For a while now, I’ve felt hyper-aware of the yin and yang of social media. ☯ It’s a source of entertainment and connection, but it also houses a darker side filled with manipulation, fear-inducing content, and vitriolic exchanges. Even if we agree with the point of view being made, the dehumanization we witness in comment sections can be heartbreaking.💔
Rather than avoiding it altogether (although breaks are really good), I developed a little practice I use for social media.
Remember the days when the "Pay it Forward" ⏩ and "Random Acts of Kindness" movements gained popularity? What if we brought this into our digital environment? Instead of being passive content consumers, what if you could become an agent of kindness when you're there? I imagine you already are, but what if you were clearer and more intentional?
Before entering the social media rabbit hole, I repeat a mantra/intention/prayer to myself.
Where there is ugliness- let me be beauty. Where there is darkness, let me be light. Where there is cruelty, let me be compassionate. Where there is hate, let me be love.💕
Then I head in like the wake-up fairy🧚🏻♀️ in pre-school to wave my wand through my feed to share something encouraging, playful, or affirming. I might leave a good review, speak a kind word, share a fond memory, validate a choice, give a genuine compliment, cheer on a victory, or visualize what they might need. Some days, I send love along with my on their post to simply express, I see you 👀. I like to leave comments on my entrepreneur friends’ posts to help their engagement and algorithms.
Also, I will set a timer, ⏳ like breadcrumbs, to help me get back home!
Being intentional like this is most helpful when I'm feeling sad and stressed. It's also useful when I go into compare and despair and feel insufficient. The intentional act of celebrating someone's success or offering support instead of sitting in envy or not enoughness can shift my whole social media experience.
Let me also be clear that this is NOT a suggestion of toxic positivity. Sometimes hard posts need to be written, opinions and feelings need to be expressed, and lines need to be drawn. Your social media page is your home, and who and what you follow is your digital neighborhood. You get to have boundaries to clean up and curate your gated community. Make full use of the hide, block, and delete features when needed.
I hope that with a deliberate mission, we can turn mindless scrolling into a powerful act of giving and receiving that feels better.
Try it for 5 minutes and let me know what you think.