There is little doubt that anything has made a greater impact on how we interact in society more than social media. With over 2.5 billion active social media users it is one of the most profitable and fastest changing industries in the world.
From the approximate 9,000 snaps on Snapchat, over 7,500 tweets on Twitter, almost 800 photos uploaded on Instagram, or the more than 8,000 comments posted on Facebook every second (yes… every second!), there are a lot of engaged users and a huge amount of information competing for our attention. With the seemingly endless amounts of information and opportunities to connect with others, social media can at times become overwhelming.
Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed? Do you ever struggle with social media boundaries? How to respond? Should you respond? What to share? What not to share? I have found myself facing these same questions. Without a good plan, I have made more than a few mistakes and recently found myself choosing to withdraw from social media altogether. There must be a better way. So how do we navigate social media and allow ourselves to use it constructively instead of being consumed by it and regretting it?
Here are a few thoughts that may help as we navigate the ever-changing world of social media:
- Set boundaries and protect them.
- When you post, snap, tweet or respond, ask yourself if it’s helpful.
- Seek balance in what and how often you post.
- Communication reflects more about your character than it does your audience’s character.
- Don’t react. Take some time and respond with respect.
- Social media is a meaningful part of community but it cannot replace meaningful community.
Technology and social media are an integral part of our culture and are quickly reshaping our lives. Let’s engage them wisely!