Thursday, June 30th is Social Media Day, a celebration launched by Mashable as a way to recognize and celebrate social media's impact on global communication. We really do have so much to be thankful for. There is no better time to connect with friends across the world, to share your business with anyone anywhere, and use it as platform to share your voice and live stream to anyone who listens. It is truly amazing!
And while we have so much to have gratitude for, social media can also be a negative presence in our life. We might compare, we might wish our circumstances were different, we might wish we had success others seems to have (easily), we might feel lonely even though we are 'connected' with thousands of friends, we not be present the way we could be (we are too busy scrolling our FB feed), and we might feel less worthy as a person, Mother, entrepreneur, or friend because of the negative self-thoughts with the exposure of seeing others' lives and glorified success each day. In my work as a Psychologist, Business Coach, and even participant on social media myself, I wanted to offer some tips on how to successfully enjoy and engage in social media self care!
1. DON'T ALWAYS BUY INTO VIRTUAL REALITY! What you see posted online is what people want you to see, and though I think the rationale part of our brains realize this, the emotional part can be triggered scrolling through the feed every day making us feel as though we will never be good enough, we will never succeed, and we will never have what other people have. This type of negative thought spiral is related to how we are feeling about ourselves versus the content that is posted. If you notice this dynamic, YOU decide on your boundaries for being online. If it doesn't feel good, use your reactions to inform you about what you want to be doing in your life and how much engagement you should have online.
2. HER SUCCESS IN NOT YOUR FAILURE. This is related to my first point, but absolutely needs to be said again because it is so easy to feel bad about ourselves online. Others success does not mean we are any less of a person, friend, entrepreneur, or Mom. YOUR SELF WORTH IS INDEPENDENT OF YOUR FACEBOOK FEED or how you think your profile measures up to anyone else's!!!
3. CREATE BOUNDARIES! You get to decide on your FB and social media boundaries. If you feel like you need to check in all the time, what energy is driving this action? Is this helpful action? Or do you need to think of another behavior that will be more self-care or business- positive oriented that would give you some momentum?
4. ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA SELF-REFLECTION. Examine how you feel prior, during, and after social media use. Do you feel happier, more energized, sad, overwhelmed? Be in tune with your reactions and USE them to help you guide what you need to do to take care of yourself.
5. PERMISSION TO POP-CULTURE PURGE. Finally, I work with some of my clients on something I call a Pop Culture Purge. I help them identify the ways that they can reduce their time online if it is contributing to negative thoughts about who they are and what they are doing (feeling more discouraged versus uplifted). I also help them identify just a FEW places they can be online at so they don't feel like they have to check in to various Facebook groups or master all social media outlets. We do not all have to be on SnapChat and we will survive (I promise!)!
Overall, it is necessary to celebrate Social Media Day and realize how far we have come with the infiltration of connecting and live streaming and sharing our authentic voice with the world. And, it can be a perfect opportunity to evaluate YOUR participation and feelings when you are online. Today can serve as a great reminder that you only need to be engaging with social media in a way that SERVES you, your clients, and your family. Social media self-care is completely possible and when we find our balance online, we will be able to both be fully present in our lives while optimizing our influence to have greatest impact to those around the world.
Dr. Machin is a Psychologist, Business Coach, and Mom to Three. She is currently launching a Life Coaching program through her Conscious Coaching Collective brand and has a private Facebook group that serves creatives, introverts, and sensitive entrepreneurs. When Dr. Machin is not teaching, writing, cooking, cleaning, talking, hanging with her husband, exercising, or running after her three children, she is enjoying a 5-minute cup of coffee in peace!