Priceless Lessons from the Social Media Lama
If you’re a daily visitor of Facebook or other social media sites, then you owe it to yourself to add value to your online experience by infusing it with a strong shot of health and well-being.
Here are some helpful thoughts from the Social Media Lama on shifting from using social media as a time filler to making it a meaningful experience.
You should know that I’m not THE Social Media Lama, but I’ve learned to think and write in his voice. And so can you…
It all starts with connecting with the part of you that longs to be healthier and recognizes that your current social media habits may not serving your best interests.
(ENTER THE SOCIAL MEDIA LAMA IN YOU!)
It’s time to search inward for that voice…the Social Media Lama that exists within YOU.
Choose to look inward and find that part of you that recognizes the value of spreading good vibes toward your friends and connections via social media. What you do for others will return to you in the form of spiritual health.
Once again, to reach the Social Media Lama in you, you must make a solid decision to rise above your usual social media habits and add a new element.
Chances are that you already spread good by “liking” and commenting on what other people post, and maybe even by sharing funny or inspiring videos and quotes. This is a wonderful start. Let’s build on that foundation of sharing.
Create a Steady Stream of Positivity on Social Media
The Social Media Lama in you can go a giant step further by striving to create a constant stream of positive vibes that flows outward toward others and inward toward you.
This amazing, bi-directional flow of energy can be accomplished via a two-step process.
First, start by directing positive energy outward. The easiest way to add a mind-opening, positive energy boost to your daily social media life is to create one for others. Send positive messages to people inhabiting your social media universe. It could be one person or many. Choose to comment in a way that will make a “friend” feel uplifted, energized, inspired or sympathized with. Post a meaningful quote to reach the masses or target an individual with a personalized message that transfers something positive from you to him or her. You can share with the world your sense of gratitude toward someone who has bettered your life (see my posts on finding happiness through your wall and identifying your brand of gratitude on social media for more on this topic).
Second, to pull something positive toward you, make a concerted effort to celebrate what is achieved by others, as opposed to wanting their accomplishments for yourself. Challenge yourself to feel happy that someone else is posting pictures from what you consider to be your dream vacation. Kick yourself when you feel annoyed by frequent pictures of people’s children or pets. Instead, wish the parents well and connect with the joy and simple pleasures of someone else’s childhood.
The combination of these two efforts creates a push-pull phenomenon. It allows for positive energy to be shared as an offering. Any negative thoughts and feelings that arise during your social media surfing time pass through a spiritual filter that removes judgment and envy which, in turn, connects you more genuinely with the virtual world.
Resist the Pull from the Social Media Universe to Treat it Like Candy
There is so much good that can be created through your social media accounts. You have a choice: Treat your profiles like candy or choose to spread positive vibes to others.
From the Social Media Lama’s perspective, there are two possible pathways for communication on social media.
The Path of Least Digital Resistance
The Path of Least Digital Resistance is the easy digital road. You feel an urge and you satisfy it online. Not much thought is put into what is better for you in the medium or long term.
When you travel this path, you are looking for immediate entertainment or escape from unwanted feelings. The connection you feel toward others on this path is fleeting and does nothing substantial to make you feel like you are a part of a larger, meaningful whole. If you ignore my words and just continue to go with your habitual ways of responding the stream of posts, videos, pins and tweets on your favorite social media sites, then you are taking the easy road. The path of least digital resistance serves a valuable purpose for everyone. It’s just a matter of how much you surf this way relative to using social media for a more substantial reason with effects that last beyond closing the screen.
The Path of Most Digital Resistance
Walk The Path of Most Digital Resistance and you are deciding to use your social media time for more something more than pure entertainment. By choosing this path you are acknowledging the continuous pull from your screen to allow it to entertain you, but you are also making a conscious decision to receive more from your screen than just pure digital stimulation.
This path is about intentionally creating the positive outward flow I’ve been referring to. In addition to the good that you create for others, resisting digital temptation also means living a more mindful digital life. Adding a thought process to your screen time allows you to make any corrections when you find yourself obsessively checking your social media sites.
The Path of Most Digital Resistance requires an active and focused effort when we intend to offer a positive part of ourselves to others and to convert negativity into positivity when difficult feelings are elicited in us by what we see. If we just go with our default, trolling mode on social media sites, we are likely to resist any behaviors that force us to be spiritually open and giving. If you have little experience walking the path of most digital resistance, then your default mode is to do what you feel like without further contemplation.
When you start to get more comfortable on the path of most digital resistance, the likes and comments you offer register differently in your mind when they come from a place of intentionally spreading love, healing and well-wishes.
Finding the Social Media Lama in you at least once a day makes your Facebook experience less of a time-waster, a way to seek quick laughs or thrills, a way not to “miss out” on new posts or news. Of course you are going to scroll mindlessly through your feed, but at least add a pinch of health for you and your connections, your friends, your followers, or however you conceptualize your relationship to the group of people you claim to “connect” with online.
What inspired me to talk about the Social Media Lama? Given how much time we spend on social media sites and how much we overestimate the quality of connectedness we feel toward others online, it’s necessary to add a healthy component that brings us closer to experiencing a real connection to people. Virtual connection does not soothe the soul. It doesn’t make us feel “full” of love for and from another when we follow The Path of Least Digital Resistance.
To glean any real benefit from virtual connection, it needs to come from an open and accepting place within you…a place that actively searches for the good in people.
The Social Media Lama in you is easy to access the more you intend to do so. The mental health benefit of sharing this side of you with others is huge. If it doesn’t come easy for you to share your inner Social Media Lama with others via social media, then it is likely that you struggle to show unsolicited love and acceptance to your inner circle of family and friends.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Best of luck!
-The Social Media Lama in Dr. Greg