BY TARYN JEREZ
The winter weather, gift shopping, your Mother insisting nobody touch the gifts under the tree until she snaps a photo for her Facebook. Some things just make it feel like the holidays! All kidding aside, while the holidays are a time for memory-making, the world has changed in a way where these special moments are no longer just our own. Social media has changed this by allowing people to share everyday moments with the click of a button.
So how do you stay in the moment while sharing your holiday season with others? It doesn’t have to mean completely going off the grid! It can be as easy as reminding yourself how special this time of year is, and that being present is the best gift you can give.
- Set Boundaries
The same way you might think about watching TV or eating sweets, setting up boundaries for social media can help as a reminder not to go overboard. Sometimes that voice in your head tells you to grab your phone to let people know what you’re up to, but how often you listen to that voice matters. Setting up boundaries for how often you post or login when you have company or are out with others can be helpful. And remember—those photos you snap aren’t going anywhere! You can save them to share later, and guess what? People will still love seeing them! The same thing goes for “checking in” on social apps. This is a terrific way to ignore your cell phone, but also remove the unnecessary security risks of letting people know you’re not home.
- Stop Comparison in its Tracks
Your family are gathered around opening their gifts and you are having a great evening. That is until you login online to see photos of your friend’s holiday cruise with her family. In one second your mood shifts and your concentration is somewhere else. “Must be nice,” you think as you recall the small budget you had to spend on your own family this year. Unfortunately, so many people forget that what you see on social media are the best moments of people’s lives displayed. It’s easy to fall into the comparison game, even when you are at your happiest of moments. Remember this when you find yourself scrolling and be grateful for what makes your own holiday season special.
- Capture the Good Stuff
Believe it or not, family and friends may have mixed feelings about the “paparazzi” being present at every gathering. It can be easy to fall into the habit of having your smart phone glued to your hand. When you are selective of the moments you capture, not only do you find it easier to put the phone down, but you’re left with genuine keepsake photos to savor down the road. Photos of the dessert table may not mean much in years to come, but the ones of your nephew playing dreidel for the first time will.
- Share the Joy
In those moments where your sharing a quick status update or posting photos of the gift you got from your spouse, don’t forget to share the joy! It may sound funny, but a “like” or a comment can go a long way. Social media can sometimes feel isolating and the warmth of friendship someone feels when you comment on how cute their kids are or how great they look in their Christmas Eve outfit really can make someone’s day. So while you’re sharing, be sure to take a minute or two to give some of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers a little love.
- Enjoy the Moment
Many of the fondest memories come from this special time of year. The Facebook post about you and your friends at the tree lighting isn’t going to be what you hold on to years down the road, it’s the memory you have of being there with them. You want to enjoy every moment to the fullest and that means letting go of anything that distracts you from the “now.” Take photos that make you smile and share updates on social media about your experiences, but don’t let anything get in the way of really being in the moment and enjoying every aspect of your celebration.