Our culture has elevated celebrities to godlike status and obsesses over their relationships, style choices, and just about every other aspect of their lives. But it's not just the everyday happenings of the rich and famous that fascinate us. We're also fixated on what's happening with everyone we know. There are no boundaries for appropriate self-disclosure when you can live blog every moment of your existence on multiple social platforms, from anywhere and at any time. One of the reasons that journalists like George Plimpton and Cal Fussman became so popular is that their participant journalism took us inside a story and made us feel like we were involved in it. Social media has made us all observers of other people's stories to the degree that we cease to be an active part of our own narrative. We've become a society of voyeurs. From a health standpoint, it'd be a useful exercise (pun intended) to take note of how much time we spend on social-media sites looking into other people's lives and then compare this with the daily movement stats our fitness trackers provide. Or maybe you were thinking this is a silly exercise, not sure of the point. That's normal. Just notice that you're distracted and come back to the raisin. Now, think about eating the raisin. Can you imagine what it will taste like? Do you want to eat it or not? Does anything happen in your mouth or stomach when you think about eating the raisin? The time has finally arrived to put the raisin in your mouth, but don't bite into it yet! Just let it roll around in your mouth. Let your tongue feel its texture and wrinkly surface. This dynamic is reciprocated, not just one-sided. Healthy dynamics between people foster independence, resourcefulness, and resiliency, while codependent dynamics stifle and limit growth.

This is especially true for the codependent; Back to Riley Social media, for me, has its positives and negatives, Riley shared with me one day in session. The negatives are that I get too invested in other people's responses to my posts. Since I'm a lot like Mom, I also seek out emotional reassurance from people. And social media is another arena I use to meet this emotional need of mine. But I know it's unhealthy, because, ultimately, I need to be able to do this for myself. Another negative thing about social media for me is that it reinforces my feeling like an outsider. I think we'd realize that most of us put a lot more effort into online nosiness than we do into improving our own wellness and performance. Doing a media fast one day a week, on the weekend, or even for an entire week can provide a reset button. It'd be even better if we spent the time we got back on being active outdoors with our friends, spouse, or kids. If you're concerned or anxious about cutting the cord for a certain period of time, ask yourself what you'll really miss if you do. The chances are that the honest answer is nothing. If a week sounds impossible, then try a weekend, or start by limiting yourself to checking your social feeds only once a day, at a certain time. Set rules for restricting or removing device use during meals, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and follow Joe Rogan's lead by putting your phone in airplane mode when you exercise. See Tom Cooper's article Fast Media/Media Fast: How to Clear Your Mind and Invigorate Your Life in an Age of Media Overload for more tips. Don't Ski for Instagram, Ski for You In December 2015, Outside writer Joe Jackson wrote a guide for not looking dorky on the ski hill. Can you taste the raisin already by just sucking on it in your mouth? Okay, you've been waiting for this moment.

Bite into your raisin! Notice what happens when you do this. Can you feel the flavor burst out with each bite? Do you enjoy the taste or not? When you are ready, swallow your raisin. Imagine it making its way down to your stomach, offering up its nutrients and flavors to give you energy and pleasure. What was that like? Did the raisin taste different than you expected? Most of my friends use social media to post pictures of themselves with their friends! I get really jealous of other people who have a friend group and post pictures of themselves doing fun things with a group of people. On the other hand, when I do get the courage to post a status update like, Just slayed another ten-mile run! I usually get comments that are pretty positive, like, Wow! Comments like this make me feel that people actually care about me. And the reassurance I get from these posts feels positive and healthy. I guess because I feel pretty good about these posts too. And I'm sharing them because I'm feeling genuinely proud of myself. Something I rarely get with my own family. When I get positive and encouraging comments, it also makes me realize that not all people are harmful and that not all relationships are like the ones my parents have with each other or the relationship I have with them. Tip number four was Don't ski for Instagram, ski for you. I'd argue that skiing, or doing any activity, for that matter, just so a friend can take cool photos of you or so you can capture GoPro footage from a weird angle completely defeats the point of skiing, snowboarding, or whatever.

In this instance, the selfie taker's goal is not to move, perform, or have fun. It's to promote themselves and get validation that they're living a fun, adventure-filled life with all their followers and Facearticle pseudofriends. In the wonderful parody video Instagram Husband, produced by the comedy group The Mystery Hour, one woman tells her husband, who's reluctant to take yet another picture of her, But babe, we need to show the world we enjoy our lives together. If we want to delight in each other's company and do exciting things, we should appreciate these moments without this artificial need to record them or asking others to validate them with likes, retweets and such. When it comes to health and performance, we need to try to focus fully on the experiences we go through to learn, progress, and reach our goals, without the distraction and anxiety of figuring out how to memorialize them digitally. Ski for you, not for Instagram. Workouts with Friends Competing in virtual head-to-head competitions via an app can keep indoor workouts fun when the weather sucks or you've stayed late at the office and it's dark outside. Think about the long journey the raisin took to get here, how it began as a juicy grape on a vine, how it drew nutrients from the soil and the sun and the air around it, how it was cared for and ultimately picked by someone's hands. Think about the grape being dried out until it attained raisinhood. Take a moment to give thanks for all the things in nature and for all the people who helped create that little raisin. Did those considerations affect your appreciation for that raisin? Many people find that when they take the time to be fully present with eating, they become better attuned to sensations of hunger and fullness. They also find that food tastes very different than they imagine, and that the amount of pleasure they get out of eating is linked to the degree of their hunger. They are better able to discern what tastes good to them--and find greater pleasure in eating. What was it like to do that for you? Did you notice anything new or different? It's amazing how something as simple as paying attention to eating can pull us out of our autopilot mode and change our perception. For Riley, as with Jackie, social media is a space where there's an opportunity to experience corrective emotional experiences. Positive comments from his followers and friends positively impact Riley's sense of self, identity, and well-being.

They make him feel cared for, important, and noticed--what we all need to feel in order to grow, develop, and thrive. I also believed social media could help Riley with his transition from high school to college by increasing his sense of belonging. There's current research linking social media to improving students' adjustment to college as well as their sense of belonging. Social networking of this kind helps guide students in their adjustment to the unfamiliar social environment at college. As far as social media's contribution to belonging, social-networking sites help students learn about their peers and college, which, in turn, creates affiliation with their university. Students' sense of belonging--that is, whether or not they feel included in their college community--has a documented relationship with college adjustment. For instance, student perceptions of belonging have been positively associated with feelings of social acceptance and academic competence. In a few months, Riley was going to start college. But what about when it's a 70-degree, cloudless summer day and you're still choosing to row, cycle, or run that 10k against online friends instead of going outside to do the same with real friends--you know, those people who got you into your chosen sport and whom you actually know? In this case, the promise of online community is actually breeding isolation instead of real interaction. Not to mention the fact that some companies are now touting their product's ability to let you taunt others, and somehow think this fits in the inspire section of their glossy marketing. If you find you're spending more time racing and training with semianonymous people online than you are with true friends and family members, then maybe you need to put some more effort into the latter. In this case, you really do need to get out more. Laird Hamilton knows the importance of forging unbreakable bonds with friends in some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. When he was pioneering tow-in surfing with Dave Kalama, Brett Lickle, Darrick Doerner, and the rest of the Strapped Crew in the biggest swells ever surfed, the responsiveness of whoever was manning the Jet Ski and safety sled in the channel was the difference between living and dying. When I asked Laird about the brotherhood these experiences forged, he told me, Community is really where we belong and that's how we evolved. When you have that and you're in nature together with someone, that's when we're at our apex. Sometimes the environment is demanding our camaraderie in order to survive because of its extremity. Try being mindful the next time you eat, using this model. See what you learn from it.