Let's talk about Intentional/Mindful Social Media & Technology Usage
How do you want to be spending 5 years and 3 months of your life?
How do you want to be spending 5 years and 3 months of your life? Do you want to be spending it on social media? No? Well, that's what influencer marketing agency Mediakix has researched the average person will spend on social media. Yikes!
Can we agree that the way social media and technology are currently being used by a lot of people is a problem? I've even learned first hand by working in social media part-time for the last 6 months how social media and some devices are designed to be addictive. And, I know from my training in mindfulness and basic neuroscience how negatively impactful unintentional social media and technology usage can be. But, please don't just take it from me: there's more and more research coming out about it - including this website and this website.
The realisation: the need to talk about intentional/mindful social media & technology usage
At Festival for the Future in the weekend a big realisation hit me while attending the mental health and wellbeing panel. Out of the 350 questions and comments that were put up by attendees to the online Q&A tool (sli.do) approximately ONE in TEN questions were asking about the impact of social media and technology on mental health and wellbeing.
So, feeling a bit of fear and doing it anyway, I announced via the online Q&A to the attendees that I wanted to start talking about and running workshops on INTENTIONAL/MINDFUL SOCIAL MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY USAGE - i.e. 'use technology, don't let it use you'. And, I wanted to know who would be interested in collaborating on this or who could put me in touch with people who are doing work in this field. Out of the 350 questions only 15 questions were touched upon by the panel facilitator. My question was one of those that was talked about as a "real need in our society" by the panel facilitator.
Rather than continuing to talk about the problem, I want to DO something about it. And, please, I would LOVE your help! :)
(1) I'd like to start talking about and running workshops with individuals, organisations and community groups about the topics of intentional/mindful social media & technology usage and how they'd really like to be spending their time/days and
(2) I'd like to start a #switchoffsunday (or some other name) movement - encouraging people to have at least 1/2 a day per week as a digital detox... 'disconnecting to reconnect'
(3) I'd like to talk with people and organisations who are either doing great work already in this field or who would be interested in trialling something out.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Are you using technology, or is it using you?
As I write this, I do feel some irony that the last blog post I published was about the usage of social media and announcing that I would be helping small to medium business owners and start-ups with their social media strategy and implementation. How things have changed since March!
Because of the last 6 months of doing part-time client work in social media I've learned about how the social media algorithms are designed to be addictive and grab peoples' attention.
The Facebook algorithm is like a protective mother hen - it wants to keep you in her embrace for as long as possible
The content created and posted in social media is designed to capture your attention. The Facebook algorithm is like a protective mother hen - it wants to keep you using Facebook for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! Truly, when I would teach social media workshops to start-ups and small business owners I'd teach them about how to use tips and tricks to get their content seen by as many people as possible.
No wonder that now, in conversation, more and more clients and friends are expressing their concern about it - especially their concern for their children's mental health and brain development. And, they talk about their worries about role modelling positive behaviour for their children!
In my humble opinion, we need to be talking about how to use social media and technology in more intentional and mindful ways and discussing how we want to be living our days. Do we want to be living our days connecting with our devices in a co-dependent relationship, disconnected from our loved ones? Or, do we want to be putting in place good habits that mean we have healthy relationships with our devices and social media? It's our choice how we spend those 5 years and 3 months of our life.
Would you be interested in talking more or know of others who would be? Please either leave a comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, can you share this post with your network if it resonates?
Thanks so much in advance,
Jen Y :)