3 Ways to Feel Better About Your Life on Social Media
Social media is a wonderful, powerful tool for connection. In many ways, it is also a giant mirror of your thought life. The things you choose to click on, read, watch and share are all things that eventually influence the way you think, feel, and then act. It’s somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more you focus on something, the more likely it is to show up everywhere you look. When you interact with content online, more content like that shows up next time you log in. Sometimes it becomes so automatic that we forget that we have a choice to not click at all. In other words, what you feed, grows. And what you starve, dies. Being intentional with how we spend our time is hard in a world that is fighting for our attention from every angle. Social media is one of the hardest things to “be intentional” about because many sites are specifically designed to keep you scrolling. Ask yourself these three questions regularly, and watch your world change right before your eyes.
What or who am I following that is no longer feeding my soul?
It’s easy to forget that some things we do have become so “automatic”. What messages are you supporting each day when you follow certain news sources or negative people? Don’t be afraid to “unfollow” people or places that no longer serve a purpose in your happiness and growth. Also, resist the urge to get into useless comment fights with people who are only looking for controversy. You don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to.
Do I feel happier and more connected in my online life?
If you are interacting with things that are mostly gossip and controversy, you will start to think about gossip and controversy. Like a wave, each action we choose spills into the next. You can’t be both happy and full of peace, but also reading about fear, destruction, and gossip regularly. You will feel a whole lot better, too, if you “clean up” the things you choose to read or watch online. Why does this matter? Because we tend to forget that we can’t compartmentalize certain areas of our lives. For example, imagine attempting to sprint 5 miles but deciding you want to have it only affect one body part, say, your arms. You can’t isolate certain muscles when the whole body is exerting itself in a sprint. Likewise, the things you read and watch affect every area of your thought life. When you are filling your mind with comparisons to someone else’s or reading gossip articles about someone else’s failed love life, it’s affecting your entire being. Negative thoughts affect how you feel about yourself, which affect how you treat yourself, and how you treat others. Feelings follow actions, so if you want to feel more love, choose to focus on more of what you love.
What digital footprint am I leaving?
What messages are you sending to your kids, spouse, and yourself when you share something? Unlike other mediums of information, we the people decide what goes viral, what is heard, and who influences our headlines. We share, we like, we filter, we re-tweet, we comment. Alongside our power to share, we also have the responsibility to of choosing what we make popular with every click. Each day, we have a choice: to magnify the good, or magnify the bad. A choice to share fear, or to share love. To pass on faith, or pass on doubt. To believe in destruction, or believe in hope. Only after we choose which to share with the world, can we begin to make a change in ourselves, and then in others. The more love you choose to give and share, the more love you will feel in your own life.
I challenge you: What if for a week, you only spoke of things you love? What if you only shared things that magnified the good and inspired positive action?