I don’t love facebook. It’s fine in small doses, but it’s not where I spend my time or share much about my life. I know that people have different relationships with their social media outlets than I do, and this isn’t about that. It’s about keeping a healthy perspective when you’re scrolling down the life-snapshots that people put out there. The potential for negative emotion is too high to not consider a few things.
Branding isn’t just for brands.
People are creating an image for themselves. It’s common to struggle with feelings of inadequacy when you’re looking at someone else’s feed. They’re showing you what they want to show you and they’re spending a lot of their time to do it. Something that a cognitive therapist will know that the average human won’t is that you will give yourself excuses for your own behavior, but will not give the same excuses to another in the same situation. This means that you are aware of what went into your own social media feed and you can see everything that no one else can, but you only see the finished product of someone else’s and believe the facade.
For example, you may freshen your makeup, mess with your hair, and take about eight selfies before posting the picture, but when you see a picture of your friend, you don’t put him or her through the same routine. You assume that things are as they appear and it has the potential to make you feel less satisfied with your own situation. The remedy for that is to look at your own feed. Spend time looking at your own “brand” and you’ll buy what you’re selling, too. It’ll make you feel better …if you’re selling “happiness”.
Be a creator, not a consumer.
You’re a leader in your own space. Someone somewhere is actually paying attention to what you’re saying. If you spend all of your time reacting to the garbage in your feed, then you’re contributing to the garbage. A tell-tale sign that you’re contributing to the garbage is if you’re post starts with, “I don’t usually post things like this, but…” or “In light of all of the negativity, I just want to say…”. It’s social media consumerism and even if you don’t instigate the negativity, you’re contributing by reacting to it.
It seems like a lot of hate and fear is circulating out there, but it’s all the same old chew. Someone picks up what someone else spits out and everybody takes turns chewing on this nasty bit of garbage like it holds answers. Move to a different, less trampled, part of the human pasture. Have you ever seen a field after a herd of cattle graze and laze for too long? It’s littered with waste and has nothing life-giving to offer. It’s needs to air out and regenerate.
Your outlook is your choice.
You can see the light or the dark. You can find the fault or the truth. You are in charge of your attitude and perspective. Your situation is not in control. Every time fear creeps in, rewrite it with gratitude. Every time hate knocks at your heart, cancel it with love.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. -Philippians 4:8-9 MSG