The advent of social distancing and mandated social isolation has meant we are turning to our phones more than ever to stay entertained in an attempt to fill the void a lack of human interaction has created. And as great as social media can be to connect with loved ones, we often come away feeling supremely dissatisfied knowing we just spent three hours refreshing our news feed again and again in the hopes of seeing something new, and getting nothing done.
So, we tell ourselves that we’re going to do something different and put our phones down. Then, five minutes later we see the gentle flicker of light in the corner of our eyes. A notification! We instinctively reach out to grab our phones with little thought for the fact we had just made a pact with ourselves that we wouldn’t open Facebook for the rest of the day and start to respond. Next thing you know, two hours has passed because you’ve been back and forth arguing with an internet troll about who won the presidential debate.
Ahh, the sweet allure of social media.
Rinse and repeat.
I often wonder how our grandparents would have spent social isolation back in the day. The thought of entertainment without staring at a screen beggars belief. It is positively foreign to us.
I’m not going to pontificate and tell you social media is dangerous. We’ve all seen the Social Dilemma. We know we’re probably addicted. But the important thing is striking the right balance. Giving our eyes a rest. Allowing ourselves to step back from that constant white noise in the background.
In the age of information overload it is more important than ever that we disconnect. It is often through disconnecting that we can reconnect – with ourselves, and with others. We tend to underestimate how time away from the constant interaction social media provides actually strengthens our relationships.
And so, it is imperative now more than ever that we keep ourselves pre-occupied. We need to keep ourselves entertained in a way that offers little temptation and little means for us to fall back into bad habits. And what better way to do this than with jigsaw puzzles! I mean, that’s how our grandparents did it. And their grandparents.
Doing a jigsaw puzzle will allow us to slowly break away from social media addiction. Imagine the sweet sense of release and euphoric freedom you'll feel when your phone screen lights up and you have the strength to turn away. Not just for five minutes. But for five hours. To be able to ignore other people’s agendas on your life. (Yet ironically here we are trying to sell you jigsaw puzzles). To be able to honestly look your phone in the 'i' and say rest in pieces. (iPhone - geddit?)
So the next time you reach for your phone, how about you reach for a jigsaw puzzle instead?