Who doesn’t love a compliment? Mark Twain once said he could live off a good compliment for two months. Bottom line, it makes you feel good about yourself and love yourself a little bit more deep down inside. But nowadays that’s what the “Like” button is for, right?

In a world of overly self-involved selfie enthusiasts waiting for the 100th, 200th, or the epic 1,000th “like” on a picture, it’s apparent that self worth is dependent on how many likes one can accumulate. Have millennials drastically changed the way we appreciate one another? Are we too focused on appreciation through technology rather than a good ol’ fashion pat on the back? Does this correlate with the trend of a 0-2 year turnover rate for millennials in the workforce? Are they feeling undervalued? I highly doubt their higher management is saying “Good job!” or “You’re such an asset!” one to two hundred times a day.

While advances in technology have given us a lot of positives, my suggestion is this: every now and then, put the phone down and appreciate the present.

A majority of people, myself included, don’t like confrontation. But when it comes to being considerate of a person’s time, I believe it's important to speak up. People hate when I throw out the comment, “I want to have lunch with you, not your phone.” In today’s fast-paced world, people want people at the end of the day. People marry people, not phones or planners or MacBooks. The time you have with one another is precious, so don’t be afraid to gently remind others that you'd appreciate their attention. They will not be mad (hopefully), just caught off guard.

Unplug from technology for a few days. You’ll thank yourself.

How good does it feel to leave your phone at home and go out to dinner with friends or shopping with your sister? At first you'll feel naked or like you've forgotten something super important. Then you feel isolated, like you’re out of the loop or that you don’t know something that everyone else knows. But don't worry: eventually, you'll feel relieved and realize that you're enjoying yourself more by feeling less distracted. It’s a freeing feeling when you don’t have to whip out your phone to answer questions irrelevant to the moment you're experiencing.

Also, try avoiding any social media network for a whole weekend. I do this at least once a month. When you really need time off, let the people you work with know that you will not be checking your inbox. Emails can stress a person out. Start small with no social media for a few days and gradually include no emails and then no phone. It’s a nice change of pace to not let technology rule your life and you will appreciate living a few days free from pings and tweets.

Expectations = Disappointment.

For years I had extremely high expectations for everything. As a result, I was always disappointed. I didn’t appreciate anything in the present because I was waiting for “something” to happen. I was waiting to appreciate the things above my expectations instead of realizing what I already had. The first time I heard this quote, I latched to it and eventually started repeating it to myself regarding events and relationships: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – William Shakespeare.

Now I only expect the who, what, when and where and the rest is up in the air. Letting go of my predeterminations allows me to be excited or challenged by whatever outcome occurs.

Unplugging once in a while can open our eyes to just how much we’ve failed to notice in our own lives.


Anna Schott is a senior journalism and mass communications student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Continuously capturing the small joys in life, Anna is in the process of following her passions and working diligently to check off that bucket list box “Be super successful.” As a go-getter, enthusiastic millennial, she plans on broadening her horizons after graduation while keeping her Midwestern values close to heart. Anna continues to find time to write and enjoy her love of the outdoors.


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