'Get off your bloody phone you little $#!%'.
Is something all good lockdown parents yell at their kids. But what about us grownups? Why the hell are we on our phones so much? More importantly, why are we on social media at all? These are vacuous platforms for teenagers.
The other day I was hassling my children to get off their screens while standing in my undies flicking mindlessly through Instagram. Disgusting half nude hypocrite.
Facebook, Facebook's evil mutant cousin Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and the rest pay no tax and employ no kiwis. In return, they spread anger, depression and misinformation across our beautiful country. Of course, ragging against social media is as old as social media itself.
Thousands of commentators before me have told us to delete it and focus on real conversations with those close to us.
But we won't.
Because there's funny, entertaining and cute stuff on social med. Plus we've been in lockdown for weeks. If we want to engage in the odd unhealthy lame thing, that's up to us. We don't need self-betterment advice from judgemental do good bastards like me.
Thankfully there's a middle ground. Instead of getting off completely, we could approach it with some sensible honest new rules. As luck would have it I was up Mount Sinai the other day and I found some social media commandments on a tablet.
Thou shalt not covert fake lives
Most posts on Instagram scream 'look how great my life is'. At the same time, they whisper the opposite. The perfect happy family probably hate each other.
Everyone was arguing until the second that smiling photo was taken. They're running filters. Mum is cheating on Dad. Dad's on the glass bbq. The kids are jerks. The flash car is leased. That's a wig. The dog has nits. The cat has cat aids.
But the post reveals none of this. That's the point of it. If they were really living the dream they wouldn't be screaming into the void about how great things are. They would be living their lives.
They would share something interesting instead of just showing off. Lots of people post amusing, wholesome and entertaining stuff. That's great. Good on them. But if you see a perfect life online don't bother feeling envious. You have no need to compare your real life with their faked one. Generally the happier and flasher the post the unhappier the poster.
Thou shalt not get annoyed by the b.s. of strangers
The great Roman philosopher Epictetus once said 'If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you'd be furious. Yet, you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled".
Epictetus was born more than 2000 years ago. He wasn't on Facebook or tic tok. For him, social media was standing on a rock wearing a urine-stained toga, yelling annoying quotes like the above at passersby. But his point holds true to this day.
We would fight to the death anyone who tried to throw our body in the back of a van. But we willingly let social media losers take hostage our minds. Allowing the opinion of some knob on twitter aggravate us. That's a massive own goal. You always have the power to let things go. Walk on by.
Why get upset over some half baked words on a stupid little screen on an embarrassing social media platform?
Thou shalt get off - soon
Screen Time is an app that tells you how long you're spending on your phone. I've seen numbers higher than 3 hours a day. Think of that on your death bed. 3 x 365 x 80 = 87360. 10 years of your life staring at your phone.
Time we could spend focused on our careers, hobbies, friends, family and loved ones. Imagine the amazing structure you could build in a decade. Given ten years I reckon I could finally knock-up that kit-set shed that's rotting in my garage. Life is short and we are burning a lot of it hunched over our devices.
We have to spend some time on our phones. Obviously you need to check your news app regularly. Especially in times like these. But if you find yourself descending into a social media mess, maybe look to get back off - soon.
We all know in our hearts social media is lame. It plays on our most childish and wimpy emotions. Envy, anger and FOMO. But It doesn't have too. With the above commandments social media might not completely devour your souls.
At the very least you'll cut down on your screen time. Then you won't have to yell at yourself on your death bed. 'You wasted your life on your bloody phone you little $#!%'