When It’s Time to Stop Scrolling

“Is there a more precious commodity than time?” asks Jacqueline Handman writing in Tiny Buddha. “It’s the currency of life; the most basic finite resource, and we have a responsibility to spend it wisely. It’s up to us each individually to figure out what that means to us. For me, that means being mindful of the people, activities, and thoughts to which I give my time and energy.”

To Handman, mindfulness is the antidote to the overload of social media so many of deal with. The endless scrolling to see “what’s next,” searching for something to engage us, make us laugh or inspire us … while life happens without us just beyond our screens.

I usually write about business and social media and talk about the challenges around that. But today, Handman’s article caught my eye from a personal perspective. Life in the digital wasteland feels increasingly pointless at times, to many of us, and finding our own personal limits is important.

“I know I need to stop scrolling when I feel a shift in my emotions; when the lighthearted fun of connecting virtually and the joy of sharing my creative work with people all over the world becomes a self-imposed prison of mindlessness,” Handman writes. “I don’t want to allow my precious time to tick away in a stream of posts and updates. When I feel this shift, I know it is best to turn off my device, take a few deep breaths, and turn my attention and time to something more enriching.”

Handman is not a digital minimalist necessarily; she knows social media has its uses and can be a good place to connect. Rather, she advocates paying attention to your own tendencies and making conscious decisions about screen time.

“The key here is to become aware of how often we reach for our phones so we can examine how we spend our time and whether we can put some of that time to better use.”

“Social media can be a good thing when we use it responsibly. Whether we are scrolling, sipping a cup of tea, or having a conversation, cultivating mindful presence can only enrich our experiences. This, I believe, is how we can wisely utilize the small amount of time we are afforded.”

Handman presents a mindful, thoughtful approach to social media consumption; it’s worth the read.