Facebook, as study after study show, has become quite a source of negative emotions and energy including anger, disgust and jealousy. All who use this popular social media outlet can surely attest to this. We hop on for a moment of mental downtime and are swamped by posts of hot button topics such as politics, religion and parenting; prideful boasting and complaints over petty #firstworldproblems; debates, attacks and passive aggressive quotes strewn left and right.
A couple of moments of peace just turned you into an overloaded vessel of the energy of others as well as your own responses. And you haven’t even posted your own status yet.
So now that you are processing the many bursts of the lives of your “friends,” you are going to compose your own thoughts to share with the masses. Even if you had all ready thought of the news you had planned to share, no matter how large, small, positive or negative, before ever loading the computer screen or smartphone app, your language may now subconsciously be tainted by the energies recently placed within your thoughts.
“Nah, not me,” you are thinking. But I challenge that thought based on many theories of psychology and the deep role our unconscious truly plays in the minute details of our lives. Ever hear of a “Freudian slip?” That is a much bigger article for another day.
For now, let us focus on how you can step out of that pool of overwhelming data and possibly even improve it, thus increasing your chances of a more positive energy transfer the next time you log into your account.
Many just decide, after the overload of negativity, to swear off Facebook entirely. While this may surely be the best option for some, others, such as myself, would find such a drastic cut of a great resource to be a shame. So rather than allowing the negativity to control our actions, it can be possible to take charge and reshape our own minds and contributions into purely positive ones.
I encourage you to read and reflect on the following steps and try to incorporate them into your daily social media mindset. With simple changes, we can alter our thinking and overall presence to create a positive wave of energy flowing from our tiny circle.
Compose your own status update before ever looking at those of your friends. If you hop on to share your own thoughts, then do just that. Once you have read the rest of the updates, they alter your original thought, even if ever so slightly and subconsciously. Do not run the risk. Take a moment to share what you are thinking before allowing the potential (and most likely) infiltration of the energy of others.
Reconsider your Friends List
There is a certain worry that comes from clicking that “unfriend” button. I know, I have been there. You fear they will notice, question you, question their own actions, or worse, retaliate to mutual friends. You feel that the potential confrontation is not worth it as they have not actually done anything obviously wrong. It seems cruel to take what society has deemed an extremely drastic step toward an innocent acquaintance. But it is time to change your mindset.
Facebook has created a wonderful service making it convenient to keep in contact with people we would have let slip away not so many years ago. It has also given us an unfortunate service to have to be more diligent in hand-selecting who we keep in our lives from our past and who we should gradually let fade away.
It is time to peruse your Friends List and start thinking of the term more literally. Long distance relatives held only by familial obligation, high school buddies of whom have drifted down a different path, coworkers from a previous place of employment that you were never truly friends with anyway and many, many more amidst those few hundred profile pictures may simply be let go as beings of your past that should stay in your past.
Consider your overall presence
Take a moment to click into your own timeline and scroll through it as objectively as possible. What pictures do you see? What words have you written over the past few days? What quotes have you shared? How many debates have you joined?
It is easy to look at our own lives as a whole and forget that the online world only sees a snapshot of ourselves. It is important to recognize what snapshot we are giving them. Is it one of bitterness? Godliness? Passiveness? Joyfulness? What vibe does your page give you?
If it is giving anything other than a positive vibe then you are contributing to the anti-Zen community that can overtake the social cyber world. This is your moment to turn that around.
I am not talking about being fake, prideful or covering your reality in lies. I am just talking about thinking of your words before you post them. Unlike real life which does not have a backspace button, the online world in which many reside has given us a great gift in being able to put out the thoughts we wish in the timeline that suits us. Let us not squander that gift in rash decisions and empty words.
Before posting a status, photo, thought or comment, consider the following:
– Are my words from a place of positive energy?
– If taken out of context, what feeling would a stranger receive from my words?
– Would my words build someone up or tear them down if spoken to their face?
– Is this statement passive aggressive or based in loving honesty?
And most importantly:
– Are my thoughts and intentions in posting these words pure and good?
Someone else will read your words and thoughts and take on the energy associated with them, if only for a moment. While you may innocently hop online to vent about the bag boy or rant about a homework assignment, placing those negative thoughts out into the world in any form only transfers the energy to another.
It may seem like a lot of work to consider every word you place in cyberspace which is why, in order to achieve true Facebook Zen, you must first bring Zen from deep within yourself. Positivity takes practice, but it can transform the world.