My Voice: Put Down the Phone this Holiday

   With the holidays approaching, many of us will return home to be with family or we will spend it with our friends nearby. The holidays are a time to be with people and make memories. I have a challenge for you, readers. Would you let go of your media some this holiday?

   Regardless of your religious beliefs or what holiday you will celebrate, we all have the next few weeks to be with people we love. Social media can get in the way, in a big way.

   We get caught up in posting our cute snow selfies, pictures of how “perfect” our Christmas tree looks this year, and “would you just look at my adorable hot chocolate?” I know these pictures feel fun, but it really takes from our opportunity to enjoy our time with our loved ones.

   It doesn’t mean that you can’t take any pictures, pictures are great and help keep the memory alive, but try not to worry too much about how many likes your posts got, or who has seen them.

   Every breath we breathe is a gift. Our life on this Earth is not promised, and we never know when we could leave this place. I hope each of us lives long lives, but embracing the reality that any moment could be your last is important.

   Take advantage of those moments you spend with your family and friends. Tell your family you love them, never run out of hugs and always fill your conversation with kindness and laughter.

   I think we all get caught up in thinking that we have all this time so we should spend it in our comfort zone. I disagree. Do things that stretch you, safely of course.

   Go visit a cool place with a group of friends, despite your social anxiety.  Eat foods you have been too afraid to try. Learn things about other cultures. Life will fly by, so make these moments on holiday break matter. Take advantage of these opportunities to make memories with the people you love.

   And take advantage of opportunities to be giving this holiday. Volunteer at a local food shelter, buy a bunch of gloves and hand them out to people in need in your city or even make holiday cards for your local emergency response teams. Do something for someone else.

   So put down your phone when you feel the urge to Snapchat a picture about your brand new Apple Watch, or about the ‘perfect life’ we want everyone to think we have. I can tell you, my life is so far from perfect, but I am not ashamed of that. If my life was perfect, it would be so boring.

   So enjoy the little bumps in the road this holiday, and don’t worry about them too much. Embrace them and have fun. Most of all, be thankful for the time you are alive and take no moment for granted.

Kelsey Fitzpatrick
Staff Writer

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