You’re sitting on your couch. Lonely. Bored. Don’t want to talk to anyone in your house. They’re looking at their phones too. You’re feeling down. “Let me post something,” your mind says to no one but itself. Super-happy selfie taken. “Hey, everyone that’s important to me…here’s what I’m doing right now!”
I’m sitting on my couch. Lonely. Bored. No one to talk to that hasn’t already heard my stuff. “Let me see what’s up on social media,” my mind says to no one but itself. Scroll. Perfection…I get pulled into a lot of stuff including your selfie. “Awesome! I don’t feel my feelings anymore…numb is perfect…that was a close call.”
Some self-awareness questions: What if feeling those uncomfortable feelings, those pre-social media feelings…what if they were your priority? Is that deflection helpful? Are you disconnecting from yourself when your ‘self’ needs you the most?
Think about this…the main agenda of social media is to “Create engagement.” Essentially, it is to get your attention because it needs you. I was told that engagement was something I ‘should’ care about when I created an online group. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to continuously engage, which simply isn’t my thing. I don’t want to try to create stuff, just to get your attention, just to cover that ‘should’ of engagement. Because if I do, I’m operating exactly like the big machine is, only at the small potatoes level…I’m asking you to deflect from your life and pay attention to me.
How do you know when it’s time to and not to contribute? A great place to start is by asking yourself, “What is my motive?” Why do you post? How much do you post? Are you posting to avoid being present with your life? Are you contributing more to your virtual connections than to your physical and emotional connections? And so, I ponder…
Next, it’s helpful to go through your social media accounts and clean out all of the ‘follows’ that bring you down. I mean, come on. We all know people whose posts lift us up or give us some wisdom for introspection, and we know others who are seeking attention. Some are even looking for a reaction…to stir things up…some are even paid to stir you up. This is the reality of online media…some of it connects and some of it disconnects.
When posting, here are some questions you are invited to ponder before hitting that share button:
- Is this post my need to get attention to escape my own feelings and relationships?
- Is my motive to create connection through introspection or to create separation by taking a jab at others? What is my honest objective here?
- If I read this post, would it benefit me? (If not, you shouldn’t post it (pssst…I just should’d you).
- How can this post serve others? Will it make them laugh, or smile? Will it open their minds and hearts to maybe see a portion of their life from a different perspective?
- What would happen if I took a few minutes to reflect or meditate about this post and I didn’t share it right now? (i.e. Am I posting manically, which is true hyper self-disconnection (which is now a thing)).
Lastly, some questions about how you personally engage on social media:
- How much of your time is spent lost and checked out when scrolling through your virtual world?
- Is there something in this present moment that you’re not willing to address? Is social media helping you to deflect from that something?
- What would happen if you unfollowed those who usually created negative feelings or reactions within you? Are you addicted to the reactions that you get from those sites? Are you afraid of missing out (FOMO)? Would that scare you or free you?
- What would happen if you disengaged from social media for a week or even a month? (Little secret…I did that last year for a month and it felt great 🙂)
Have some awareness whether your contribution is a “need to be seen” and a deflection from something deeper (that you don’t want to feel). This might keep you centered on your feelings and your intention. And when you can start to feel those feelings and process their true message, you might just stand a chance to connect back to yourself, which is what your ‘self’ is asking you to do.
For some reason, these things are important to me. Maybe it’s my generation and not growing up with a cell phone. Maybe it’s my awareness of how disconnected I become at times. Maybe it’s my hope that, in this mind-numbing scrolling world, I want to be aware of my motive by asking, “Am I contributing out of lack? Out of a need to be seen? Out of the ‘should’ of looking for engagement?”
“Do I believe my contribution truly connects? Will someone learn something insightful, or laugh a little, or be lifted up by my post? Will I learn something from my own words?” If my contribution won’t do any of those things, then no contribution will serve best.
I know, I know, I’m just a dreamer. Somebody has to be…get off me already 🙂