When you hear the term “social media,” what comes to mind? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram? Maybe you are on all four. You enjoy staying connected with friends and family and keeping others up-to-date on what is going on in your life. However, if you are not careful, social media (just like anything good thing in excess) can become a negative influence in your life.
Facebook, in particular, is a “highlight reel” of others’ lives. Just like you tend to post your “best of” photos of kids, vacations, and career successes, your friends are more than likely doing the same. The danger comes when you forget that it is not real life – but real life, airbrushed.
So, how do you guard against feeling like you don’t measure up to your Facebook friends? Here are some tips:
1. Don’t believe the hype: Life is not just the good times, but the tough times as well. Everyone has them whether they reveal them or not. Keep it all in perspective.
2. Share in others’ joy: While your life may not be so rosy right now, you’ll want the well-wishers when it’s your turn to celebrate. So, send a little applause their way.
3. Take a step back: If Facebook is affecting how you feel about yourself, it’s time to take a break. Step away from the laptop or Smartphone. Take a walk or read a book. Facebook will wait.
4. Count your blessings: Take a personal inventory of all the true blessings you have in your life – your family, your friends, your health – just to name a few. You may realize you are “richer” than you ever dreamed.
5. Motivate yourself: Don’t live vicariously through the Facebook page of your friends. If you see photos of a ski trip and you have always wanted to learn to ski, take the opportunity to step out and try something new. Note: This is not a competition to keep up with the Joneses, but to expand your horizons!
Do you ever experience negative emotions when you view your friends’ Facebook pages? Please share your thoughts with me.
And be sure to read tomorrow’s followup post on how to use Facebook as a positive platform.