How To Use Social Media Consciously

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I’ll admit right from the outset that perhaps what follows is less of a “how to”, and more of me sharing my [somewhat fuddy duddy] perspectives on how I approach social media, in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, you might get something from it. What follows isn’t a judgment about how anyone else wants to use social media, but rather the guidelines and approaches that keep me sane in a world of tweets, retweets, updates, posts, latergrams, videos, scopes and likes.

SOME FACTS

I am a “millennial” (I believe being born in the 80s qualifies me, no?). In 2011-2012 I deleted my Facebook account, and by 2014, on the heels of another wave of spiritual awakening, I abandoned, and then deleted my twitter account entirely. I was totally off the grid, and I needed time to integrate all the things that were happening to me – the energetic and physical shifts that happened as a result of my perceptions and awareness blowing right open. Fun.

As energy poured through me (sometimes it would feel as though someone above me had a bucket of liquid energy and poured it down onto my body), as the sensations on the top of my head went buck wild because of energetic openings of my crown, as I would get spontaneous ringing and swooshing in my ears that made me temporarily space out, and as I made new friends in “other places”, I lost interest in social media. The fact is that other things had my attention, and the part of me that would reach for my smartphone and scroll upon waking was gone…forever.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, and I now have a [new] twitter account to which I post articles such as this, and where I occasionally chat with like minded intuitive peeps/practitioners, and I now have a Facebook “personal” profile that allows me to post bits of my work, keep in touch with clients, and have access to a few things that I find useful and uplifting. I also have an Instagram account, which I’ll admit I rather enjoy using. (More on that later).

CHOOSE WHAT YOU ARE AVAILABLE FOR

The starting point of my approach, and I believe any thoughtful approach to social media, is choosing precisely what it is you are available for.

For me, this means I am not available for constant updates, blips, beeps, whistles, pings and other noises from my devices. I made a choice a while back that I refuse to be inundated by updates. It didn’t matter whether the updates and content were good.

There was just a limit to the time I’d spend on any platform. There was a limit to how much I’d leave myself open to seeing updates, and being aware of notifications. Translated practically, this means I don’t ever leave my Facebook logged in on my smartphone. After I do something on Facebook I logout, and then, at some point later on, I’ll look at my email notifications to see if anything important has come in and then I’ll respond accordingly.

Decide, in a more general sense, how much of the social media experience you’d like to be available for. Looking at your life in general, decide what you want, and how social media activity diminishes or augments your quality of life. If too much noise from notifications diminishes the quality of your life, then make an adjustment to what it is you leave yourself open to.

On my end, I understood very clearly that the noises accompanying constant notifications disrupt my energy field. I understood, with the help of the guides, that each blip and beep ruptures and “fissures” my field, and undermines my “auric integrity”. I understood quite clearly that too much time spent on my smartphone scrolling and looking at updates locks down my perception into 6 inches of touchscreen, and that my ability to think clearly and expansively is compromised. I understand now, based on my sensitivity to energy and to my body, when it is time to stop scrolling because I can feel the effects of a hyper-stimulated mind. I feel less expansive, and as though all my awareness is compressed into my forehead.

Looking back now, I remember how I used to think in “tweetables”. As I’d go about my day, I could barely have an experience without mentally constructing it into something tweetable. At this point in my life, this is something that I am not available for. I am not available for any experience which hijacks my brain/mind function in that way. No.

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GO IN LIKE A BANK ROBBER

When I use social media, I go in like a bank robber. I go in to get what I went for, and then I get the hell out. I go to specific YouTube channels which I enjoy, I go to specific Facebook pages and groups, I go to specific blogs, and then I leave.

But Tara, social media is supposed to be social, you say. That may very well be so, but I prefer to be “social” within certain well-defined parameters.

What this has done for me is to make my experience of consuming content so much richer. I’ve developed meaningful online relationships based on shared interests, and genuine appreciation for other people’s content and work. I leave meaningful comments because I actually spend time taking something in, rather than aimlessly liking and clicking away.

IF IT UNDERMINES YOUR WELL-BEING, LEAVE IT ALONE

Here is my rule of thumb: if it doesn’t make me feel good to look at it, I walk away. If updates, videos and posts communicate things which do not augment my experience and quality of life, I simply leave them alone. I personally no longer care how supposedly relevant, current, and “need-to-know” it seems. Going back to choosing what I am available for, I am not available to be sucked into a vortex of information that is supposedly relevant and current, which does not augment my energy, and does not meaningfully increase my understanding of the world, and my understanding of my reality.

Conversely, if it feels good, I embrace it. I use Instagram purely because I enjoy it. I enjoy taking pictures, and I enjoy writing captions which, to me, are useful, and might uplift and augment someone else’s experience. I follow people whose posts I enjoy. I enjoy commenting on posts I really like. If I do not enjoy it, I do not follow it. Simple.

PHYSICALLY INTERVENE

If you need to physically intervene, do that! I don’t sleep with “smart” devices in my room. I leave them downstairs before I retire to my bedroom upstairs. That way, I’m not scrolling through social media updates before bed, neither am I scrolling upon waking. Before bed is a precious, precious time, when I journal, read something soul-inspiring and mind-expanding, or otherwise just allow my mind to rest.

Call me a Luddite, but the WiFi in my house is configured in such a way that I do not have access to it in my bedroom. This allows me to preserve the integrity of my bedroom – without the wireless frequencies interfering with my field, or the quality of my rest. It also puts up another barrier to the use of social media at bedtime.

Decide when smartphones are allowed or are appropriate. When I am spending time with my partner, let’s say on a date, or maybe a road trip, I am vaguely aware that my phone is somewhere in my bag. We actually talk, and pay attention to what each other is saying, because we’re not scrolling down or up a timeline. Have you seen those couples who are actually on a double date – with their smartphones? Scrolling through their twitter feed? Have you seen that group of friends in a restaurant who barely talk to each other, and who can barely eat a mouthful without liking an Instagram post?

I’ve decided that’s not the kind of life I’d like to live. Choose what you are available for. And don’t be afraid of making choices which go against the direction of what everyone else is doing. Don’t be afraid of doing what feels good to you, and don’t be afraid to customize your social media experience into something that is much more in line with your values, and what you want for yourself and your life. I guarantee that you won’t miss out on good things. You may find that you are more in the right place at the right time. You may find that information and opportunities come to you at precisely the right moments. And you’ll find yourself more clear, more calm, more grounded, more sane and more effective.

Peace,

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