"The" Social Media Trap
"The"... as if there's just one social media trap.
But, there is one I want to talk about today.
It's been an interesting week of navigating the social media world.
What's worthy of engagement?
What's a waste of time?
How do we hold space for growth without creating chaos?
The thing I've been thinking about most is the sharing of personal complaints and "negative" opinion. When is this appropriate in social media and when is it not? When are we hiding behind our screen, and when are we using the platform to launch self, community, or global improvement?
Here's what I keep reminding myself. It's the process I use most when deciding what to write or not write anywhere in the world wide web. Most of the time I stick to it, but occasionally I don't and wish that I had.
Would I stand on a stage and share these thoughts with a room full of people?
-In social media everyone who has access, is the room full of people.
Would I walk into a party and give a speech about this, or is this a conversation I might have with only a few people at the party?
-In social media the party are the viewers, the private conversations are what happens off social media or in direct message.
Am I ok with this conversation being "eves dropped" on?
-In social media all the people who read and don't comment are the eves droppers.
-Am I ok with them hearing my thoughts and having no voice to patrol the telephone tag that may result?
Is my sharing somehow contributing to the greater evolution of humanity, or resolution of a problem?
-If yes, how?
-If no, do I remain quiet or take the conversation off line?
Might my sharing hurt someone's feelings in a way that I may later regret?
-Just because it's social media, doesn't mean there aren't consequences.
-If I saw that person would I be willing to engage in ACTUAL conversation or would I want to run and hide?
Most of the people reading this probably didn't grow up with social media, I remember when I got my first email account and my mind was blown. My first cell phone was for safety in college, not for browsing the web, or selfies.
We're all learning, and none of us is perfect, but I do think we can all be a little more thoughtful, intentional, and loving as we navigate the social media world, and that doesn't just apply to how we interact with others, but how we treat ourselves as we use social media.
Are we setting ourselves up for failure or success?
Who are we surrounding ourselves with?
What's our goal in using digital platforms?
The more clear we can be with ourselves. The more clear we can be with others.
Here's how I do the work:
- "Social media is overwhelming."
Who does this thought belong to?
- Me: my doubt, fear, insecurity...
What purpose does this thought serve?
- In triggering my insecurities it is asking me to protect myself and consider my next action a little more carefully.
When am I ready to release this thought?
- Now. I'd rather take action than indulge in the overwhelm.
Where do I need to put this thought next?
- Aside, it may serve me again someday, but not right now.
Why am I giving this thought power?
- Because it gives me an out if I want to step away, or share something I'll regret (neither of which I want to do).
How can my WHY and or purpose lead me to my next action?
-I've had the same WHY for 4 years- FREEDOM. After some journalling and self exploration I realized that my WHY shifted and I'm rolling with the new calling.
-My new WHY is GROWTH. Bailing on social media, or using it inappropriately does not feel like growth to me. GROWTH asks me to look closer at my vision for using social media, my desire to connect, my love of community and resource sharing. GROWTH reminds me that there is a time and a place for everything and I need to be intentional and purposeful in everything I share. GROWTH shows me where I can take my negative opinions, and or criticism. It guides me offline when appropriate and keeps me there when useful. It also allows me to make mistakes and to learn from them.
This work is EVERYTHING.