Social media with purpose

If you're not lds, also known as mormons, you won't know this, but there's been a lot of talk in our community lately about social media and its effects on us. Our wonderful prophet Russell M. Nelson challenged all of us to participate in a seven-day social media detox. The purpose was to find out how social media affects us personally and plays a part in our day to day lives and also essentially our spiritual lives.

I believe that taking a break from all this is a great thing. We live in the middle of an information overload and it's clear that having the whole world at our fingertips has changed how our brains work. Humankind is amazing at adapting to things, but sometimes I wonder if we're too good at it.

See, when we have so much, we start taking things for granted, and then we only seek more and more. The end result is shorter attention spans, likelihood to fall into depression, decrease in productivity, literal death of social skills and messed up value systems, among many other not so very nice things.

This isn't new. We're bombarded with these negatives all the time. About the world. About ourselves. About social media.

Because the negativity is all over social media.

So I get it. It's great to take a step back and rest from it all.

But there's a reason I haven't quit social media yet. The reason is: social media gives my life meaning and my days purpose.

Sounds totally wrong, I know. But there's no denying that it's true. Trust me, I've tried to deny the fact that it makes my life better. I'm someone who hates attention, who loves to spend time alone and who would happily be completely invisible a couple days a week. I don't like the fact that I could do one weird or funny thing online and in a few days the whole world could be seeing it. It terrifies me.

If it was about me, I'd let all of my social media accounts be private and only visible to my three closest friends and some family members.

It's not about me, though, so that's not going to happen.

We live in a time when we truly have the entire world at our fingertips, a whole network of people, videos, articles, music, photos, information... that fits in the palm of our hand.

Think about that. You really should think about that more often. You should marvel at the fact that you can say "Hi!" to someone on the other side of the world and they'll be receiving your message in under a second. That used to take weeks, months or even years!

I love social media because it helps me help people. I receive messages, questions and suggestions for blog post/video topics almost every day and it's incredible to be in touch with so many wonderfully talented, creative people.

I'm vulnerable and brutally honest at my own expense because I've seen how it affects people, and because of that I can't just quit because it scares me.

I try my best to be the sunshine in somebody's day--seriously, it's one of the first things I pray about every morning--and the internet is the best tool I could ask for.

We can share quotes, inspirational messages, motivating stories or even just funny cat gifs to make each other smile. The purpose of social media is just that: to smile.

My rule with my social media usage is simple. If it doesn't make me happy, I get rid of it. If it causes me to stress, become anxious, compare myself to others or feel in any way inferior, I know it's not good.

Our purpose with social media should be just like our purpose with anything else. To feel loved, share love and be loving.

There's really nothing else to it.

Taking a break can help us see what part social media plays in our lives, and better see how our days would be without it. The average person spends about two hours on social media every day. That's two hours that could be spent bettering yourself or learning something new. Maybe all you need is to become more aware of your social media habits so that you can use social media better as a tool to do those things.

To better make yourself and others smile.

I am going to try a short social media detox soon, and I can't wait to get so much extra time to work on my passions and follow my dreams. I recommend you try it too.

Virtual hugs :*

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