Social media has made it beyond easy for people to hide behind their screens – I'll be the first admit I'm 100 perfect guilty of this. In the beginning, I assumed social media would allow me to foster greater connection with family and friends. In some ways it does. However, it's become a bit of a crutch for me. Why call someone when you send them a quick text? Why leave a comment on a blog or someone's Facebook status when you can "like." Emails go unanswered, because I'm spending too much time "favoriting" Tweets and liking Instagram pics. I read a couple of different articles lately about the negative impact social media is having on out relationships. We "like" things, but do we actually reach out? I can't tell you how many times I've found myself mindlessly "liking" everything I see on Facebook or Instagram. It becomes less about interacting with those we love and more about clicking.
With all of this in mind, I decided to say yes to more thoughtful interaction online. I told myself no more "liking" photos, articles and status updates. If I felt the urge to "like" something then I would leave a meaningful comment. When I went to blogs and found helpful content, then I would leave a comment, rather than just tweeting about it or "pinning it." It obviously takes me more time to do this, but it also makes me think about what I'm putting out there in the world and how I want to connect with others.
I'm only about a month into this little experiment of mine and I can't tell if it's changed much about my Facebook newsfeed. I can tell you it's made me feel less like a machine and more like a person. It's made me more thoughtful. And most of all, I feel like I'm connecting more to the people in my social media feeds. I think this will be a long term process. And I'm hoping it will continue to shape how I feel about social media and make me a more compassionate and thoughtful online.
One of my goals is to say no more and be extra thoughtful about when I say yes. "Say Yes" is a series featuring the things or experiences I'm saying yes to and why.