The question… “Karen, why are you posting less on social media?” Me (exhaling sheepishly), “Man…it’s complicated…”
You arrive at a family reunion and are happy to see your Mom and Dad, your siblings, grandparents, and the rest of your relatives. You’re anticipating an awesome reunion with people you’ve known forever, and who you get to call “family.” But crap, Cousin Billy shows up and starts being completely inappropriate and making degrading comments.
Crazy Aunt Betty is already there…she’s drunk, bumping into things, and talking boisterously about the plight of the world. She brought her new boyfriend, Jimmy (who is edgy…just waiting for someone to disagree with her). Then there’s your niece, Penny, 15. She’s sitting on the couch texting and glares at you if she even thinks you’re coming over to say, “Hi.”
The Analogy Correlation…
I believe that social media’s “intention” is to create that family reunion…a quick way to connect with your family and friends to see what everyone is up to, and to share things that are meaningful. But this “Social Media Family Reunion” also has a noticeable downside…your relatives are sometimes crazy and you don’t know who’s going to show up.
Let’s say you were feeling disconnected, so you placed your thumb on an icon, a habitual deflection from your feelings of disconnection, and BAM!!!, you’ve been blindsided by a picture, comment, or a video that confuses and shocks you. “He/She posted that?!? Wow…” Now your heart is racing, you sink, you feel beat up and bruised, weary and defeated. This is how social media has evolved for me (and I’ll be the first to admit that it takes two to tango…so back up, boyfriend Jimmy 😊).
On these “quick update” social media sites, we post things others didn’t ask for and we also absorb things we didn’t ask for.
Some of it feels icky and some of it feels good…that’s the chance you take. I’m curious how much of it serves our higher good and is creating the connection that we seek, as (to me) it often parallels the news. It is called “media” for a reason, as many times it’s sensationalized, polarizing, shocking, and depressing.
So, what if… we created relationships that were mutually beneficial…a choice, not at the mercy of some algorithm that we can’t control and frankly, don’t even understand? Having clarity that MY agenda might push your boundaries, just as YOUR agenda might push my boundaries, opens the door for conscious choice as to what you want to place into the world or bring into your life. This isn’t a family that you’re obligated to join for family reunions…it’s a family of invitation…your choice and my choice. Your boundaries are your call.
Please do some “social media soul searching” (as if that’s a “thing”), as I have. Is your social media time filling you up and creating a happier, healthier, more connected you? A life with deeper meaning and purpose? If so, keep scrolling through your newsfeed and rock on! And if not, I’ll invite you to join me in spending less time getting pulled into other people’s agendas and more time getting pulled into your heart, your purpose, your agenda. How does that “feel?” It feels better for me…so I assume it must also for you (and now I have broken the “Don’t Make Assumptions” agreement of “The Four Agreements”…crap!)
My higher self wrote this part:
Run your own show. Choose where your time and energy will be spent. You will thank you…a lot. If something doesn’t feel right, trust that. Start your own mission of removing those things that are blocking your path, so that you will see your North Star with more focus and clarity.
I’m back: I’m hopeful. There is important work to be done in this place we call “home.” In a perfect world, I’d say, “Let’s not place our heads in the sand…let’s be aware and proactive and not consumed and reactive.” I’m beyond grateful to be on this ride of co-creating a better world with you, for all of us, no matter who you are, where you live, or who you love. I will continue to advocate for a world where we treat each other with kindness, equality, and respect (and yes, social media can also play a role in this).