I think that I have a rather healthy relationship with social media (I am 53 and have a lot of real time hobbies). But I spend too much time on Instagram, even in my pretty curated feed. And since discovering Substack a few months ago (late to the party, I know...) I spend even more time on my phone. But Substack is such a vibrant and interesting place... Is it even social media? 🤔

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This is an excellent, thought-provoking post. Believe it or not, I have a healthy relationship with social media. I use it to promote my writing and art. However, I can see how phones can disrupt our lives, especially those of younger generations.

I grew up without social media. While I understand that exposure to social media can cause anxiety and depression, I know that conditions such as mental health issues existed in abundance before social media hit the scene. But it wasn't talked about back then. Social media can be a lifesaver, where people who are struggling can bond more easily with a like-minded community.

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Infinite scroll. It sucks you in. So hard to stop

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May 14·edited May 14

As Gen X- I grew up without this technology and I’m so grateful that I did. I didn’t even have a cell phone or a laptop until I was somewhere in my 30s, slightly behind the general curve., In person connection feels so vital, for immediate and all the senses joys and learning how to navigate a social world that’s both intuitive and overtly expressive. I’m so brightened by in person time with friends and banter with day to day run ins with acquaintances and strangers . Real time off the cuff convos have a different cadence and can lead to different places than emessgaes. The timbre of a voice is an added dimension of connection and feeling/knowing a person. It’s a much more three dimensional and sensory world offline.

I have mixed feelings about social media .I reap some significant benefits . I’ve dealt with health issues that have meant that smart devices are an essential way to connect with people when I can’t in person. And sometimes it takes less energy when I need to conserve spoons to send some texts, with breather time in between than hold a conversation. I feel like I have gotten windows into worlds and learning that I wouldn’t have as easy access to otherwise. These are large and appreciated gifts.

Yet I absolutely prioritize real time connection and being in the world whenever I have the capacity. In every possible window I go out and about, walking, befriending, cooking,… I also try as much as possible to do online courses or make art in downtime.

I try to find a balance that works for now, which will change as am am able….sometimes that means a day of watching animals make friends on YouTube, other days a long walk in the woods and six hours of art. I try not to judge which I need either way.

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