The Christmas season is in full bloom. Seems like everywhere you go there are signs of the season. Lights, decorations, "holiday" themed beverages at your favorite coffee joint. Yes I had to use "coffee" as an example. Why because I love it, and in case you're wondering my favorite is Dunkins. No matter where you go from the big box retailer down to the local diner it appears everyone is all dressed up ready to make merry.
This is a good thing right? I beg to differ. I was out and about the other day and it hit me, not that it hasn't before, but this time it really stuck out like a sore thumb. Ironic I would use that analogy given what I'm about to type... but all I could see were not the pretty lights, decorations, or signs of the season. All I could see were a bunch of people with their faces glued to a glowing machine and it bothered me. It really bothered me.
The holidays are a time for celebration. Connecting with loved ones, taking time to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead. I know that this time of year can mean different things to different people. Some people deal with incredible sadness or depression this time of year as well, which is terrible. I wonder though, can we as a society for the love of all that is good and right in the world just put down the flipping phones?
One could think it hypocritical of a Greek Girl who uses technology to connect her music with the world to be complaining about people having their faces stuck in their phones, but hear me out. See that's just it. I "use" technology for a purpose, to accomplish a task. To connect, and that's it. For some it has become a very unhealthy addiction and if you ask me it is tearing apart the fabric of our society.
I've written about this before, but the truth is social media is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing to be able to connect with people whom you never could before. So for a business, or independent recording artist such as myself it is an incredible tool. For people in their personal lives though it can be very destructive. We've all seen it, a family out to eat all sitting around with their faces glued to the phones, including the parents. Some you can even see scrolling their Facebook feeds.
Many people today are not happy. In my humble Greek opinion they are not happy with their own lives because they are so busy scrolling to see what others are doing and how great everyone else's life is, that they are missing out the life that is right there in front of them... sad.
Everyone wants to be famous. Again, something I have blogged about on many an occasion. It's not enough for a kid to just play the piano and be good at it; we have to broadcast it all over social media. Moms blasting pics of their kids dancing, singing, baking, you name it. Video after video, and the younger the better. Um hello parents... hate to be the one to break the bad news but there is a creepy word lurking and trolling the internet and I'm just saying something to keep in mind before you post, pedophile.
Why can't it be enough to just live our moments and see where life takes us. Life is a journey... well these days it seems less and less of a journey and more like a race that some people are running fifty miles and hour trying to catch up to the person on instagram who has the most perfect talent, or thing, or life, or beat out the next internet celebrity who pops up.
I'm not saying not to share your moments and be proud of your kids, that is not at all what I am saying. I'm saying everything in moderation. It's like with the commercialism of retail. Stores are promoting the next holiday before the current one in many instances is even over yet. Why? Because of social media. People are far too busy these days. Kids, and even adults have to be involved in multiple activities after school and work. People are so busy running here and there that there is hardly any time left to just "be". To just enjoy life and enjoy some quiet time. Quiet time what's that? You mean we don't have ten places to run today after work or school? My goodness what on earth will we do with ourselves? See what I mean.
Much of this stems from social media. There has been study after study about the dangerous effects of social media on people’s emotional well-being. At the end of the day there is a very wise saying... "Comparison is the joy thief" and it is.
So this Christmas my wish is that people will pull the plug. Realize like the wise old Grinch did: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
I wish for people to take time out from social media to live life and enjoy the life that they have whatever that may be. No not everyone has a perfect life, and that's OK because there is always time to change it. Perfection is an illusion. There are no perfect people, and there are no perfect lives. Christmas does't come from a store, and life is not lived in a little glowing box.
Take some time to reflect on the year that was 2016 and look forward to 2017 with joy and anticipation that it is going to be the best year yet.
Blessings, Love & Music.