First of all---just know I TOTALLY support all of you: the social media addicted, those that choose to abandon the online world (and they are likely not even reading this….but—I still love you!), those you still feel like they HAVE to do it for professional reasons (love/hate) and those who use it responsibly.
Remember back in the olden days when healers might make up a potion? One of the “Principles” was every medicine was also a poison. The difference was in the dosage and context.
There is no denying that there’s a dark side to social media/online platforms:
They are designed to play to human nature’s habit of mindless scrolling, comparison shadow and the fear of missing out.
As a result of the DARK SIDE, many people also miss the LIGHT SIDE:
a. We are no longer tied to only be friends with people in our geographical location.
b. We can create collaborations and connections GLOBALLY for the greater good---WHAAAAA?
c. We can create even more freedom in our lives to travel and explore while ALSO sharing our magic with our people.
d. We don’t have to commute and be in person with peeps ONLY. We can ALSO connect with people virtually too.
What blocks us from seeing (and acting on) these opportunities? Here’s a few I’ve encountered (and my humble thoughts on an alternative way of looking at it. ;)).
Believing that online connections aren’t the same as real life ones: At one level, you’re right. But, let’s not forget there’s still a PERSON behind that profile picture. Our limitation to see that and create an authentic relationship is only limited by the bounds of our own heart and creativity.
Thinking that online connections are second class: Maybe online relationships (professional/personal) aren’t IDENTICAL---but I call fatalism alert---since when does DIFFERENT mean “not as good”? Why can’t DIFFERENT also mean “JUST as good, just different?” What are the BENEFITS of these online relationships?
Believing that they have to be a big time warp: What if we looked at it instead as irresponsible use of the “medicine”: What if it’s too strong of a dose---mindless scrolling. It’s like taking a bottle of tonic and treating it like your new water bottle. Mindless and irresponsible and will likely not feel really great. It’s simply too frequent of a dose. Better to ask yourself in the scrolling time warp: WHY. Why am I logging on? We can be intentional!
Here’s a distinction I use and teach that helps me use ANYTHING with more wisdom, impact and intention. Shift from passive CONSUMER to inspired CREATOR:
We can mindlessly CONSUME social media. This choice will likely dishearten us, disconnect from our Spirit, and create DISCOURAGEMENT and DRAIN.
When someone is in CONSUMER mode and has reached the end of their energy tether---this is where we call it out as evil/dangerous and call for a boycott. NO! What if we judged a useful medicine the same way and called it universally toxic and poisoning just because someone overdosed?
We aren’t at the mercy of the social media MONSTER. It’s not eating us. To take that route is to MISS the real gift and opportunity in front of us.
Instead, consider stepping into the LEADER role and use it as a CREATOR
Create real relationships. SEE the people behind the profile picture.
Create real value in what you choose to post and share. Don’t add to the noise just because…ask yourself what you want to say or share. Your voice can add value.
Create connection/collaboration by slowing down and really appreciating the quality of what someone else chose to share. Remember, OFFline relationships are time + attention. ONLINE relationships are the same way.
Social Media is simply a tool. It’s not a TOXIN. It’s not a DEMON. It’s not more powerful than you.
It’s a neutral TOOL to use responsibly, creatively and with wisdom.
I’m far from doing it perfectly. It’s a tricky medicinal blend for sure and requires patience, the joy of experimentation, a wisdom and a rock solid connection to one’s own SOURCE.
If you’ve been overdosing and maybe you need to create some space to cleanse—I acknowledge and respect you for seeing that. We do what’s needed always. But come back. Come back and be ready to use it responsibly as a creative leader.
Call to Truth:
Where have I been looking at social media as a necessary evil?
How can I challenge myself to make the mental shift? How can I start seeing it as a bonus addition and opportunity?
When have I been looking at it as “not as good” as in person?
What could change in my business if I slow down and really SEE the people behind the profile pictures?
Join me in the quest to use social media as a tool to create friendships (not sales), to create connection instead of division, to create dialogues not diatribes.