Whatever you are by nature,
keep to it:
Never desert your line of talent.
Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed.
Here is a little sneak peek into my newest book: Release Your Obsession with Your PHONE: Heal from the Inside Out
Sydney Smith’s quote is one to ponder. What did nature intend for you? How do you keep to it if you don’t know what it is? We all have a talent, a gift that often we never tapped into. Take your gift out into the world and share it with others.
What are we sharing?
This is the very talent nature intended for you. What! What talent you might ask. Often we can’t tap into what nature intended us for, right? Where do you find such hidden treasures you didn’t know you had?
Social media, the platform where people interact, create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks, is often the starting place. It’s an entire world of information about anything, anywhere, anytime. It’s incredible—but can also be misleading and confusing.
It’s an exciting time to release my newest book: Release Your Obsession with your PHONE with all the hoopla about social media and phone addiction.
People share their websites, content, things they want to sell, blogs—you name it. The opportunities to connect are endless. But keep in mind that anybody can start a website, blog, or other way of sending of information.
Take Wikipedia, for example. It’s a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Though a wonderful site, it’s not always accurate. And neither are the other social media platforms. Some of it is pure entertainment, while other information is misleading or dangerous, especially for the vulnerable and young who spend endless amounts of time on their readily available phones.
And then there’s Google, an American multinational technology company that specializes in internet-related services and products, one of which is a search engine. It’s considered a venue that organizes the world’s information, making it universally accessible and useful. Who doesn’t love that? And the list goes on with different information sites readily available at the touch of a button. The internet has exploded over the years, but not so long ago, there wasn’t such readily available information.
Though the internet isn’t new, it’s not been available forever. Its roots go back to the 1960s and 1970s, when various private and public organizations were working toward getting computers to communicate with each another.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that people purchased personal computers, which soon became the norm in every household. That set the stage for the emergence of social media.
It seems the mobile device is taking front and center in most people’s lives, almost in a deity fashion. Can we say God and the phone n the same breath? They seem so totally separate from each other, and perhaps they are.
As time marched on, the smartphone hit the stage and became an easy go-to device, replacing the actual computer for many people. Anyone could log on to the internet and share content and information, such as what they were thinking, feeling, and doing, to be read by anyone and responded to.
Today, most of us see the world as this giant platform. But really, the entire world is in your back pocket, or in your purse. Yes, that phone is your window to the entire world. You now carry a minicomputer in your pocket. Access to everything you need or want rests in that one little device.
Endless Opportunities—Good and Bad
While social media provides endless opportunities, and an outstanding worldwide connection, it also has a dark side. The ability to connect with anyone at anytime, anywhere in the world, can be scary and downright dangerous. In fact, several studies show an association between social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk.
And I’m here to state that this is true, based on the shift in the population I treat in my private practice, especially over the past few years when there’s been more isolation because of the pandemic. People are lonely and alone more now than ever, though they can reach out with their phone to connect with others, watch a movie, read a blog, or scroll through the news.
The blessing associated with social media is the ability to stay in touch with friends and family from all over the world. If you’ve lost touch, it’s easier to find acquaintances on social media. I love scrolling through my Facebook feed, seeing my cousins, friends, and family all posting pictures and information about their lives.
I have cousins in Italy who post all the time. It’s amazing. And more amazing is that I can read their posts in Italian and then switch to translate it into English if I don’t know exactly what’s being said. We can find anything on this handy device, anything.
With the onset of Telehealth, I work with patients from all parts of the world, which is unbelievable, especially with limited traveling. More and more people are living through their phones to communicate and connect with others. I have a patient in London, and another in Canada, and still another in Ireland. The rest are scattered throughout the states.
So, with such easy access to anyone, anywhere, are we getting so caught up with social media that we’re sharing a false gift of ourselves with the world? Could it be we are so obsessed with our handy-dandy phones that we’re presenting our un-natural self?
As one acquaintance put it, “Kids are seeing too much. They have television, phones, and internet all combined into one. Heck, they can find anything they want: nudity, drugs, and games. And they can go right on their phones and find stuff. When we were kids, we couldn’t get away with anything. And now, it’s all out in the open.”
Sadly, anyone can go anywhere, including our precious cargo—our children and grandchildren.
Yes, this acquaintance was, and still is, spot-on. The kids of yesterday are gone. The kids of today live in and on their devices, often with little or no monitoring. Sally told me her stepchildren are home alone at night because their mom works two jobs. Without supervision, they are on their phones. Sally noted a tremendous change in how the kids were talking and behaving, using “gutter talk” to be cool. Asked where they learned this talk, they said TikTok.
What’s Lurking Out There?
And TikTok is only one of the many places kids can meander on their phones, especially if there are no parent controls in place to monitor how much time is spent on the phone. Sally says the kids live on their phone, avoiding basic needs like bathing and eating healthy foods.
It’s not unusual for kids to be unsupervised. Way back when, we rode our bikes or played outside unsupervised for hours and hours on end. But the world is different today, and it’s scary to think about where their little fingers—and the internet can take them. And where they’ll stumble is a scary thought, as algorithms pull the child and adult further into the abyss.
Sadly, as much good as there is online, there’s also bad. There are sexual predators on these social media platforms, ready to lure an innocent kid or adult into their clutches. Years ago, I was working with a dazzling, introverted high school student we’ll call Madelyn, who had a difficult time making friends. She was lonely, insecure and felt unlovable. (It’s ALL sad.) One day she bounced into my office, grinning from ear to ear.
With a little prompting, Madelyn told me about Johnny, who she met online on Tumblr, a social media platform most popular with older teens and young adults. She whipped out Johnny’s picture, so proud to show me this boy who was totally into her. And he was handsome and looked good in his profile. Madelyn was over-the-moon happy. I’d never seen her talk so much and laugh so freely.
Every week, Madelyn spoke of Johnny and how much she adored him and wanted to meet him. Warnings about meeting strangers seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Madelyn never told her family about Johnny or that she was up all hours of the night talking on the phone and messaging back and forth.
One day, unbeknownst to anyone, Madelyn purchased a bus ticket to Ohio to meet her love. When she arrived, she looked all over the bus terminal. He was nowhere to be found. After what seemed like hours, a woman in her early thirties approached her. She was Johnny. Johnny was a woman!
Madelyn ran out of the bus depot with “Johnny” on her heels. She found a store to dart into and ran to the cashier, begging for help. Madelyn had no money with her, only a cell phone with a drained battery. She was quick to ask the girl to call 911, and shortly after, the police came. They took Madelyn to the station, contacted her parents, and home she went.
Madelyn was positive this was a good guy and that she’d finally found love. That she finally found someone who believed in her and accepted her as she was. Madelyn is not the first to find someone on social media who pretended to be someone they weren’t, and she won’t be the last.
As Sydney Smith said, Whatever you are by nature, keep to it. Don’t abandon your natural talents for someone else’s. Never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed.
So why are we always hunting down other’s successes? Why dismiss our own natural given talent? Because somewhere along the line, we convinced ourselves that our natural talents weren’t quite good enough. So we march on and seek what we think is the right direction through our social media platforms.
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Thank you for spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you. I look forward to sharing my newest book with you on how to Release Your obsession with Your PHONE. God bless you and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond.
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. I’m here for you.
Stay tuned. You never know where my mind will wander…