Social media…should you feast or fast?
Anybody else feeling a little overwhelmed by social media these days? So there you are, just clicking through your newsfeed, hoping to see cute baby pics, silly memes, inspiring recipe videos, and friendly updates. But instead you are blasted by powerful negativity, polarizing politics and blanket putdowns.
Isn’t it amazing to see how quickly social media can go from fun and informative to distracting and disturbing?
If you’ve heard my keynote presentations, you know I empower people to take action! And to be kind.
We strategize best practices to help you live your fullest, healthiest, most productive lives.
And we frequently talk about the importance of taking personal accountability.
So let’s talk about personal accountability in relationship to social media and your emotional health.
We know what we put into our bodies matters for physical health. But have you thought about your social media diet in relationship to your mental and emotional wellbeing?
Friends, you get to choose what you put into your body and your mind—what you eat, what you read, what you listen to, who you surround yourself with, and what (and how much) you consume on social media.
Please understand, I am not anti-social media. But I am a big believer in not letting social media take over my free time. We must choose who and what deserves our precious time and attention.
After all, your undivided attention is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to the people you care about—your clients, colleagues, family and yes, your friends (Facebook and otherwise).
A few months ago, I hopped on Facebook and was immediately hit with a particularly disrespectful, violent, antagonistic (and personally painful to me) post. I sat at my desk, jaw agape, in shock that someone I know would share something this hate-filled. I left feeling depressed and saddened. It’s hard to see posts from people I admire and respect (and even love!) blasting mass put-downs for anybody who doesn’t think exactly like they do.
I decided to go on a diet—a social media diet. I didn’t scroll or post much for a couple of weeks, which was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be.
Can you guess what happened when I cut back on Facebook?
You might be thinking I did something super-productive, like write another book. No, I didn’t write another book or spend time reorganizing my pantry. I did, however, read more books and worked some yoga back into my routine.
In addition, I found myself feeling lighter and less bogged down by negative emotions. Even so, I did miss some of the connections I’ve made through social media platforms. I knew I couldn’t stay away forever. You see, social media is not just social for me, it’s also a part of my business strategy.
When I did finally get back on FaceBook, I posted one of my #RealLifeWonderWoman features.
Can you guess what happened then?
Very few people saw it. You see, those sneaky social media algorithms pushed my feed to the bottom of the barrel due to lack of activity.
If you are a business owner like me and use social media to connect with your clients (or audiences or customers), one side effect of pulling back on posting and commenting regularly is that your audience won’t get your message—no matter how positive or uplifting it may be!
Friends, your followers (and clients) want to hear your fresh, positive perspectives. They want to know how you can help them thrive. They want to know your stories.
When using social media as a business strategy, we must be intentional—mindful of our audiences and of our purpose. When using social media for personal connections, we still need to be mindful and recognize what we are putting out there and into the feeds of the people who trust us with their time and energy.
Won’t you join me in filling your social media feeds with positive, kind messages?
Share your stories. Together we can use social media to LIFT PEOPLE UP!
Do you need a diet?
You can be active, yet mindful. You can honor your followers AND your wellbeing. If you feel like a social media diet would benefit you, here are some actions you can take to not go “cold turkey.” You can still remain active and vital, but less bogged down by the negativity of others:
Do an honest self assessment. How many hours a day do you spend scrolling? Like food, social media can become an addiction of sorts. Are you addicted? Would you benefit in reducing your social media consumption?
Take action! After your self assessment, if you feel that you would benefit from decreasing your screen time, do it! You and only you are responsible for what you put into your body and mind. Check out apps or use your phone to set social media time limits.
Unfollow or Unfriend. Monitor who is on your feed and if their posts align with what you need for your mental and emotional health. You have the ability to unfriend or unfollow people who are not respectful online. You get to choose who and what gets your attention.
Take mini-breaks. You do not need to be connected 100% of the time. In fact, a little fast from social media now and again is (in my opinion) good for the soul. Your phone’s “airplane mode” is a nice way to block notifications for a short period of time.
I would love to support you in your positive social media ventures! If you choose to follow me on social media, here’s what you can expect:
- Positivity—I try really hard to honor you and respect your time and energy.
- Inspiring quotes—I’m a big fan of words and love to share them.
- A little push sometimes—I may (respectfully, of course) push you to look at a new perspective.
- A dose of reality. I do keep it real, so expect to hear about my trials and mistakes.
- Random silly stuff. I like to have fun, so you’ll probably hear about my awesome clients, travel tales, neighbor dog (We heart Bernie!), obscure observations, and favorite foods.
- Stories of every day super heroes. I get so much joy sharing stories of people like you who honor others in their own unique and powerful ways.
Whether you diet or indulge in social media, I’m grateful to be doing life with YOU!