I often hear of people reporting on their decision to deactivate their social networking accounts. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or whatever else the kids are using these days. I can’t blame them. There’s only so much “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT MY LIFE” that one can take. And if you’re not being bogged down by vapid status updates, you’re assaulted by endless amounts of “selfies”, “food porn” or “worlds cutest baby” photos. You’ve probably participated in doing this yourself, I know I have.
Here’s the thing though, I’m a firm believer that whatever you put out into the world comes back to you. This includes what you put out there on social sites. If you find yourself cringing and rolling your eyes every-time you login because you’re tired of all the shallow fodder clogging up your feed just know that the only way that’s going to change is if you start going in a different direction with your own postings. Change what you’re putting out there and your friends will follow. Here are a few things I have tried that have helped me turn my newsfeeds into sources of information and positivity.
- When you post, instead of sugar coating the ordinary goings on in your life or unleashing your fury over the fact that you’re stuck in traffic why not share an inspirational quote? Or share about what you’re learning on your way to becoming a “deeper” human being. Don’t brag about yourself, keep your posts neutral and beneficial to all who may read it. You may also find that in doing this, you’re less likely to get sucked into the inevitable drama that occurs while participating in the online social scene. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t want to read about it, chances are no one else does either.
- If you find yourself becoming annoyed or angry with the posts that pop up on your feed, block those folks! Search for “pages” on topics that interest you and subscribe to those things instead. This will clear out your feed from mindlessness, and then you can share the posts from your subscriptions. Again, this will keep your posts neutral and beneficial to anyone who reads them and in doing so, your friends may realize you have interests that they never even knew about. It might even open the door for some REAL face to face conversations.
- Refrain from liking and commenting on other people’s postings unless it’s going to add more substance to what’s already been posted. You may think “liking” and commenting is harmless and nice but it only feeds the vanity that these social sites are rooted in.
- Take the app off your phone. Seriously. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I’m out socializing (the real kind of socializing where you actually meet up with people and speak to them) and everyone is so fixated on posting about where they are and what they’re doing that they end up missing out on what’s actually happening. You should go out and live because you can and because of the experiences it’ll give you, not because you need material for your feed. You do not need to be connected 24/7 and it is this type of thing that creates the kind of social network you despise.
- Moderation is key. Limit the time you spend on these sites and it will do wonders for your sanity. Don’t get sucked into the time wasting void of “stalking” former high school classmates or old flames. Nothing good can come from it. You do not need to see that someone has put on weight in order to feel better about yourself and if you do, might I recommend seeking out counseling?
If you feel you must deactivate your accounts, go right ahead but wouldn’t it be cooler if you could inspire change in the folks who follow you? If you can’t beat ’em, join em. And then change everything!