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Living in The Moment in an Era of Content Creation

Finding a balance between the digital world and the real world is key to experiencing life to the fullest.

People staring at their phones in beautiful mountain scene.
Illustration by Jack William Arnold

We strive to live in the moment and experience life to the fullest, whether that’s by creating lasting memories, trying new things, or just noticing the beauty around us.

In today’s era of content creation, our mindset has changed.

With our access to technology, we are expected to always be reachable. Our lives are shared for everyone to see online, and our texts and phone calls are expected to be answered immediately. This culture makes our phones feel like a necessity beyond emergencies.

The pressure to adhere to social media norms can prevent genuine connections. Silly moments are seen as opportunities to go viral on TikTok. Every location is the perfect Instagram photo op. Influencers take over our feed with dreamy lifestyle videos, filling many of us with jealousy and admiration.

There’s a demand for honest and authentic content creators, but if you want to see relatable content, look up from your screen and pay attention to yourself and those around you.

Digital world

Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are a never-ending well of content. These apps come with the pressure to contribute to the pool of creation.

If your account does not have any posts, many may think it is fake. Be sure to post, but definitely not more than once a day. These unspoken rules can add stress to our lives, taking away the freedom a personal account should have.

It’s easy to let social media consume your life.

Constant notifications tempt us to check our phones for updates. Counting your likes and followers can make you compete with yourself and other users.

According to Clockify’s time tracking statistics, the average person spends 3 years of their life on social media.

What did you miss in those 3 years?

Don’t let your phone addiction prevent you from enjoying the little joys of life. Extensive screen time can stifle verbal communication skills and prevent growth in real-life relationships.

Life on display

Young woman taking a selfie.
Credit: Shutterstock/garetsworkshop

Sharing your life online invites both support and criticism.

Social media, when used appropriately, can be a source of comfort and expression. Unfortunately, not everyone uses these apps correctly. Sharing parts of your life publicly opens the floor for input.

It’s much easier to critique behind a screen. Any criticism you face is based on who the writer thinks that you are. Your profile is only a sliver of your story.

When using these apps, it’s important to check in on yourself. Remember that these viewers do not know you personally. Find comfort in knowing yourself and your story entirely.

Fight to keep outside perspectives from impacting your well-being. Social media can taint your view of yourself. It’s important to separate the digital world from reality.

If you can do this, you can start to experience life to the fullest.

Hang up and hang out

Friends playing a game together.
Credit: Pexels/RDNE Stock Project

In a time controlled by screens, this phrase highlights the importance of human connection over digital noise.

When with your friends or family, I encourage you to put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Really listen when they speak. Respond to them thoughtfully. Notice the colors of the environment around you. Appreciate the little details of your experiences.

This is meant to help you find an online-offline balance.

There is nothing wrong with taking pictures and videos of your time with others. I still encourage you to capture special moments, post to your private story, or make TikToks; these can create memories themselves.

I simply challenge you to keep a screen from being the focal point of your hangouts. Use it in moderation and find an appropriate balance depending on your location and company. Don’t let social media keep you from living in the moment.

Building habits

Social media ensures we always have stimulation.

This can give us trouble handling boredom and support a short attention span. To live in the moment, we have to embrace the quiet of daily life. Boredom gives us space to be creative. It often helps us find fun in mundane times and create unexpected memories with others.

Phone screen facing down on a table.
Credit: Shutterstock/Orest Kravets

Try turning off notifications for one of your social media accounts. When I hear the notification ring on my phone, I sometimes find myself anxious till I can check it. Without constant notifications, you might find yourself forgetting to check the app and free from this anxiety.

If you find this effective, turn off notifications for all of your social media accounts. Try to use these apps only in your free time or for a specific purpose. This habit can help you be present when spending time with others.

Embracing boredom and quieting notifications on our phones helps us appreciate the small moments that often go unnoticed.

One second

One Second Everyday is an application that lets you relive each day. It is not social media and takes only one second of your day. This is a wonderful alternative to other media apps.

You can upload and select a one-second long snippet of a video from your day. The app will then create a compilation with each entry. Along with each video, you can add a journal entry to document other parts of your day or provide context for your snippet.

This app allowed me to keep the last 5 years of my life fresh in my memory without the stress of likes and followers. One Second Everyday may be the app you’ve been looking for.

Capturing the memory while still living in the moment.

Credit: One Second Everyday/Emily Hacker

Set realistic goals. Find the online-offline balance to experience life to the fullest. There is so much more to your existence than your social media presence.

I encourage you to be intentional with every interaction. It’s possible to capture your memories, be active online, and soak in real-life experiences. You don’t have to choose.

Find a way for social media to enhance your life rather than detract from it. Focus less on preserving the moment for “future you” and embrace the experience in real time.

If even in one second there’s beauty, imagine what you could miss in 3 years.

Written By

I am a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I am earning a bachelor's degree in journalism, a business minor, and a digital marketing certificate.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jeff hacker

    July 12, 2024 at 6:54 pm

    One Word!!!! Awesome!!!’

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