It’s time to consume social media more positively | This is how
Our social media consumption affects us more than we think, so why not make it more positive?
How good did it feel when you turned off your phone or deactivated your Facebook for a few hours? If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot and see how refreshing it is.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for us to stay connected, make a sale, grow a business, or establish our personal brands.
But with all the divisive political ruckus and harrowing issues of social justice, I’ve personally felt burdened and overwhelmed more than ever.
We’re at a time where we can now choose what we want to hear, and that comes at an expense where our social media feeds are now filled with conflict and anger.
As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, the angry and miserable minority currently possesses a stronger voice than the happy majority and the implications of that are showing. If there was a time to act, it’s now.
It’s time for us to rethink social media as a tool — not only for business — but for our well being. The cold truth is that for the majority of internet users, Facebook IS the internet and it has a much larger emotional impact on our thinking and daily decision making than we’re actually aware of.
Here’s my proposal: it’s time to purge our social media feeds and make it a tool to bring positivity back into our lives. Here are a few ways we can do that.
1. Create a time and place to follow the news
The last thing I want to imply is to be willfully ignorant of all the pressing issues we have out there today. Generating awareness is incredibly important, especially when it pertains to representing a group that might not have a voice from traditional media.
However, it’s important to have a separate and diversified reading source for your news. Use apps like Feedly, and follow news sources with different view points. Dedicate time to read the news instead of letting the news dictate you. Unfortunately, fear tactics have become increasingly effective on social media and to step away from it is your personal decision to make.
Being bombarded with negativity all the time will make you feel overwhelmed, and science shows that. The truth of the matter is, extreme global poverty is declining, life expectancy is increasing, and overall the world is in a better place today than ever before, which brings me to my next point.
2. Be proactive about change
Sharing horrific videos and articles might generate awareness, but it comes with the expectation of someone else to act upon it.
Go out in the real world instead, and fundraise to a trusted charity, volunteer for a day, or start a food drive. Whatever it is, doing is always a shit ton more powerful than being a backseat supporter.
People might disagree with me, but I’m all for people going out there and making a positive impact while Snapchatting and Instagramming — with humility of course — because now there is an exponentially higher chance that you might actually inspire someone to do the same.
3. Audit your friends and pages you follow
I’m a huge fan of memes and interesting video content, but it’s really easy for me to just scroll through my feed and watch things without putting much thought into it. It’s being the modern day couch potato.
Scroll down your feed and audit what you see. Is every video you see politicized? Are your friends complaining about trivial matters? How does it make you feel? Angry? Conflicted? Happy? Facebook has a nice feature called “unfollow,” so you don’t have to hurt your friend’s feelings if you decide that he or she is not a good influence in your life.
Start feeding in more content from people and websites that produce uplifting and positive content, perhaps from your favorite thought leaders like Seth Godin or Simon Sinek, or educational giants like TED and NPR.
4. Be the one spreading positivity
It’s fun to blame our friends and our newsfeed for all the negativity we consume everyday, but it’s important to realize the role you play in your social circle. Even if it’s posting an uplifting video or sending a word of encouragement, I believe it’ll add up over time. I wholeheartedly believe that people on social media are so attracted to positivity, because we’re not seeing nearly enough of it.
Let’s be the change
It’s truly an exciting time. I hope that this article inspired you to create healthier consumption habits online and if it did, please share it with your friends. It’ll keep me going to write more as well :)