I looooovvvveeee social media. Possibly a little bit too much. I spend a lot of time there. Social media really gets a bad wrap sometimes, there is some good there. For example, I run a business mostly via social media (and word of mouth from great clients), I write and share and minister to others from social media, I keep in touch with family and friends – for real! I think sometimes this is where it gets dicey. Likely, this is where you all started to roll your eyes. Yes?
I’m with you. Social media is annoying too, and it gets impersonal quick. I get all the special invites to groups and online parties – I’ve even sent them! (#guilty) Like, that girl you don’t remember from 3rd grade probably only invited you because she wants you to buy something or she’s about to pitch the latest MLM, right? I hear you. BUT…
I love to know what my family and friends are up to and it’s hard with busy schedules to call and text on a regular basis, but when I do, I kind of know what’s happening with them because of social media. I can say – “Oh I saw your sweet photo of little so-and-so at the pool! They are so big! How was the swimming lesson?”
I love sharing what my kiddos are up to, what my family did on the weekend, and the occasional Insta-food post, because – yum! I like good food. It can be so much more than nosing around on your 9th grade girlfriends husband or hiding from whatever judgy Aunt Sally might be doing this week. Like many things in life – social media is what you make of it.
Social media (from Zuckerburg’s perspective) was created to unite and connect us). In fact, Zuckerburg feels so strongly about this that he changed the algorithms for Facebook to nearly require that people are interacting in groups and avoid this “advertising” feel.
This year I took on two focus words – gratitude and engage. I am embracing these words in practical ways and one of them involves social media. I recognized that I was not showing gratitude for what I had been given: my family, my home, my time and I was wasting it away nosing around on social media. You know, scrolling…scrolling…scrolling. You think you’ll check it for 5 minutes but 25 minutes later you’re looking at your husband’s cousin’s daughters prom photo. What? (#imnotalonehere) I wasn’t engaging with the people in front of me and I wasn’t engaging in the social media that I felt I needed to be connected to. So I made three rules:
Only check social media when it is socially acceptable. Not when other people are present. Not at the dinner table. No screens after dinner. Enjoy the people who are present and be grateful.
Engage on social media. Slow your scroll and read. If you scroll past something too often, (3 days was my rule) hide it or unfollow or unfriend. You don’t need it. If you are reading what is there – engage. Comment – don’t just be a “liker”. (#alsoguilty)
Set a timer. Your phone has a timer built in. 5 minutes, 10, 30, whatever kind of break you have. Set a timer. Don’t get sucked in.
Here’s a little more on Rule #2. We all desire connection. While the people you are likely connecting to on social media aren’t trying to build a platform or become social media famous, they are trying to connect that is why they’re sharing publicly, right? So if you read or see what they post and you “like” it – take a minute to comment. You are “friends” because you care about each other – or you once did, communicate, engage. Slow your scroll.
It’s a game changer, you guys. Promise.