The Internet has radically changed the way we connect in real life—sometimes way more than we realize. With the prevalence and ease of access to social media that we have today, “connection” has come a long way. At the touch of a button, we can instantly make friends beyond geographic borders. We can have conversations with anyone, anywhere. We can reach out to friends and family across the globe. We can drop a quick greeting for someone’s birthday, post our New Year’s resolutions, or write lengthy tributes for our mothers on Mother’s Day.
This has become the typical picture on occasions such as Mother’s Day. You go online and find a flurry of touching posts and old photos from your friends thanking their moms and mother figures. Heartfelt words exchanged. Hundreds (or even thousands) of likes. (Plus, the occasional “kamusta na kayo diyan?” from a distant relative in the comments section.) The works.
While social media has certainly exponentially amplified connection as we know it, how does it affect real-world interaction and engagement? What happens to our real-life ties when we’re busy looking at our phone screens for a significant part of the day?
This coming Mother’s Day is the perfect time to take a step back and start rebuilding our real-world connections, beginning with the most important woman in our lives—our mom.
Social Media and Our Relationships
Social media is indeed a game changer in the way human relationships work. With the immense power of technology, as well as being part and parcel of our culture, social media should be bringing us closer. But because we’re individuals spread out across the world, hiding behind screens, it can also be completely alienating.
According to this article, we spend more and more time online but still crave real human interaction at the end of the day. A wide range of social media platforms, not to mention having them available on our mobile devices, makes it easy for us to access loads of content every day and let others into our lives as well. But the fact remains that we do it to establish and enhance connections. In the midst of so much content, we’re still thinking of the person behind the screen on the other end. As the article says, tech should be perceived as “a vehicle to facilitate communication” and not ultimately take its place.
Today’s Filipino Family
Filipinos remain to be the top users of social media in the world. On average, we spend about 10 hours in a day online, higher than the worldwide average by over 3 hours. Truly, Filipinos love sharing their experiences and expanding their networks online.
The picture of the Filipino family is certainly different now than it was just a few years ago. Today it might be painted like this: a dinner table, where everyone seated has their heads lowered, a gadget in hand, thumbs busy, and in complete silence. A picture of disconnectedness even in one’s most familiar place—the home.
This picture shows our dependence on social media is enabling us to take for granted our physical togetherness, which not all families are lucky to have. Indeed, before our real-life bonds are dissolved by online links, we have to act.
Hour Mama: Reconnecting by Disconnecting
Do you remember how you used to spend your time with your mother before all this technology? Can you recall what you talked about—what stories you told each other? And if you don’t remember a time like this, it’s time to create those memories. After all, there’s always something new to learn from Mom.
Nowadays, we connect more with our phones than we do with our moms. This is the current reality of a Filipino family, but one that we can still change.
This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to show the most important woman in your life—your mother, wife, lola, ninang, daughter, sister, friend—how thankful you are by going back to the basics for her. Not through a detailed, thousand-word tribute post or a throwback photo. Not even a casual greeting on their Facebook timelines. Step back, go offline, and give them some actual time.
Starting this Mother’s Day, take an entire hour away from your gadgets and spend this time with Mom. Make sure you are completely disconnected and distraction-free. Spend Hour Mama just sharing and talking with your Mom or mother figures without the constant pull of technology and social media. Have a good, long talk. Go shopping with her. Spend an hour at the spa together. Share a meal with her. Make a habit out of this starting on her special day this year.
Go Offline, Go Bond with Nanay
Spend a gadget- and distraction-free hour with your Mom every day and disconnect to reconnect. Light a spark in your real-life bond by reinforcing the power of your connection before the time of tech and social media.
There are so many offline activities you can indulge in, including your love of food. Spend #HourMama with the most important woman in your life on Mother’s Day this year, and hopefully as often as possible after. She deserves it. INQUIRER.net BrandRoom/MF