Uncommon Advice To Ensure Social Media Sanity & Survival

How to use social media without letting it use you.

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to limit the time I waste on social media and be more deliberate about my “connected time”

Mostly, I want to stop getting caught in a “scroll-a-thon every time I click the icon.

A few things I’ve done:

It seems that even when I’m deliberate with my time on social media and even when I limit my “connected time” there are a few things (or people) who grate my nerves.

I’m learning that it’s not enough to limit my time, I also have to set some boundaries about how I operate on social media. The fact is, people get bold behind a keyboard and they say things they wouldn’t say in public. People can be mean spirited, ignorant & hateful when hiding behind their phone.

So, I thought it would be helpful to set some boundaries for myself and how I would interact with people on social media. Because…

The only person I can control is myself.

Here are my working guidelines for social media.

Never say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in person.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain- and most fools do. — Benjamin Franklin

I will not be the person who rants on social media and sits quite in person. If there’s an issue I care enough to take action about it shouldn’t be from a keyboard, it should be in person or with my money.

Never post anything with the intent of alienating or diminishing someone else.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense. — Proverbs 19:11

There is a chance I don’t know everything (just a chance : — ). The problem with know knowing everything is you don’t know what you don’t know. So, I will not live in a way that suggests I know everything. I will listen. I will be curious. I will give others the same grace I would like to receive.

Always use Social Media as a gateway to real (in person) conversations.

As digital communication becomes more pervasive, human connection becomes all the more valuable. — Tom Breazeale

Social Media can make us think we are more connected while luring us further and further from the authentic human connection we all need. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. I love the internet. It is one of mans all time greatest creations. And… It is still a poor substitution for real, authentic, in-person human connection.

Never confuse likes/shares with real human connection.

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another — Proverbs 27:17

“Likes” are easier than conversations. “Shares” are easier than a real compliment. We can’t help the hit of dopamine we get when someone “likes” our post but what we can do is be aware that it’s not the same thing as a human connection, friendship, family or love.

Don’t speak for God. He can speak for himself.

Only God can judge me. — 2Pac

My life got better when I realized this. God is not a Republican. He is not a Democrat. Jesus is not American. And God is not some needy fragile being that needs you (or me) to stand up for Him every time someone has an alternative opinion on-line. 2-Pac was right. Let’s let God do the judging.

Don’t argue. No one has ever changed their mind after a social media argument.

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a temporary victory — sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponents good will. — Benjamin Franklin.

I think it’s pretty safe to say no one has ever read a social media rant and said, “Wow! They have a great point. I was so wrong”. Of course not. In fact, the only thing a rant will do is make everyone dig their heels in deeper.

Give people a break. They are doing the best they can.

“Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs from you. If would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago” — Horace Mann

It’s true. People are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Aren’t you? Instead of judging, maybe we should give people grace and try to catch people doing the right thing and point that out.

Give yourself a break. People’s lives aren’t as perfect as it looks on social media.

Don’t ever compare your reality to someone else’s highlight reel.

Social Media is a filtered, auto-tuned, glossy, curated version of the real thing. Don’t confuse it with real life. It isn’t. Real life can be gritty, hard, frustrating, demoralizing and downright depressing at times. Nobody has a perfect life. Nobody.

  • His abs don’t always look like that.
  • Her kids have meltdowns in public.
  • They got in a fight while on that “dream vacation”.
  • Their house gets messy.
  • They get pimples.
  • They make mistakes.
  • They aren’t perfect.

No one wants to air their dirty laundry for the public to see. (Well, some people do but that’s another post: — ).

If you don’t disagree with someone’s political stance at least once a day, you need more friends.

If two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary. — Dale Carnegie

The social media algorithms don’t do us any favors when it comes to helping us broaden our horizons. They are created to feed us what we want to see. That means our news feeds get filled with content that we’re predisposed to believe. That’s why it’s so important to spend time with (and hear the experiences & opinions of) those who see the world differently.

Here’s the good news…

We can look different, talk different, believe different AND still treat each other with respect and dignity (even on social media). Let’s do more of that.

Thanks for reading.

For more, visit DougStewart919.com

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