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Make sure you’re happy in real life, not just for the internet – How to stay mindful using social media

Isn’t it time we made sure our insides matched the outsides??
Today’s quote is about staying mindful on social media and whether we have our values in check.

You can listen to the full episode via the YouTube video above or check out the podcast on Anchor

 

Transcript –

Hey friends, you’re listening to This Quote Changed My Life, a podcast about inspired action. My name is Tracey, and I’m the host of the show.

It is SO nice to be back with you all for the podcast – if you’ve been listening regularly, you would of known I took a little podcast break at the start of our coronavirus isolation period. I just felt it was important to listen to what we needed as a family at that time, and also be really mindful of the content I wanted to put out there while the world was falling apart basically.. Long story short, after about a month I felt a bit more settled and really missed talking to you all – so here I am! Today’s quote is a brand new one, so let’s get stuck into it.

The quote is –
Make sure you’re happy in real life, not just for the internet.

Now friends, this might age me – but I’ve been an internet user for about 24 years now. WOW. I actually had to calculate that and think back to when I first fired up that 56k modem haha.

But anyway – even though I looveee the internet – it’s given me work, I found my husband online on a radiohead messageboard, our kids are now learning online via their schools, and I’m always on Instagram — even after all of that, I am very aware that my happiness is never all tied into the pixels on my screen. That’s not to say there’s never been times where I’ve been suckered into hours of endless scrolling my Instagram feed and wanting to take a nice picture to add my own feed. As a photographer, and I guess just as a creative person, it’s really easy to want to curate your social media to create a happy selection of photos to look back on later.

And that’s all good too – I know that I’m not taking photos of our worst days – there’s alot that goes on within our family that never makes it to social media — so I’m all for keeping things private and light and happy and inspiring online. But are you also making sure you’re experiencing joy because it’s what you wanted to do? Are you having these memory making moments, and not whipping out your camera and trying to get the best angle or worse yet – asking people to hold on a second, or DO IT AGAIN so you can capture it on video? And I say this again as someone who has taken literally THOUSANDS of photographs and videos in her lifetime, maybe even in the millions at this point, I loveeeee a great photo and to capture a memory so I can share it with family and friends — but the joy doesn’t just exist in the sharing, the joy is born from those moments and that’s the important part. Those memories you build are stored deep within your conscious and subconscious, for you to recall in the future. Like a secret – it’s special, it’s your unique experience and it’s your own little happy place.

So I think that’s really what I take away from this quote – make sure you’re happy in real life, not just for the internet. Because having a family of my own now, I am so grateful that my childhood in the late 80s and into the 90s was spent offline – there was no internet for me until around 1995, and that experience has given me the insight on how I want to parent in this modern world now. How I want my children to understand what true happiness and what true value is.

So how do you stay mindful using social media? I think it comes down to values. What do I value more right now? Would it matter if I didn’t post this photo on the internet? Could I keep my phone tucked away and just experience what is happening right in front of me? Would the people around me appreciate it if I didn’t stick a camera into this experience with them right now? Is this a moment I want to absorb fully? Am I organising experiences for the fun of it, or for the photo of it? Am I doing this thing because I want to be there, or because it makes me look cooler or funner or smarter?

All these little questions come down to this – are you experiencing your own life through your eyes, or through a camera lens? Is your happiness tied to responses from people on the internet? Or is your happiness coming from within?

Once I knew where my true happiness lies – I stopped caring so much about capturing every detail of every day and sharing it online with everyone. My happiness is lazy afternoons in our yard, listening to music, going on walks and chalk drawing with my kids. My happiness is cooking a good meal for my family and sharing it at the table. My happiness is spending hours in Illustrator drawing graphics that no one ever sees. My happiness is going on photo walks with my youngest son and watching him bend down on one knee to ‘get the perfect photo’. All these things unlikely to pop up on my Instagram or Facebook feeds, because there’s really no need.

And if you really can balance happiness online and off – that’s awesome, I think it’s definately possible to share most things and create a happy life also. But it’s always a great idea to know when you’re starting to feel like something’s missing, that people aren’t seeing the real side of you anymore and your feed looks like a fairytale but your insides don’t match up. That’s when the work needs to start…

I’d love for you to think about this quote – make sure you’re happy in real life, not just for the internet. And let me know whether you resonate with it too.

Come and find me on Instagram under @makesunshineco or on my website makesunshine.org. I’d love to hear from you, let me know how you are doing and whether there’s a quote that has really made a different in your life, especially in these weird times..

Stay safe, stay home if you can and I will speak to you next week…

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