It was a happy weekend! Emily was here in NYC to spend time with us. She surprised both Donna and me while we were out from work. We gave a group hug and then spent that evening having cookies and desserts at her favorite savory place. I noticed that she was constantly on her phone.
Yesterday we invited her over for dinner at our place. While every one was enjoying the spread and music, Emily was taking pictures throughout.
I went to her when she was up to refill the drink. “Emily, what’s keeping you tied to the phone always? What is this thing of taking pictures for everything?” I asked.
“I am just keeping my friends posted by sharing it on my social media handles. The fact that I’m enjoying is what I’m trying to convey to others!” She answered.
“Why do you want to convince others that you are happy? Also, if you are happy then you will not have time to constantly convey to others! You will be busy living this moment and not recording it!” I expressed.
“I agree but it’s just that people are doing it all the time!” She answered.
“The idea of spending time together with our loved ones is to bond and have a good time! It’s to live in the moment and look back at these memories when we are far apart. One thing is to capture these moments as a memory and it is entirely a different thing to show others that you are having fun!” I expressed.
“Hhhmmm… I guess you are right! I will have to take care of this!” She replied.
“Listen, it’s not wrong to share the moments with your friend circle but it’s not wise to make your life revolve around it! You don’t need validation from others that you are living a good life. It’s you who should be happy from within!” I suggested.
She looked at her phone and said, “From now on I will only use my phone in a disciplined way and start living rather than recording. I don’t want to miss out on the present moment,” She said. Then she kept her phone aside on the table and enjoyed the rest of the evening with us.
Sharing and genuinely staying connected to friends is great! However, the desire to get validated by others on digital platforms or the fear of missing out (FOMO) is something that should not control one’s day-to-day life. Social media is there to socialize, connect and share. It shouldn’t be treated as a platform to seek validation or boost one’s confidence. For that, inner work is the key. So, stop seeking validation and start living in the moment.