When was the last time you flipped through one of your social media newsfeeds? What was something that you read or saw that turned you off, made you feel envious, frustrated, or downright hard on yourself? Each of us has been there at some point — whether we’ve had a bad day or this is our daily operating system. On the contrary, when was the last time you saw something that made you happy for the person who posted it? Perhaps this response has less frequency than the latter.
Many times we contemplate why others have lives that are more appealing than our own. Or we become critics and judges stating what it fair or what isn’t, what should be and what shouldn’t. Furthermore, we truly have no concept into the interior world of another, so we are in no position to make assumptions and accusations about things we don’t know. We certainly don’t like when others do that to us, so with empathy, we can try to live our lives without doing it to others as well.
With exploding Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn newsfeeds along with blogs and global online media, we are constantly bombarded with the everyday minutia to life changing occurrences. From the mundane of posting what we’ve eaten for dinner, the excitement of marriage and childbirth announcements, juicy celebrity gossip, to global crisis and current events, we’re always connected. But whether we are conscious of it or not, we also make comparisons. We compare and contrast the lives and events of others to the lives and events that we’re living.
We question who has it better or who has it worse. Perhaps we count our blessings and at other times, maybe we feel like we’re cursed. We’re quick to cast judgment and cut someone down with disapproval. But then again, we can truly celebrate in the happiness of others; even if it’s through cyberspace. What makes this interconnectivity beautiful is that within a second we can communicate and learn about people and happenings from around the world.
But what makes it displeasing is that we can either interpret others’ lives as the measure for our own. It’s easier to focus on what someone else is doing or not doing to take the attention away from ourselves. Whether it’s the need to feel validated, worthy, cared for, and celebrated, we constantly seek the approval of external sources. What if we can transform the principle of our daily social media newsfeeds into an internal one? One in which we are authentically the stars of our own lives and only we can internally keep track of what we’ve accomplished, what we have yet to accomplish, along with embracing who we are and what we have in the present.
We can share as much or as little as we want of ourselves with those we can trust, those who want well for us, and those who want us to succeed rather than seek to belittle, humiliate, and cast harsh judgments upon us. It becomes in our control to shift the course of our “newsfeed and timelines” in which we set goals, make changes, and feel good about ourselves. Our new selfies will reflect the wholeness that we feel when we begin to make these personal transitions.
And when we decide to post the new us for the world to see, it will no longer matter how many comments, likes, and re-tweets we get. It no longer becomes important if someone likes or dislikes what we do. What matters is at the end of the day we can give ourselves our own “thumbs-up.”