Social media is a powerful beast that for many of us is involved in a great portion of our daily lives. Millions of us flock to popular social media websites such as, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vine multiple times daily to give and receive the latest scoop on pretty well everything.
In some ways this is awesome, because there is no denying that social media has connected us all like never before. This connection continues to allow us all to become aware of and share an abundance of valuable information that we otherwise wouldn't have access to or wouldn't make the time to know. The rapid growth of social media is likely the leading contributor to why alternative media platforms -such as our site -have become as widespread as they are today.
Within this article however, I would like to focus on the other side to social media -in particular some of the habits, addictions and ego driven things many of us seem to do quite regularly. Here is a list of 7 things that I believe we all need to stop doing on social media:
1. Stalk The Life Of A Former Partner
We've all done it, some of us openly flat out love to do it, but that doesn't necessarily make it healthy. Using social media to regularly check in and follow the life of a former partner is a surefire way to keep unnecessary attachments strong and also sets you up for a lot of drama filled mental comparison. It's one thing to use social media to remain friends with an ex, but it's another thing to use it as a tool to keep track of them. Remember that you broke up for a reason, you never did own them and certainly do not now and monitoring their every move will only preoccupy you with thoughts in the opposite direction of truly moving on.
2. Create An Ideal You
One thing that social media profiles offer us that real life interaction cannot, is the opportunity to master the creation of a false persona. We hand select which pictures we post, formulate the perfectly witty status update and choose to follow and like the groups and posts that we feel best represent who we want to be perceived as. The end result, an ideal you that in reality I'm sure very few of us can actually live up to. Rather than creating a false self that is bound to crumble if ever faced in person, why not use social media as the perfect platform to truly be yourself and connect with likeminded individuals?
3. Poke Fun Of Or Respond To Something Angrily
Being on the other end of a bigger social media page I regularly get to see all of the colours of social media commenting. No matter how researched, factually supported, or simple a post you put up may be, you will always have 1 to 2 "smart ass" remarks for every 50 made in support. It's not to say that everyone needs to agree with everything that is posted or shared, it's just that there is a definitive difference between constructive criticism that presents an opposing view to be considered and a smart ass remark fuelled by spite, anger or hatred. Next time you find yourself disagreeing with something, opt to take the more sensible approach, which ultimately is way more likely to be taken seriously.
4. Have Important Conversations
For this particular suggestion I'd like to extend it into text messaging in addition to communicating via social media. If there is one thing that typed text fails miserably at, it's delivering the tone of the message being sent. I'm sure we can all think of countless times where unnecessary drama was created or things needed to be over-explained just to get the appropriate depth, sarcasm, or seriousness that we intended to deliver understood. When it comes to having important conversations, I'd highly suggest stepping away from social media and instead opting to have them in person -or at the very least over Skype or the phone.
5. Compare Yourself To Others
With the lives of so many people at our fingertips it's easy to find ourselves regularly comparing ourselves to countless friends, family and acquaintances even as we simply scroll our news feed. Rather than compare ourselves to the social media lives of others, instead choose to either genuinely celebrate or pay no attention to what they share. There is always going to be someone publicly sharing something (a relationship, job promotion, a killer beach body) that your mind will want to be jealous of, whether or not you let it, is up to you.
6. Make It Your Primary Form Of Socialization
As cool and connective as social media may be it never has and never will trump in-person socialization. Just as you make sure to make time to regularly check your news feed, make sure to make even more time to connect with people in person.
7. Post Things Solely To Get Attention/ Gain Approval
Getting a like, comment, share, retweet, pin or any of the other fancy signs of approval can always be a pleasant experience, especially when it comes in response to a very genuine post. The issue I'd like to bring our attention to is when we specifically choose to post things with the sole purpose of hoping to get attention or to gain approval. I'm not trying to be the post police here, since I'm sure several posts scattered across my own social media account could come across in this way. The intention is to get us all to reflect on our true motivation behind things, and rather than always look externally for something to make us feel better, to instead look internally and hopefully learn to love ourselves for who we are regardless of whether or not anyone else agrees.
What We All Can Use Social Media For Instead
A lot of these may seem very common sensical but here are some of the more healthy ways that we can use social media:
To keep in touch with friends and relatives
To connect with like-minded people all over the world
To support one another
To follow and share posts from pages that inspire you
To help spread awareness of non-mainstream news
To bring us all together more easily to create and inspire change
Originally written by Mark DeNicola for Collective Evolution.