How Ya’ll Doing?

Hi everyone,

I watched a Panorama programme earlier this week about people getting addicted to their Smartphones and social media, with (it said) young people spending up to 18 hours a week on their phones. Not good. Our self esteem is starting to be intrinsically linked to the number of Facebook friends we have and how many likes we receive on our updates. I’m as guilty as the next person for checking my numbers of views and likes but I do switch my phone off at night which I’m sure many find totally bewildering!

So if we were sat in a room, just you and I, sitting comfortably, with nothing to disturb us and I could magically strip away any thoughts of your self worth that were linked to any form of social media, how would you rate your self worth? How are your connections with other people, in terms of actual human connections? Which I guess can include ringing Auntie Freda each week because she lives on the Isle of Skye and is a bit isolated from the rest of the family. Although the last time you called her, she was off out Scottish country dancing so you had to leave a message! Those small communities still have great human connections, it’s our bigger communities that are struggling with that. Being too busy to stop and say ‘hello’.

Have a think about these questions –

Do you believe you have the right to a happy and fulfilling life?
Do you believe you deserve to be loved?
Do you believe you have strengths that contribute to the wider world?
Do you believe you have a voice that should be heard?
Do you believe you have a contribution to make?
Do you believe you are capable of learning new things?
Do you believe you can be the best that you can be and love your life?

Hopefully you can answer positively to all of those but if you’re struggling with any of them please talk to someone. That might be a partner, family member, friend or colleague, or it might be someone like a Coach, Counsellor or GP. But please speak to someone because you may have lost your sense of self worth and social media may or may not be a part of that. Could you be without your phone or tablet for a full day if you went out with family or friends for the day? In practice you wouldn’t be without it because you would need to be able to ring someone in the event of an emergency but if someone else had their phone, could you be without yours?

A Psychology lady in the Panorama programme said that she didn’t have her emails on her phone because she knew that if she did, she would never put the thing down and I thought that was a really good way of doing things. For me, I always wanted to be productive while I was in work and part of that was being rested and enjoying my leisure time so that I could then be effective while I was at work. So I wouldn’t read emails at home, unless I had actually arranged to work from home. Work was work and home was home. If you’re effective when you’re in work then you shouldn’t need to catch up on things (generally) when you’re not there. If you spend much of the day chatting and doing things you shouldn’t be doing of course…. :-/

The boundaries of work and home seem to have become blurred and sometimes, in terms of more flexible working arrangements that’s a good thing but re-defining some boundaries for yourself might be valuable. That allows you to spend your leisure time productively too, making good connections with other people and building your self esteem. Not by sitting at either end of the sofa, both reading emails while the telly’s on. That does not constitute effective rest time or a good connection!

One thing’s for sure, if you feel like you’re a slave to work, family or other dependents then your self worth will be affected as it can feel like you’re only ever doing things for other people and are doing nothing for yourself. If the only thing you do for yourself is play a few online games and stalk some people on Facebook, then that’s probably not a huge problem. But the value of human connections is enormous so maybe stop stalking those people and ask them if they fancy meeting up for a drink! Or ask some other people if the ones you’re stalking aren’t very nice ?

Balance is, as always the key but think about us having that conversation every so often and check in with yourself. “Where is my self worth at?” is a great question for keeping a sense of yourself in amongst busy lives, where you’re doing lots of things for other people at work and at home, that are connected with so many others in different ways but which can sometimes feel very lonely in the middle of it all.

You can put your phone or tablet down now you’ve read this, thank you ?

Take good care please and have a great day.

Best wishes, Karen