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5 Keys to Liking Social Media Again (and Not Feeling Like a Boring, Underachieving Loser)

5 Keys to Liking Social Media Again (and Not Feeling Like a Boring, Underachieving Loser)

When we jumped on the social media party bus, we thought it would be the ticket to Friendsville. But while it has many upsides, social media can bring on the blues.

Is it possible to enjoy the party online with feeling the hangover? Absolutely! With these 5 keys below, you can enjoy social media again (and stop feeling like a boring, underachieving loser).

1. Why are you on social media to begin with?

Let’s go back to the beginning when you first heard of sites like Facebook and Twitter. You thought, “Oh, what a neat way to keep in touch with my friends. I’m in!” Kept in that frame—a way to stay in touch—social media is just a tool.

Somewhere along the line, we tended to get manipulated by numbers: how many friends you have, how many friends your friends have, how many people liked your posts, etc. It became about quantity, not quality.

Think about why you are on social media. Let it be a thing that adds to your life, not a thing that defines it. Be very concerned if it becomes your life. Instead of spending hours mindlessly trolling, take control so that you get what you want out of the experience. Make a list of the top 12 people you really want to stay in touch with. Write them a private message, saying something like, “You are someone I want to keep in touch with.” Then, once a week, write a longer message to one person on your list. Develop friendships of quality, not just quantity.

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2. Why are you sharing that?

Much of the fun of social media is reading funny comments. Some of the worst of social media comes from the maniacal overshare that we can all fall into from time to time.

Before you share a status or comment, ask yourself, “Why do I feel the need to share this?” Sometimes sharing from the public announcement platform is convenient and appropriate—and hilarious. But not all the time.

Filling out those instant little messages in privacy, we sometimes lose sight of the bigger audience in the room. Now, with running update features, you never know who will see what you post or in which context they will see it.

Would you stand up in a public restaurant and announce that you just ate too much? Would you walk into a party and tell everyone about the tight pantyhose bunching in your nether regions? If the answer is no, think twice about sharing it on social media. There are more personal ways to share your life with the people who have earned your trust and respect—or who appreciate your humor.

When you recognize that you are needing love and support, use the private message feature and select the people with whom you choose to share. A bit of discretion will help cut out the shame hangover.

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3. Comparison is the thief of happiness.

Brené Brown has popularized this phrase from  Laura Williams. It so good I just can’t top it, and it is a huge key to enjoying social media.

If you go on to social media and compare your life, achievements, body, house, children, spouse, cooking, writing or world to what you find there, you are setting yourself up to feel straight nasty in no time. It will take you right back to childhood when your siblings always got the better deal. If you still want to keep playing out that script, go right ahead, but it will leave you forever in the role of “not good enough.”

Try this: when you see the things that others have or have achieved, add them to your list of cool things: “Oh, maybe next year I’ll make that Halloween costume.” And, “Maybe I’ll do some research to see how we can vacation there.” Those things are not off-limits to you; they just haven’t happened yet.

Or, play the Gratitude Game. For the things that really hit your envy button, make a list of 10 things in your life for which you can feel genuinely grateful. It’s hardly original, but it works if you work at it. Then, if you get to a point where you feel like there’s nothing in your life worth giving thanks for, get yourself to a homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, emergency youth shelter, or elder care facility STAT. It’s time for a reality check!

4. Give yourself a limit.

You’ve heard of FOMO? It’s the fear of missing out. When you’re enjoying a party, it makes sense to stay. But sometimes you’re not actually enjoying yourself; you’re just sticking around because you don’t have anything better to do or you’re afraid something awesome will happen the minute you leave.

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Here’s the deal: you’re not going to be in on everything. And just maybe by staying at the party, you missed an even better time unfolding somewhere else. Just like a casino, many social media sites are designed to keep you there. You have to practice some self-control and get out. Don’t let your boredom or your FOMO suck the fun out.

Try to have your social media time with a limit, like the 10 minutes over your morning coffee. Or the 20 minutes before your date arrives. Just enough time to feel like you’ve dropped in and said, “Hi.” If you’re used to long stretches of social media during a commute, start cutting back once a week with a trade out for a motivational podcast. Or read a book!

5. Remember it’s not real.

We loved watching movies in my house growing up. My mom had a catch phrase for when movies had effects that were over-the-top or endings that would never happen in real life. She do jazz hands and sing, “Hollywood!” It signaled to us: Remember it’s not real!

The online scene has become as absurd and trumped-up as a Hollywood movie. But you’re brain doesn’t always recognize it because it stars people you know. You have to keep in mind that it’s not real. It’s not totally fake, either, which is why we can get so lost in it.

Everyone on these sites are self-selecting their images and shares, even you and me. We’ve all turned into to little marketers, putting our best on display. Sure, maybe some are better at it than others, but none of it is the whole story.

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See it for what it is. Have fun with it!

Choose how you want to play. Perhaps you can do a month of shares with a theme. Try a seventies theme, Star Wars, write like a noir private detective. Make up a game with three of your friends and challenge each other to mix obscure words into your status shares. If someone catches on, bring them into the game.

If it’s not real, then you get to decide who and how you want to be. I’m not saying lie…I’m saying do it with jazz hands!

What strategy will you use to re-claim your “Like” of social media? Did I spark any ideas that could help others? Any thumbs-down action? Share in the comments below.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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