Reclaiming my time

Reclaiming my time!

If you watch the news, then you are familiar with the famous catchphrase U. S. representative, Maxine Waters stated in 2017, “Reclaiming my time.” However, this is not a political post, this is social… asocial media, post to be exact. As we know social media can be both a Godsend, trend, and a back bend. Social media can help shape friendships, build business partnerships, and end relationships. Social media addiction is causing distractions, procrastination, creating short attention spans and car accidents, and distancing relationships with self and others. For example, children and partners are on their phones during dinner time, friends often look down,  at their phones during social outings, employees stare at their phone instead of focusing during meetings, school grades are decreasing due to being distracted, and some can’t even eat without taking a picture first. Don’t get me wrong I too enjoy a good Snapchat filter, Facebook live, or deep Instagram post, but there is a time and a place to give to yourself and others. So, let’s see if these tips can help you reclaim your time! 

  Set the standard! If you want others to be available, then lead by example. When you can detach from your phone, you are also modeling how to be present.

Wean yourself!  Hey, you don’t have to go cold turkey. You can start slow, by turning off the notifications for your social media applications. Remember whose boss, don’t let that phone control you!

  Create time slots! I bet you didn’t know that there is a light in your phone that mimic’s sunlight and causes you not to sleep well at night after just getting off your phone. Create times to look at all your social media. Choose a time that is preferably not first thing in the morning or before bedtime! Maybe you can finally use your 15-minute coffee or smoke breaks!

Reclaim my time! Take a moment for yourself and be free from electronics! When you work out, hike, practice yoga, do homework or even attend a seminar try leaving your phone at home, cutting it off, putting it on silent, or on do not disturb mode. Give yourself that time you so rightfully deserve.

 I can make you put your phone down! Another famous line from the artist, Erykah Badu, in the song entitled “phone down.”  Ms. Badu uses her rhythmic song to state, “You ain’t gonna text no one when you with me, I can make you put your phone down. So, you can show me attention. And I’ll cut mine off too. Boy, that’ll help when I listen.”  Tell your loved ones to take a break and free their fingers and minds from social media while you are together.

Relax, Relate, and Release!  Okay, you got me I’m a sucker for a catchphrase. This phrase derives from the therapist on 90’s sitcom, A Different World. On the episode entitled “Twelve Steps of Christmas,” the therapist proposes one must relax, relate, and release into reality. This too applies to social media applications. Relax and relate to your reality more, by releasing your applications on your phone. Essentially this means try not logging into your applications for a day or two. However, if you’re willing to really test your limits go forward and completely release the applications, by deleting them off your phone. Again, you can take baby steps and only log in when you're on a computer.

 I hope that these tips will help you and your loved ones to be able to focus on each other more. Remember do not be timid to set your boundaries with your boyfriend/girlfriend, child, friends, partner, or employees, I know Maxine Waters sure wasn’t!

Fatimah Muhammad