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7 Steps to Healthier Social Media Use

Awareness practices apply to everything. As Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote in Full Catastrophe Living, "If you can name something or even feel it, you can be mindful of it." Here's a handy guide for your social media behavior.

Today I'm going to name Social Media Use. What the heck are you doing when you go to your feeds?

  • Do you have a plan?

  • Do you mindlessly scroll?

  • Is doomscrolling more your speed?

  • Do you rage-type comments?

  • Do you read the articles or posts you share?

  • Are you looking for a fight?

  • Are you looking to present yourself in a certain light?

  • Are you looking for approval?

  • Are you looking for agreement?

  • Are you avoiding something else?

  • Are you there to promote yourself?

It says a lot about you, this social-media activity. When you think about the accounts you have, the time you spend on them, and what you're doing while you're there, you're thinking about the kind of person you are. You're the kind of person who has those accounts and spends that amount of time and behaves that way. That's part of who you are.

Feeling like you NEED to do something?

Urgency makes us do and say regrettable things, on social media and elsewhere.

Be governed not by the tyranny of the urgent but by the elevation of the important. ~WIRED's Kevin Kelly

In the event you feel like doing a guided practice you can eventually internalize, make your own, and practice whenever you want, here's one that's particularly helpful when you're feeling like you need to do . . . something.

Please note your 7-steps or your pause practice can easily lead you to conclude there really is something you need to do. That thing may or may not be what you were originally moved to do. After consideration and grounding, sometimes you end up doing nothing, as that's your most skillful move.

But other times, the skillful move emerges and it's nothing like your initial impulse.

You don't discover this if you don't have some kind of awareness practice that lays bare what you're thinking and feeling. There's wisdom in those thoughts and feelings, and as painful as they might be for a moment, I promise they won't kill you. They are your teachers.

May ease find you.



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