I was on the phone with a friend when she mentioned she’ll be in Orlando next month.

“I stayed at the coolest little bed and breakfast there,” I told her. “Hang on, I’ll give you the name of it.”

I knew I had photos of the place on my Instagram, so I scrolled back to my posts from last October to see if I’d tagged the location.

I did, but I found myself sidetracked by the memory of that trip. My ex, a musician, had taken me on the road with him while he played a string of shows. We woke up in a new city almost every day, and because there was so much to see and explore, I hardly used my phone except to post one picture a day.

As I scrolled through the photos and read their captions, my memory filled in the blanks and I was moved by nostalgia because I remembered being there.

I remembered because I wasn’t distracted with a barrage of notifications, social media and news articles. I remembered because I was living in the moment, paying attention to real life as it happened.

The ability to form memories and human bonds instead of distracting ourselves with (mostly) useless information is fundamental to our happiness. New research from Baylor University suggests that the time we spend on social media is directly proportional to how unhappy we feel. The less time we’re on our phones, the happier we are. It’s related to comparison. In real life, we’re not constantly looking at ourselves in relation to someone else; our bodies, experiences, breakfasts and clothes are just fine as we have them while we have them. We’re able to concentrate on what’s happening, not what should be happening.

Read the full article on The Hub Highlight.

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