I like Social Media (I am a blogger after all and am connected to Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!). It seems to me that there are lots of positives about Social Media connecting within friends,sharing ideas with many instantly etc etc.
There are also four major negatives associated with Social Media for us users:
1. It is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE- social media companies have a financial incentive to create services that create compulsive behavior among their users. (Noting that I gain some income from the pages you visit on my blog)
2. It is very easy to disseminate lies, conspiracies, mistrusts and myth –not through my blog, of course!
3. Outrage fuels so much of on-line discussion. It is the modern equivalent of the torch wielding mob. I see that in some of the commentators on this blog.
4. it is a tool that can actually de-humanise us- the more time spent on these sites is correlated with less involvement with real-life communities. Excessive hours can result in depression
We need to mitigate all of these negatives.
Here are my Ten Commandments for Social Media.
I have written this list for me and hope it is helpful to you. (acknowledging some of it has come from others)
1. Social Media is not God. Disable ALL notifications coming from social media platforms on your phone, email and computer- ALL beeps, wooshes and taps. REDUCE the addictive compulsive response loops
2. Be intentional about when you check Facebook, Instagram e.g. make times that you will check them and then switch them off
3. Ban Social Media from the last hour at night and the first hour in the morning. Do not take your phone into your bedroom or by your bed (hard for those of us who use them for our wake up alarms). If you wake up and reach for Social Media most mornings a week, yes there is a problem.
4. Be discerning. Do not believe everything you see and read even if it supports your point of view. Likewise, do not disbelieve something just because it does not meet your point of view.
5. Consider. what percentage of your posts are designed to promote positivity vs negativity and negative or peace vs outrage? One builds community trust and the other dismantles and attacks it. Some people’s Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of outraged comment after outraged post. What about a 1 to 4 ratio or a 1 to 7. For every negative post/comment, focus on making four or seven positive ones. You will feel better, you will be stirring up less negativity and creating more trust.
6. You do not have to fire off an angry comment immediately. If you are going to respond angrily, wait a day. Walk away from escalating arguments.
7. Social media tends to dehumanize others. Aim to respond with kindness before anger. You do not really know the person you are arguing with or criticising. Use arguments not insults. Conflicts with people you know outside of social media are healthier to have OFF LINE. Pick up the phone and ask for a coffee.
8. The opinions or criticisms of others should be held loosely–even when those criticism have merit and deserve further examination or introspection. Do not read them, show your parents, partner and friends
9. If you are feeling lonely, pick up the phone and talk to a friend, meet a friend for coffee or go for a walk. Do not assume that others are not feeling lonely. Facebook pictures hide a lot.
10. Install a time tracker like Rescue Time to monitor your time. Limit your Social Media time to 90 minutes a day maximum. (the average American teen spends four hours a day it is estimated).
Any other thoughts?