Social media through a positive lens

Do you also really love sharing memes? Have you found it easy to virtually communicate with family and friends recently? Why do we enjoy posting pics of us travelling?

How often do we focus on the benefits that we derive from social media? Okay maybe a few of you addicts have those ready for argument’s sake, but I mean it from a place of inspiration, guidance and service.

I’ve been asked to write an alternative view to my older post about social media. I’ll discuss how we’re able to stay connected, being a source of inspiration, finding motivation, using creative outlets, learning to surf the web and understanding two sides of a story.

Let’s dive into some healthy perspectives and learn how to face the digital tsunami we’re inevitably experiencing.

Staying connected

The lock down has shown us what a monumental resource technology has been, especially connecting through social media. We’re able to stay in touch with our friends and family from all over the world, doing so now more than ever before.

Video calling friends and family can be incredibly healing, especially when you can’t travel to see them. I think we have a lot to be grateful for, especially the fact that we’re not dealing with the 1918 pandemic. Imagine if the only way to communicate with the rest of the world was through pigeons?

Shutterstock

I do hope that your communication extends further than liking and commenting on posts, as that isn’t really ‘connecting’.

Being a source of inspiration

We have an incredible ability to influence people on social media. Why not utilize this to help other people? If you ever feel like you’d want to serve a cause greater than yourself, it’s now easier than ever before to do just that.

Social media enables us to post about aspects of our lives that could benefit other people. Sharing your exercise regime, your daily habits, the recipes for your Insta-worthy food, your studying routine, your poetry, your philosophy, how you deal with your mental health and so much more, can all greatly encourage people.

There are various ways for us to make the most of our time spent on social media, we just have to be conscious of the energy and content we upload / expose ourselves to.

So long as we’re intentional about why we do what we do, we can all contribute positively.

Creative outlet

As mentioned above regarding sources of inspiration, social media can be used as a creative outlet. It allows people to make a living off sharing their art and what truly matters to them. Remember that art isn’t restricted to a specific genre like drawing. It’s about finding a way to express yourself and allowing people to connect with you in a unique way.

This has also enabled us to work from home and keep going with ‘business as usual’. Being in lock-down has been an incredible source of creativity for many people, as we’ve finally made time to focus more on what matters.

It has also enabled people to start thinking genuinely about what they want to achieve in their life. We’re not limited to 9-5 jobs in an office desk anymore. We have the world at our very fingertips.

Finding motivation

When things get overwhelming and difficult, we can search for ways to stay motivated. There are so many people who upload content specifically to encourage people, to keep them going, to help them stay on track. If you’re ever feeling a little overwhelmed, learn about how others deal with that same feeling.

Sharing our stories and accomplishments can allow us to be a source of motivation to others. When you see other people overcoming hurdles, it empowers you to keep trying. When you see that you’re not alone in this, it helps you feel related to.

This all depends on how well you’re able to work the algorithms and keep your feed in check. We need to learn about exposing ourselves to relevant content.

Learning how to surf the internet

For us to adequately deal with waves of change, we need to learn how to surf. The internet is just a bunch of web-pages that represent gnarly waves. We have to make sure we tread the waters carefully, by studying and actively seeking ways to understand it.

Here’s a great YouTube series to help you with that:

There’s a lot of chaos and misinformation amongst the memes and selfies. We need to become aware of how fake news also tends to go viral; spreading corruption in a different form.

We need to find a balance. The very same resources that we use to empower ourselves, can be used against us. The quality of our relationships, our attention span, the subconscious and even childhood development are all being heavily influenced by the presence of social media and technology.

Two sides of a story

How often have you found yourself defending a story after hearing only 1 side of it? You trust that person or source, therefore, believe them entirely without doing your own research.

We need to understand that social media, like all media platforms, feed off engagement. When people post offensive or contradictory statements, it gains traction and starts trending. We all hop on the bandwagon and join in, further fueling engagement.

So my point here is that we’re barely able to hear two sides of a story IRL, imagine how much tougher it is on social media? We just need to be intentional and a little more conscious of how we’re allowing the technology to seep into every aspect of our lives.

A wise man once said: “Stay woke.”

Regardless of what your stance is, you need to become adept at navigating digital information.

We can find resources to stay motivated and use ourselves to inspire others. We can unleash our creativity in incredible ways and share it with the world around us. There’s so much that we have to be thankful for, especially how we’re able to stay connected using social media.

It’s just as important to stay aware of the influence social media has on us. We need to put in a little effort to understand the navigation, so that we don’t drown in information. There’s much more to it than the click-bait or headline.

I’d like to thank you for your time and support, it always means a great deal to me. We’re all in this together, so we should always share whatever beneficial knowledge we have. I’m going to end this by repeating the quote I used in my previous post on social media.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”

Erik Qualman

Mindful Monday #2

There seems to be a lot going on in the world right now. In light of all the uncertainty, let’s remember to be mindful. In this session of Mindful Monday, I’ll talk about emotional awareness, your responsibility, exposure to information and gratitude.

I’d like to share an intriguing thought I had over the weekend. The planet is healing. Yes, the situation we’re currently in is daunting and frightening. However, there are always blessings hiding within the curses. Greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and waste dumping have all been significantly reduced.

Hmm, also randomly started thinking about The Great Depression and the 1918 flu. Quite a circular process.

We should take some time to reflect, to learn, to grow and to empathize with the world around us. Be wary of toxic productivity, understand your boundaries and focus on your blessings. Let’s relate this to Covid-19.

Emotional awareness

There’s a lot of panic, anxiety and stress amidst the chaos that’s unfolding. We need to be aware of how our emotions are unfolding. It’s critical to stay level-headed and find ‘healthy’ coping mechanisms with our circumstances.

Don’t fall prey to other people panicking. Don’t spread misinformation or be a reason for other people to panic. Watch out for fake news. Don’t be guided by fear. Stay aware of your emotional state and accept it.

It’s okay to feel worried. It’s okay to feel nervous. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Try to be nonjudgmental towards yourself and those around you. The more you’re able to understand what you’re going through, the better equipped you’ll be to help others.

Your responsibility

As it stands, there is no cure for the pandemic. All we can do is try to reduce its impact. That means we need to take responsibility for our hygiene, social distancing and reducing stigma.

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways of containing a pandemic. By reducing the amount of people you’re exposed to, you decrease your chances of being affected or affecting others. It’s critical to maintain high levels of sanitation and hygiene at this point, to ensure you eliminate any sources of contamination.

Stigma always seems to be the elephant in the room. We all know it exists, yet we tend to ignore it. It’s absolutely crucial that we remain supportive and kind to everyone, especially to those who are infected or prone to being sick.

Start taking this seriously and act now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Here’s a link to an incredible article interpreting the data and talking about your role in helping to deal with the covid-19 outbreak: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

Exposure to information

We’re living in a hyper-connected age where we’re exposed to more information in 24 hours, than people did in their entire lives around 25 years ago.

Keeping that in mind, we need to be conscious of the news we expose ourselves to. We might not immediately realize it, but after scrolling and reading a few articles our entire mood can change.

Ask yourself how much information you really need to move forward with this. We need to constantly stay up-to date, but within reasonable boundaries. Stay mindful of what your subconscious is absorbing, there’s always a lot to be thankful for.

Gratitude

The best way to deal with negativity is to focus on what is going well. It’s not always easy to shift into that frame of mind, but once you do, nothing can pull you down.

Most of us still have eyes to see, a mind to comprehend with, an eagerness to learn, a loving family, wonderful friends, food to eat and a place to stay.

Think about that more. Show your love and affection to your friends and family. (Virtually of course) Be thankful and be a source of positivity to the world around you.

It’s not easy, I know. We’ll get through this. We’ll look back at how insane things were and smile, knowing we were tough enough to survive. We’ll talk about this to our children and grandchildren one day.

Don’t lose hope. Stay mindful of what’s going on within you. Take in deep breaths and smile. Now is all you have, make the most of it.