How can you use social media to lift us up?

Do this . . .

Don’t do that . . .

Listen to this . . .

Don’t listen to that . . .

Read this . . .

Don’t read that . . .

Think about this  . . .

Don’t think about that . . .

Believe this . . .

Don’t believe that . . .

Protest this . . .

Don’t protest that . . .

Accept this . . .

Don’t accept that . . .

I did this . . .

You should do that . . .

We seem to be living in a time when extreme judgment and hair trigger outrage is becoming a norm. It’s as if the innocuous invitation to “join the conversation” gave us permission to talk at others, but not listen to them. The request to “share your story” has elicited shiny depictions that only share half a life.

It’s affecting us.

According to the Harvard Business Review article, A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel:

“Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen time, lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavorable social comparison.”

If you use social media to spread the word about your business, or cause, or for self-expression, it might be wise to think ahead about how to keep your potentially social media weary audience engaged, and about additional ways to reach them if they decide to reduce their time online (e.g. face-to-face events, tangible information products).

I’m not saying that you should abandon social media, but I am saying that we might be heading towards a period of social media burn out, so don’t put all your eggs in the social media basket.

When you are creating your online content plan, think about how someone who has spent too much time online might feel:

  • Tired
  • Discouraged
  • Envious
  • Lonely

Considering creating content that might help them feel:

  • Energized
  • Hopeful
  • Empowered
  • Connected

Between August 2016 and January 2017, Americans’ stress levels increased for the first time in 10 years. As you create your content plan for the second half of 2017, ask yourself:

  • Would my audience benefit from my sharing more content at a faster pace, or less content, at a slower pace?
  • Is my audience on social media as engaged as it was last year? If not, what is the best way to reach them now?
  • What kind of content can I share and experiences can I create that will help them feel energized, hopeful, empowered and connected?

If you use social media for your work, or self-expression:

  • What are new ways you can experiment with to lift people up?
  • What are alternative mediums to reach people you can try this year?

***

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Photo by Britt Bravo

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