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Adapting in this new normal

As of June 2020, over 3.5 billion of us own a smartphone. That’s over 45% of the world’s population and a 10% increase on 2019, 610 million of us own digital cameras, 3 billion of us are on some form of social media and there are over 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.

The figures above tell us that taking, posting and sharing pictures of what is going on in our lives has become the new normal for a high percentage of people.

As human beings, we have evolved to be social creatures. Social interaction is a basic human need that we all have. We have survived and flourished on this planet because of togetherness and communities. With resources like social media readily available to most, we are more connected today than we have ever been before. However, scientists still believe that the next big epidemic to have a drastic effect on all of our well-being, is the feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation and loneliness. We may be more connected, but the use of social media and smart devices have shown to have adverse effects on our mental health and well-being.

In a world where they play an enormous part of our lives, is it time we take responsibility for this and start putting these resources to use in new and more productive ways?

”In our community we are changing perceptions and attitudes towards smart devices and social media. If we make a choice to use these things in a different way, they can make us feel empowered and boost our self-esteem. Focus On Happiness is a place for people to be themselves and to meet like minded people. They can become part of supportive groups, feel authentically connected to others and be challenged in more positive and productive ways with resources they already have at their disposal.”

Studies show that as a supplement to medicine and care, participation in arts activities like photography, can dramatically improve and maintain both the physical and mental wellbeing of the people involved – study .

No matter where you are in the world these days, you’re likely to see people capturing what is going on around them with a camera or smartphone and then sharing their experiences online for the world to see. Pictures and images have become reflections of the experiences we are living. They are messages and memories that people can understand and relate to, across all languages, cultures and societies.

Photography breaks down barriers and has now become the worlds number one universal language.

For many, social media has become the highlight reel of their lives. These same people perceive massive pressures to continue creating and sharing those perfectly composed moments every single time. This can become a distraction from what you could be experiencing and is not always authentic to who you really are. By letting go of that mindset and focusing on your full experience with a mindful approach, it can help you create positive memories and capture authentic happy moments which you can relive each and every time you see the photograph.

Online communities can be a fantastic resource for connection. They promote human interaction and keep us all connected with family and friends, at times when we cannot see them face to face. This is especially true as this pandemic continues to unfold. Like many things, we just need to be a little more aware of the good and bad aspects, while also being mindful about how we can navigate through them to choose the right platform for our needs.

We feel our community which is our stand-alone social media platform differs greatly from large scale public social networks, by being more purpose based, with a huge emphasis on positivity, openness, meaningful engagement and support. This allows authentic connections and relationships to be cultivated with more like minded members who may share similar interests to you and who you can show and receive support and encouragement from.

The figures above prove that so many of us already have all the physical recourses we need to make ourselves feel better. Devices such as phones and cameras to take pictures, computers and smart devices to share and interact in a community, are readily available to almost everyone.

With some guidance, learning and practical knowledge, you can elevate what taking pictures and sharing them on social media can be, while also getting all the amazing benefits of mindful photography and the benefits of being in such a great and supportive online community.

Investing in yourself is one of the most important and empowering things you can do in your life. By doing so, you are enhancing your own life and as a consequence of that, you are also enhancing the lives of the people you meet and interact with every single day.

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