Social Media usage offers people all over the world access to answers, updates on friends, and the ability to learn anything, at any moment.
On paper, Social Media connects people to a world of information outside of themselves better than anything else before it. There’s no arguing with that. The problem is: it fundamentally causes people to feel more disconnected than ever.
For some hard facts about how technology and social media lead to stress – check out a study conducted by Anxiety UK.
Human beings tend to become analytical, judgmental and competitive by nature. While it has so many benefits, Social Media is a medium where people can learn up-to-the-minute info about others without having a real-life encounter. This leaves less room for authentic interactions, opening us up to ambiguity and uncertainty.
Now be honest… have you ever:
- Stressed over not hearing back from someone right away after an email, text or direct message was sent?
- Thought someone was “full of themselves” or bragging on Social Media?
- Deleted a message you wanted to post because you were afraid of other people’s reactions or perceptions?
- Made fun of something you saw posted online (double points if you took a screenshot and sent it to a friend)?
Me? Guilty as charged.
I read it a few years ago when I was stressed out of my mind and a yoga buddy and blogger, Alicia Hansen (Read her blog – here!) encouraged me to read it, pegging it:
“Guidelines to Living Life.”
As a Social Media Marketer, helping businesses reach their ideal audiences online is a specialty. However, giving real people advice about the unclear social behaviors of others is a completely different story. That’s why I defer to the Four Agreements. Whether you’re approaching this new frontier from a personal perspective or on behalf of a brand, the agreements below will help keep your head above water when you feel like your drowning in social drama.
The Four Agreements:
“Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love…”
Ultimately, this agreement is about knowing yourself (or your brand) and speaking your truth. Social Media conversations change based on what’s popular or trending at the time. Just because it’s popular- doesn’t mean you have the knowledge to weigh-in thoughtfully. Also – just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to post it. Could your tweet be misunderstood by others? Know your values, passions, strengths and humor and base your social postings on the things that matter most to you. Don’t be impressionable and try to impress less. You know who are you – so be it.
“Don’t Make Assumptions.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama…”
This is a tough one, too, huh? It’s not your job to make assumptions about what other people deem important to publish online. Don’t assume someone is rich because they posted a pic of their new car. Don’t assume that because a couple of your friends took a photo together that you weren’t invited to something. There are thousands of explanations to why people do things, and most likely – your assumption isn’t the answer, so why even bother? If something bothers you online – ask for a real-life explanation. Don’t allow negative feelings to linger and ultimately – Try to feel happy for other people. Complement more. Judge less. And in turn, people will return the favor.
“Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream…”
Here it is – the agreement to end all agreements (except there is still one more!). Everyone is living in his or her own little world online and off. Bottom line.
I’m asking you as a friend. Don’t you DARE, ever; under any circumstance think someone did something on Social Media because of you. Period.
Has your friend stopped, “liking all of your pics?” I hate to say it but if someone ends your friendship over Instagram, they weren’t much of a friend in the first place. Really cowardly people do, in fact, use Social Media as a tool to be passive aggressive and these people do those things because they’re immature – not because of you. If something you see hurts you, approach the person face-to-face, there’s a good chance there’s a different explanation.
“Always Do Your Best.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret…”
Last but not least – Always do your best. Why? If you’re always doing your best, you are inherently following each and every other agreement in one easy step. If you follow this agreement – You’re not being narcissistic, self-centered, stressed-out or worried about what others are doing or thinking. You are just.simply.being.you. Even on your worst days, there is always an opportunity to do your best, and as long as you’re doing that – the rest takes care of itself.
Put simply, Social Media connects us to a beautiful, exciting, world outside of ourselves. Try to embrace it without allowing the drama to drown you. Take a deep breath and follow these agreements. Namaste.
Do YOU have any tips about how to deal with Social Media drama? Weigh-in below!
Thanks for reading! Follow me: @JessaH