Power Down for Happiness
How unaccustomed we have become to real life interactions with our peers; how familiar we now are with social media and technology. We can sit right beside our friends, yet feel that we are miles away. It is time that we power down to achieve happiness.
This weekend, Pope Francis spoke to several young teenagers at a Jubilee in the Vatican. He strongly advocated for maintaining happiness outside of technology.
“Your happiness has no price… It cannot be bought and sold. It is not an application you download on a mobile phone. Even the latest version cannot help you grow and become free in love.”
Pope Francis finishes by encouraging the teens to “go where there is a network.” By this, he means a literal network of family and friends – not just cellular towers.
A couple of habits that you can start practicing that can play a part in improving your happiness levels include:
- Surround yourself with a collective of people that share similar interests. This could be a group of friends or classmates, but most importantly, it matters that you are not isolated. We lose a lot of social contact when we hide behind screens and shut down human interaction.
- Power down when you are around your friends or family. Have you ever sat with a group of people, looking at your phone, only to glimpse up and realize that everyone else is also on their phone? When hanging out with others, it is very likely that you made plans to be with them – give them your utmost attention.
- Stop comparing your life to the lives of others. This is especially true with social media. It is so easy for someone to make a status update or post a picture that shows how “amazing” their life is… But what about after their phone is turned off? We all seemingly live two lives: On and off screen. Never compare yourself because oftentimes, we only see the highlights of a person’s life on social media.
Make Your Own Happiness
Technology can certainly play a part in our happiness (ie. sharing relatable videos, taking pictures of memorable events, etc.). However, technology can also be the complete opposite. It can act as a catalyst for social anxiety and depression (ie. “This person’s life must be much better than mine because ___.”)
We must be conscious and careful when handling technology in that we cannot let it override our own rational thinking. Take some time out of your day to turn off your phone, computer, whatever it might be, and enjoy the life that you have and the people that are in it.