Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. These are all amazing tools that we can use to stay connected with loved ones far away, watch any kind of video on any subject we desire or see beautiful art created by people who live across the world!
But as always, there is another side.
The part that says, look around you and see what others are doing. Are you measuring up? Was that post about you? Why wasn’t I invited to that? How many subscribers do I have? How many likes have I gotten? It can be a never ending cycle! I have fallen into the comparison trap more times than I’d like to admit! What I know from those experiences is that comparison kills creativity and confidence! Not to mention the fact that what we see isn’t always reality. Most of the time we put our perceived best out for others to see.
We put on masks and don’t really let others see who we really are. Even people who seemingly share ANYTHING and EVERYTHING are putting on masks.
As with everything in life, the key is to have balance. If you are an entrepreneur in any way, it is important to get your name, product, and services out for the world to see. It’s important to show who you are and be authentic. That doesn’t mean people want to know what you had for lunch today, who hurt your feelings, or how great your child did at school today. And then there’s always that ambiguous post that people put out to be passive aggressive or to get others to ask questions! (ugh!) It means being able to share with the world who you are, what you have to offer and how it can help them. Now if you’re only on social media to be social, then by all means, just be social, but maybe it’s time to actually reach out to one of your “friends” and see how they are doing.
Maybe make a plan to meet up face to face instead of just replying to their post with an emoji. We were made to have human interaction. I’m starting to worry what the long-term effects are going to be if we keep finding ways to isolate ourselves and only have online conversations and communication. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that depression seems to be the norm, and suicide rates are high. I wonder what it would look like to have a designated “No Social Media” day? I already see a change in how kids interact with each other. They have replaced conversations with texting and emojis. They can be in the same room with their friends playing an online game and never or rarely interact.
Even adults have become this way at times. We get in social situations and inevitably end up looking at our phones to avoid any moment of awkwardness. Maybe we need to challenge ourselves to be deliberate in making some subtle changes. Put your phone away during lunch dates or dinner. Maybe put your phone away at your next social event. Maybe pick up the phone and actually call someone today. (they may not answer but it’s worth a try!) Maybe try playing actual board games with your family. I’m not saying to give up on social media altogether, but let’s try to put some balance back in our lives. You may be surprised what a big difference a small change can make!
If you’ve been able to overcome the trappings of social media, what has worked for you? If you’re deciding to make some changes, share them in the comments below. We can all help each other to take off the masks.