If you didn’t already know, I’m a card-carrying member of Generation X. That means besides being cynical and having a love for irony (or so every list describing us says), I also got to have a front row seat to the birth and rise of social media.
If you’re around my age, you remember the mass media we had growing up. TV, magazines… we didn’t have a lot of choices. You may have had some cable channels on TV. You probably read the same magazines everyone else was reading. And that was about it.
Fast forward to today, and we’re no longer looking at mass media. In fact, each of us has a curated micro media environment based on algorithms – no two of us are seeing exactly the same content. If you need a refresher on how an algorithm works, it’s essentially like this: when you search for, click on and follow things that interest you on social media, that platform will feed you more of that same type of content, and might even share it with other platforms so they can do the same.
So it’s even more important these days to talk about WHO is getting your attention. Whose posts are you reading? What images are you looking at? Which videos are you watching? And how is this curated collection of people shaping who you are becoming?
There are some key questions to ask yourself when it comes to assessing your social media feed. I have five of them:
- Am I filling my head with positive or negative messages?
- Is my social media feed causing me to fight with my inner critic?
- Am I being inspired or am I being triggered?
- Am I only getting one side of the story?
- Am I contributing to the conversation, or am I just consuming?
If you don’t like your answers to these questions, here’s what you need to do next:
- Determine who you need to unfollow. They can be influencers, people you went to high school with, maybe even family members (remember you can unfollow them without removing them as a friend – social media’s answer for a happy family dinner table).
- Search out and follow some new people who you believe will help you become an even better, even more nuanced, an even more aware version of yourself. Choose what you want to learn more about, and where you want to bring in some additional perspective.
You have the power to give your attention to people who have earned it.
And most importantly, not to give your attention to those who are stressing you out or causing anxiety.
I hope this community is helping to shape you into the person you want to be. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can do that here and here. And make sure you’re a member of the Brilliant Balance Group on Facebook – we put a lot of inspiring content in this group just for you!