Just a few thoughts today about the nature of our social digital lives. Of course, I’m still trying to figure all of this out just like anyone else...
I’m starting to realize that most socio-political bickering and Sabre rattling should NOT be done via social media. Sure, share cat videos and photos of your kids:) And share personal stories that matter. But as far as playing a pundit, social media is such a dangerous playground for that stuff unless you’re cool with getting in the mud. We are our least authentic selves there. I don’t think it’s our fault, but merely the way that social media is designed - from the non-personal hiding behind screens to the egoic incentives of likes and hearts (and now, red angry faces and tears of despair). I’m this close to deleting all social media profiles, but I know that living without in today’s world is damn near impossible.
It’s really a bummer... I started to not like the online versions of people whom I really like in person. So I started unfollowing them and vice-versa. I felt guilty but I wish I could tell them that it wasn’t necessarily THEM I was unfollowing, but their bloated/fake/egoic digital-social selves, much like mine.
I’ve recently been trying to share less partisan-fueled posts on social. I love the aspect of social media that gives me a timeline of my life. There’s a lot of good there. On Facebook/Insta, I can look back and see when I was doing and thinking about certain things. But it turns toxic when I stop sharing from the heart and start sharing in order to change people (which never works - it merely causes them to unfollow you and retreat further into the algorithmic bubble of their unconsciously held biases).
Here’s what I think...
First, start a personal newsletter like this one (it’s free on substack.com - and no, they’re not paying me to say that). Invite people who care to follow it via email. It’s a much more intimate space to share your thoughts than in the chaotic impersonal circus of social media. If someone disagrees with your newsletter post, they can just unsubscribe. Or they have to email you back directly which is a different energy than if they were to leave a public comment on social. That’s where the teeth really come out (because they’re not only disagreeing with you but peacocking for the masses).
I say, save the saber-rattling for face to face. Yes, things can still get ugly in the physical space. But when you’re across a table from someone, your fleshy humanity serves as a factor that infuses the interaction with a degree of compassion and authenticity. You wouldn’t say things to people in person as you do behind the false safety of a screen.
Grace & Godspeed,