Social media is everywhere and almost impossible to avoid these days. Sometimes it can be an online distraction or a way to kill an hour or so scrolling through platforms. Many times it seems, especially lately, it could seem like just one big negative outlet – a place for people to air their dirty laundry and start a rant. Reading negative posts can drag you down and affect our well-being. There is a “good” aspect to social media platforms. Not only can you raise awareness or share events, but it is also a great place to make connections. It is how YOU use social media that can make a difference. The key is using it wisely and mindfully. If you have been feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to start using your social media accounts for good, we hope some of these ideas give you pause and help.
First, if you have been feeling down and find that the first thing you do in the morning is scroll through social media – rein it in a little bit. Social media overuse is a real thing and can start to take over your personal time. Take a walk outside, enjoy a cup of tea with a paper book, look at old photo albums. Make sure you take time to still be personable in person, not just on social media.
Social media is all about telling and sharing stories. So many people share stories of their struggles which is not a bad thing, but sometimes we need to hear about the good. Share a funny story. Share a “thank you” to someone that made your day or sent you a gift. There are tons of inspiring quotes or memes out there, so share and spread a positive note in your posts. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t share a struggle or share in someone else’s struggle. Just keep in mind how those stories can be cyclical. Sometimes you need to break the cycle and share some positive vibes!
Keep it positive
Social media should not be used to bash anyone or anything. Even if it’s something bad you really want to share, try to keep what you post positive to avoid hurting anyone or starting an internet argument. If you really have the urge to do an angry post, try staying off social media until you calm down or talk it out with someone in person to get it off your chest. If you still want to post, try to strike a balance or come at the post from a different viewpoint. The interesting thing about posting something negative, especially about someone, is that the connection is impersonal on social media and so many people don’t think twice about what they say online. Don’t say things about someone you wouldn’t say directly to them (face-to-face).
Many sites like Facebook, allow you to create fundraisers you’re able to share with your friends. These can vary between personal fundraisers, to St. Jude, to Ocean Cleanup. You can use your media presence, whether it’s small or big, to bring attention to practically anything! Use this power for good.
If you are having or know of an event happening, share it around! So many events are now promoted just through social media and with so many events, some could use your help. Is your library hosting a special story hour? Is there a spaghetti dinner in your town? Give a boost to your local farmer’s market dates. It could strengthen friendships, relationships, and even your community. People love being a part of stuff so invite them.
Most of all……Have good intentions
You should not go onto social media feeling vengeful or like you want to start an argument. Take a deep breath and try to have good intentions when you post. If you see others posting vengeful posts or things that are negative, consider “snoozing” their posts for 30 days, something you can do on Facebook or if you feel the need to comment, keep your thoughts positive or helpful. Spread the love and use your words wisely.
Authors: Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee and Svea Howard, Communications and Outreach