Everyone has been there: you go on your phone only to find that see no one has messaged you, and you suddenly feel sad and sorry for yourself. This is a very common feeling because at some point, we all feel disconnected. However, this is not an accurate measure of social success. You can’t replace human interaction with texting (or if you can, then your social skills may not be up to par). If you do decide to go without texting for a bit, you might be pleasantly surprised how much you can enjoy life without it.
I tried to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles. Every day I walked in the street telling people what I eat, how I felt, what I did, and what I would do next. I also listened to the conversations of others and told them I “liked” them, I even “poked” them, and it worked! I now have three people following me: a policeman, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist.
Here’s what I really noticed when I put down my phone and opened my eyes.
1. I saw other people on their phones texting while driving.
After being yelled at by parents to stop using the phone while driving, you soon realize how they feel when you see someone else doing the same thing. You get annoyed that they are not paying attention to others around them and putting themselves in danger.
2. I tuned in more to the people around me.
While texting, sometimes you don’t even bother to look at a person when they talk, and you miss their body language which shows a lot about how they feel. Now you can see the full picture, without having your phone block your view.
3. I found new hobbies to enjoy.
There’s much down time when you’re not always checking your phone, so that is the perfect time to find new hobbies to enjoy. Not just watching tv or sleeping, but doing some kind of exercise or artistic craft.
4. I didn’t worry so much about what was happening on social media.
The more you check social media, the more you become addicted to checking it. People often say that social media can even make them feel worse about themselves for seeing all the positive things other people are doing with their life, meanwhile you are sitting at home doing nothing. Also it can create conflict between friendships, because you might have tried to reach someone and you feel they are ignoring you when you see them online. It’s better just to avoid the drama!
5. I was more calm and relaxed.
If you don’t read what people are saying online, then you can’t get upset. You are not being provoked by what people are trying to say to you, but rather enjoying the good things that are happening around you.
6. I enjoyed more face-to-face interactions with my friends.
It’s different when you text your friends and have a conversation than when you are face to face. You enjoy their company more and create memories instead of having random conversations. Sure, it might be hard to see them face to face with different schedules, but even FaceTime or Skype can improve your conversations. Texting can be misinterpreted easily whereas with video chat or in person it can’t.
7. I was surprised how many people contacted me during the week.
At the end of the week, you can finally look at your phone and realize how many people tried to contact you. It’s like it’s your birthday all over again! You feel special, and now you can act as a social butterfly. And if you didn’t hear back from anybody, you can be thankful you saved yourself from getting upset.