Hi5, Facepic, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat.

What did we do with our time before falling into the grips of social media?

How did we communicate?

Did we?

Oh the stress of figuring out who would make your Top 8 on Myspace.

While many would claim to still be in control of their social media life, when we look behind the collective posts that are shared, it may tell a different story. Many have reported job opportunities lost because of a post shared one Sunday afternoon many years ago. Others have been victim to cyber bullying and the recipient of stolen identities. But still we scroll. I personally have never been one to use social media to share my family, favourite coffee choice or to tag my location, but still many do and they don’t know why.

The growth of social media has given weight to numbers like never before. How many likes a photo gets, shares, subscribers, or thumbs up, is a tangible tool used in business, sponsorship deals and self-esteem unfortunately.

Speaking of the latter, it is sad to see people define themselves by likes, followers and other peoples opinion of their filtered selfie. I think that while it is important to tap into the potential of social media, it is essential that we know that we are valuable with or without the likes and external approval. It is equally important as parents not to feel pressured into exposing our children to the realms of social media, thus opening up opportunity of exposure to the less innocent world. Give them all of the likes they need from your home and they will not look for it elsewhere.

The networks can be used for good, but we must really evaluate if we have become enslaved by the temptation to look into other peoples lives, follow unproductive feeds, or just willingly procrastinate.

When was the last time you wrote a letter?

When was the last time you sent a postcard?

When was the last time you remembered a birthday without the help of Facebook?

Simple things. But we must give ourselves room to still do human things in this technological age. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.

So before you double tap your home button and scroll between apps, take a breath, make that phone call, meet up with a friend in real life and share a moment with a loved-one offline. You’ll be surprised what memories you can create without likes.

This is not how your story ends.

Originally published at medium.com