Social media seems to have developed a stigma, especially with certain folks, that it’s purely distractive and purely a waste of time.
…I admit that I’ve taken that stance before, but now I see that social media is not purely distractive or a waste of time, but rather is purely what you make it.
It’s a platform.
…Just like the raised surface that a person uses when they are trying to communicate an idea to an audience.
A person can stand up on a platform and say boring, irrelevant, energy draining things – or they can stand up and say exciting, interesting, action-oriented things.
It’s up to the person on the platform to choose what they want to say and it’s up to the audience to give them feedback as to whether or not they want to hear more or less of that in the future.
Give a person an audience and they will continue to say more of what captivated that audience. Take the audience away and they will quickly seek to change their presentation.
The only difference of course, is that in today’s world (with social media), everybody (with access) gets a platform and everybody can have their say.
And because of that, social media can be a vacuum that will suck the day from you with auto-playing videos, distractive ads, and nonsense status updates from people craving attention.
…But on the other hand, it can genuinely serve as an opportunity to voice one’s views and initiate action to help change the world for the better.
How you choose to interact with your social media site(s) can completely change the site and the actions of its users.
Mindful social media consumption and production.
As soon as we understand that our social media networks are literally designed and programmed to give us more of what we ‘like’ and interact with, we can start to take control of our social media experiences.
First and foremost, we need to be mindful of who and what we allow into our networks.
If you, ‘like’ pages that are gossipy, you’re going to get a gossipy news feed.
If you accept friend requests from spammy accounts (because you’re trying to get your numbers up!), you’re going to get spammy timelines.
If you interact with negative posts and scroll past the positive ones… Guess which ones are going to keep coming back up?
Who you have in your social circles and what it is that you’re choosing to follow (and, ‘like’) is going to have the biggest influence over how you’re going to be… well… influenced in the future!
As you scroll through your feeds, you’re literally clicking and saying (to the sites), “Yes, please show me more of what this person has to say in the future – I want to be influenced by them.”
If you go onto your social media account and see a bunch of crap, then it’s not the social media’s fault… It’s your fault for choosing to surround yourself with those people digitally!
If you want to upgrade the quality of your social media timeline, upgrade the quality of the people you connect with and upgrade how you filter and interact with the information that’s shared.
…And this is true in reality too, isn’t it?
“You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
The way you think, the way you act, and ultimately the level of success that you achieve (in all areas) is going to be significantly influenced by the people you spend the most time with.
How could it not be the case?
People of a ‘clique’ tend to think similarly and therefore act similarly and therefore achieve similar results.
The logic is sound.
And what’s incredible about today’s world is that we have this mind-blowing opportunity to surround ourselves with just about any person we so choose – including the best in the world.
How do we do that? By reading their books; taking their online courses; watching their videos; listening to their talks; sending them e-mails; listening to their podcasts; etc…
The digital world has revolutionized our realities and has given us the key(s) to radically changing our life that were non-existent in the past.
Even having one conversation with the best in the world was an absolute impossibility to just about everybody in the world in the recent past – it was an exclusive opportunity reserved for that person’s top five or the privileged who could afford it.
Today, you still need to have access to a computer and internet, but that opportunity has radically opened up to an increasingly large audience of millions of people all across the globe!
And so the challenge from all of this is as follows:
1) Be mindful of who you allow into your social groups – both digitally and in reality. Spend time with people you most want to be like. Surround yourself with people who are ahead of you in some way so that you can adopt their ways of thinking and take action similar to theirs. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. If you have a crappy social media feed, it’s your fault, not the people posting’s fault. Unfollow and unfriend anyone that is ruining your experience and spend more time contributing (and interacting with) content that adds value and sends ripples of goodness into the universe.
2) Be mindful of how you interact with your social groups – both digitally and in reality. If you love something, act like it! Click the buttons, comment some thoughts, and share it with your networks. You will get more of that in the future. If you hate something, you have two choices: One, stand up for what you believe in and comment back your thoughts in an attempt to change their mind or influence them (and the other readers) for the future; or two, change the conversation all together. Instead of adding fuel to the hate, talk about how we can spread more love. It’s a powerful distinction that can yield incredibly different results.
…So, is social media bad? Only if you make it bad. Let’s make it more good. Let’s change the conversation. Let’s start today. Cheers and good luck!