Letter: Live in the moment

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To the editor,

Once upon a time, I was addicted to social media. It pushed me away from the people I had once cared most about and I spent an endless amount of time socializing with my so-called “friends” online. People use social media today more than ever before. According to Pew Research Center, “As of January 2014, 74 percent of online adults use social networking sites.” I am included in the 26 percent that does not. I believe social media has many benefits. From keeping in touch with family and friends to communicating with people who have similar interests, social media has most definitely been a gift to society.

I used to use Facebook but I am five years clean and I feel better than ever. I have found that by not using social media, I am more focused on my true goals in life, such as getting my schoolwork done, working and spending quality time with my friends and family. Although I do not engage in the use of social media, it is being used all around me. People are constantly taking and posting selfies, live tweeting events such as the Super Bowl and Grammy’s along with showing other Pinterest users their latest DIY projects.

Refraining from the use of social media has allowed me to live in the present and appreciate the people I am spending my time with, while being more focused on what is going in front of my eyes, rather than posting something such as, “Can’t wait for summer. So sick of all this snow,” then checking to see how many likes my status has gotten or how many users have retweeted me in the past 10 minutes. I am more aware of my surroundings, commenting with my words about how my sister’s new jacket is super cute, rather than direct messaging her. Sure, I check out the latest news from my favorite celebrities when I am bored and occasionally see what my fellow high school graduates are up to, but I avoid posting statuses and selfies of my own.

Refraining from the use of social media has allowed me to sharpen up on my communication skills. I talk more with family members when I see them around the holidays because I have not been stalking them for the past four months since I saw them last. It has also allowed for me to take up some new hobbies, such as reading and exercising. Social media holds great opportunities for the people of today’s society but it is easy to get caught up in how much time you spend trying to find just the right Throwback Thursday photo or searching for that middle school boyfriend you had who you heard is now living in Antarctica, swimming with puffins.

Amanda Gelada

Naugatuck