so I’m sorry some of you will see this twice!
Natalie posted last week about a really relevant topic: social media and how common it is to assume that we all have “perfect” lives because of it. (If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out on her YouTube channel or on this blog portion!)
This topic really hit home for me, especially after coming back from Europe. I was eating brunch with my friend Julia, and we were watching two tables. One was full of American college students studying internationally in Spain, and the other featured a few locals sharing coffee and conversation. After watching them for a few seconds, we noticed a stark contrast. The Americans were giggling and having a good time Instagramming and Snapchatting their meals. The Spaniards were leaning in close, whispering, and having engaging conversation. Unfortunately, the Americans were paying more attention to their screens than the person in front of them.
As I watched them, it hit me: how often do we choose technology over people? Social media over real life, authentic relationships? In the States, I think we choose technology the majority of the time. We would rather have a mega following on social media, than friends who we can call in a crisis. During the rest of the trip, we watched the locals and tried to see if we saw any Spaniards or French couples and groups of young adults using their phones at the table, or Snapchatting in public. And I NEVER saw them pull out a cell phone when they were with another person. Not ONCE.
I’m not saying that social media is all bad. Y’all know that Natalie and I love it! But as she said last week, that is just a HIGHLIGHT REEL. You will never know your friends unless you engage with them off screen. My high school friends used to have a rule when we went out to dinner that cell phones were not allowed, and we put them in the middle of the table. And that’s how we stayed close. Because we chose an hour of conversation over creating the perfect post.
Only focusing on our phones will create more relationship problems and weaken our relationships.
I want to challenge y’all this week to try and have more “real life” conversations than online ones. It will be difficult and may seem weird if you’ve grown up with social media constantly. But trust me, it’s worth it to try the European way 🙂