In a world that has a lot of negative news on social media these days, why not be a light in the darkness? Social Media has not only influenced how we portray ourselves and our businesses, but how we perceive others and live our lives in general. When used for good, social media is a wonderful platform to share and communicate with friends and family as well as advertise your business. But in difficult times, it can certainly become toxic. It is important to remember that what you see on social media is only a “highlight reel” of what people want you to see, good or bad.
Let’s examine a way to make social media an overwhelmingly positive experience for those who you encounter online. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful:
Have Rules for Yourself on Social Media
Set your intentions and boundaries with social media and stick to it. Ask yourself why you use social media? For example, I use it so I can keep up with what my family and friends are up to, promote my business and blog, and find inspiration for new ideas to incorporate in my own life. So, I make sure to only follow the people that contribute to my intentions, and there is no reason for me to follow people who would inhibit my focus for why I have social media.
Fill Your Friends with Positive People/Realistic Role Models
Nobody wants to engage with people that feed on negativity, tearing others down or filling their pages with hate. These are supposed to be “friends,” so they need to act like one. If someone makes you feel bad about your life or attacks you online, UNFOLLOW them. It’s your social media page, you can decide that you only want to be dedicated to following and supporting the people who lift each other up.
Post what you feel like posting but use your time and the viewers time wisely. It can be tempting to only post the things we find socially acceptable. Maybe this means not posting something that doesn’t look high quality enough or doesn’t represent the lifestyle we want to portray, but that’s not real life.
If you took a photo that doesn’t have your favorite filter or see a video that you love, you should post it. If it doesn’t receive as many likes as you’d hoped for, keep in mind that your social media is just that - yours. It’s about posting what you like, and how you feel, and other people don’t have to love it all the time as long as you maintain your own voice. Be authentic, not perfect.
It goes without saying, but there’s just no time or energy for social media shaming. Whether it's body shaming or parent shaming, it’s just not necessary. There’s enough difficulties in our world today, don’t get sucked into any part of these types of conversations.
Make Real-Life Connections
Connect with your friends/family outside of social media. While it’s a great way to show off the photos of the family, don’t hide behind social media as your only source of communication. It can be hard to manifest real relationships from the ones we’ve gotten used to forming, and keeping, online. However, it’s important to make time in real life for the people you feel a connection with (in person, call or text)! If there’s a connection you’ve created a good relationship with, or an old friend you’ve reconnected with online, make plans to meet up and get a coffee or get on a Zoom call. The best part about our virtual social life is that it has the potential to enhance our real social life!
While social media can be fun and helpful, it is important that it doesn’t take away productivity from your day. Use it sparingly as needed and go out and live your life to the fullest! And remember, in life there are no dress rehearsals, you get one shot to live your best life. Make it matter.
Well, that’s all I have for now.
And while you’re at it, if you want a new follow on socials, make sure to check out @TresaHalbrooks on Instagram and Goal Posts on Facebook for more tips and a positive outlook!
Special thanks to Lizzi Riordan for her assistance with this blog post.