How to Engage in Mindful Social Media During Challenging Times
How each of us carries ourselves in this world greatly affects our experience together. And with news and social media occupying such a central part of our daily activity, it’s easy to forget to investigate our own behavior. We are so impulsively quick to post and tweet about the issues of the day that we often leave love out of the equation. Why does this matter? Because there is nothing more important in human life than love.
We need to take a good look at the news and social media today. Listen to what’s dominating our conversations, even within our like-minded circles of friends. Anxiety. Worry. Fear. Anger. The love we all need is muted or missing.
It can be satisfying to call out those we do not agree with. Yet in another sense, it just perpetuates the hierarchical paradigm. In all of our social media discussions and media reporting, where is the love? Why does love take a digital back seat?
How many of us have deeply contemplated our own participation in creating a world that produces such anxiety, worry, and fear?
When fear becomes familiar, and anger so close to the surface, what can we, as individuals, do to protect both ourselves and our world? Railing against what is wrong or championing an alternative at the expense of others keeps us stuck within the same disparaging mindset that got us into this situation to begin with.
Since engaging reactively with news and social media creates polarization and precludes possibilities of personal realization that we, too, have contributed to this mighty mess we see ourselves in, we can humbly chart a new path forward. This path is led by compassion for every single human being on this earth, regardless of social standing, race, sexual identity, religion, politics, or any other variable we have used to divide us or to justify our own positions in this world.
Love can be glimpsed at times, in the social media post that shares without judging or trying to convince, or in the news story that resonates deeply in the heart, with a message that reveals beauty and harmony. Love can be found in our hearts when we manage our news intake carefully enough to be aware of what is happening in the world, but use that awareness to redirect our focus on how we are being in the world.
So when we look at the news and social media or listen to our conversations, we need to observe carefully, not just the content we are taking in, but our own inner thoughts and feelings. We need to notice our own assuming and judging. This is the starting place for cultivating a new choice on how we respond, if we really need to respond at all. For there is a healing power in taking time, not engaging, being quiet, finding calm.
Healing asks us to observe courageously and inquire within ourselves for our own inner truth and wisdom. I submit that we are perfectly capable of knowing for ourselves how to live with respect for all and, ultimately, to feel love for all in our hearts.
How each of us carries ourselves in this world greatly affects our experience together, even the physically distant experience of one another on social media.
Think about this the next time you are drawn to post, to tweet, to comment. The choice you make is a choice that can make the world a better place for others — and for yourself.
Papp, J. (2020). How to Engage in Mindful Social Media During Challenging Times. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to-engage-in-mindful-social-media-during-challenging-times/