Emails have a certain tone. Text messages come through with the draining energy of the person writing it. We know this because we feel anything but happy, elated, or warm.
You can even admit(maybe through mumbling) that you’ve been on the sending end of some could’ve-said-it-better-posts, comments, or even messages through social media. You know this because you’ve gotten a small flutter of regret in your gut about 10 seconds after you pushed send. Followed by a “oh crap how do I retract a sent message?”
We feel strong and invincible behind our computers. We feel protected and safe from inside our houses, office cubicles or car, knowing that the person we just roared at can’t respond right away and you get to have the last word in this moment, and feel like the proud lion standing over his latest kill.
Sounds horrible and yet its true. This can’t honestly be the way that humanity is headed? I am afraid to say yes, atleast for me, unless I shift my reactions into responses and bring some love into our digital world.
We will become people who appear bold and tell-it-like-is, however, in reality we are mean, we are bullies, and we are bringing each other down. In our social media world we don’t get to be face to face, we don’t get to see the hurt on the other person’s face or the tears in their eyes from something we just wrote. We don’t have to think about all that from behind our computers, phones or i-machines.
We don’t have to become robots ourselves. We are human beings with emotions and thoughts and feelings and LOVE. Face to face we bring that love to people daily. Whether we buy the guy behind us a coffee or hold the door open for someone. We show our kindness and gratitude in the “real world”. Sure, we all have days where we are more bitchy than bashful and more moody than mellow, but we are still kind to our core.
We have to bring that kindness and generosity with us when we interact on social media. Otherwise, our egos get to win, and our true spirits get buried. If we keep patting ourselves on the back for indirectly or directly hurting someone, just because a post or article or video served as a trigger for us, we lose as humanity.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” –Dalai Lama
We all have triggers, some people have vaca-envy, when we see people on vacation posting pictures and feel a sense of jealousy. Some people have word-rage, like I learned from a recent blog, when we see certain words spelled wrong or used incorrectly like your or you’re or prostate and prostrate.
Recognize your triggers, because its the first step to overcome and bring compassion and mindfulness into your social media persona, along with these 3 simple steps.
I am an avid, if not obsessive believer of the breath! It really brings me back to the present moment, it relaxes me, and it helps me tune into my self and my body. Which is exactly what I need when I am about to respond to something that triggered or ticked me off.
Breath allows us to become conscious in this moment. Becoming conscious of what we are about to comment or write. Becoming conscious of re-reading it and trying to see the love and kindness behind it.
So take a deep breath (maybe a few), to relax and rejuvenate your thoughts before you respond; from a place that has never steered you wrong, your heart.
2. “Recognize the Other Person is You” Yogi Bhajan.
They are human too! Whatever you are thinking about the other person: “I can’t believe this hateration had the nerve to say that.” Unfortunately, those thoughts are a reflection of you. Ask what’s really going on? Why I am so upset? And most importantly is this really the way they meant it?
Why is it I always read with a negative tone first? Because I feel negative myself. I don’t feel confident and secure with myself. We feel the need for validation from external sources whether material things, substances, or appreciation from others, believe me I know all about this!
“Be gentle first with yourself, if you wish to be gentle with others.” –Lama Yet
Affirm: I am the only validation I need. As soon as I began to say and think kind words and thoughts about myself, I became proud of who I am! And I can guarantee, you won’t read another comment or email or text in a mean way (unless of course I was tired or hypoglycemic). Once I acknowledged this within myself, I magically granted the other person the credit of being a loving soul in human form too.
3. Speak with Kindness.
“I can’t believe you…but good article.” And “Good article. But I would recommend…”
There is a distinct difference in these two responses. Personally, I would wish the second one. I would value this person’s opinion about what they recommended and leave feeling good.
Isn’t that what we all want? To feel good. And making others feel good.
There’s a reward, a feeling, a sense of wholeness we feel when we do nice things for others. That’s how we should feel after every comment, email or text we write. I know I’ve made this switch because I am constantly now deleting texts and emails and re-writing it from a place of kindness rather than just as an undertone.
Recognizing the receiver is not there to see your facial expressions, to know it’s a joke or a serious offense. They merely see the words; write words with power, with inspiration, with kindness, but don’t forget the emoticons!
This digital world, social media, it’s not going away, even if we try to deactivate our accounts, or not sign up or not be a part of it. If you choose to be apart of it, then don’t lose your humanity to it.