The buzz is on. Social media is hip, it’s happening, it’s NOW. CNN, Oprah and even the President of the United States is integrating social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, into their businesses.
Facebook has 175 million users, ranking in as the #1 Social Media site. Twitter’s total membership is around 6 million with 55 million monthly visitors and ranked #3 (MySpace is #2). It largely centers on answering the question, “What am I doing now?” in 140 characters or less. In Facebook, it’s called a “status update.” In Twitter, it’s called a “tweet.”
Some are skeptical, saying it offers yet another distraction to interrupt focus and productivity or is “addicting.” Yet, those of us who have jumped in with both feet know the benefits of social media are countless! It’s a fabulous way to connect with friends (new and old), network, get the word out about your business, share and receive links to blogs and articles, and get inspired by hundreds and even thousands of people.
But, is it really good for your “everyday inner peace?” Well, when used in moderation…my response is an emphatic “yes!” The reasons may surprise you. Read below. (Disclaimer: If you’re NEW to social media, I apologize in advance for any “lingo” you don’t understand).
1) Focus on the NOW. Social media is a real-time sport. Communication on social media is largely about sharing “What you are doing NOW?” It’s about responding to the latest comments or updates. It’s about who is online right now. When you get in the habit of sharing updates 5 or more times a day, you’ll soon find yourself in the NOW, again and again and again (even if you’re not “reporting” about it). This present moment awareness is good for your inner peace. Afterall, you’ll always find inner peace most in the NOW. Who would’ve thought of social media as a NOW Practice?
2) Flexing your APPRECIATION muscle. We all know “appreciation” is a close cousin to inner peace. The more “appreciation” you feel, the more you attract other things into your life that boost appreciation. When I’m inspired by a colleague, my appreciation muscle is flexed. When a friend shares an insightful blog post or something puts a smile on my face, I feel appreciation (and you’ll often express it to them with a comment). You’ll also find you receive positive feedback on your comments or someone endorsing or promoting a book or live event. And, if you’ve ever been on Twitter on a Friday afternoon, you’ll see a virtual gratitude-fest. It’s quickly becoming a tradition to recommend your favorite “peeps” to follow on Twitter on Friday’s, otherwise known as #FollowFriday. Who doesn’t appreciate recommendations?!!
3) Accessing your INNER GUIDANCE. For many, “inner guidance” is a foreign concept. I like to think of “inner guidance” as honoring your intuition or “Higher Self”. It’s an authentic creative expression of you. Avid social media members know, every “tweet” or “status update” or “response” is inspired through INNER GUIDANCE. The more you listen to and act on your inner guidance, the more you strengthen this part of yourself, and the more you’ll feel inner peace. When we’re listening to that “higher” part of ourselves, life seems to flow much more peacefully.
4) Pleasurable Passions. What I love about social media is the opportunity to not only connect with others about your business, but about those topics you’re most passionate about. I find sharing an interest in Golden Retrievers, fine wine, inspiring quotes, politics, The Bachelor or Celebrity Apprentice, movies, vegetable smoothies, consciousness, astrology, yoga and grilling Brussels sprouts is generally more fun than solo. Social media has amplified the pleasures in my life. There is a direct correlation between pleasure and inner peace. More inner peace points for social media.
5) Self-Expression. Social media, at its best, is about being authentic and real about YOU. We do this by sharing our passions, interests, challenges and day-to-day life. For some, it’s EASY to be their whacky, sincere, silly, sarcastic, opinionated, loving, inquisitive or ambitious self. For others, it’s a s-t-r-e-t-c-h. I guarantee, those giving themselves full permission to be themselves — fully expressed into the world, are happier and more peaceful than those who sensor themselves publicly. (Granted, we all keep some details private). I can’t think of a better venue to “practice” full self-expression than Facebook or Twitter. And, the more you practice, the more comfortable and “at peace” you’ll become.
6) Letting go of the need for acknowledgment, approval and appreciation. What? You may be thinking “acknowledgment, approval and appreciation” BRINGS greater inner peace. Well, not really. Acknowledgment, approval and appreciation are “boobie prizes” in comparison to true inner peace and freedom. Let me explain. When we are fully self-expressed in the world, living our purpose, WITHOUT concern about other people’s good opinion (i.e. acknowledgment, approval and appreciation) — inner peace is flying high. Some people are quite good at this.
However, many of us secretly crave some sort of approval or acknowledgment, to some degree or another, sometimes constantly. We want to know, “You still like me” or “What I said was valuable” or simply to acknowledge my presence as a human being — even if “they” don’t agree. Many of us refer to this part of ourselves as “ego.” While it’s wonderfully pleasurable to receive acknowledgment, approval and appreciation (I know…I personally *LOVE* it!!!), it can keep us trapped in the cycle of “wanting” more of it, which interrupts our inner peace.
In the world of social media you get a balance of BOTH. One reason social media IS highly addicting is because you WILL get a lot of acknowledgment, especially if you’re interacting with others, being authentic and bringing value to others (like acknowledging them!). You can log onto Twitter any hour of the day, start interacting with those online, and within minutes, have another human being interacting back with you. But, there are also times when you comment on someone’s status update or tweet, share a great quote or blog post, or otherwise fully express yourself — and NO ONE will respond. Here’s where you’re opportunity lies. In this moment, you can “let go of your need for acknowledgment, approval and appreciation.” Instead of seeking it outside yourself, give it to yourself directly. In the moments, we feel whole and complete, without anyone’s approval…you will find yourself swimming in inner peace.
7) Practice Managing Stimuli. With 55-175 million people on Twitter or Facebook, respectively, it’s easy to see how “overwhelmed” one might become…even if you’re having a blast with social media. But isn’t this just like life? Our world is filled with thousands of choices, challenges and opportunities. Every day, we get to consciously decide what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. There are millions of people, topics and conversations to read, respond to and interact with. It’s up to us to honor our “inner guidance,” prioritize, respond or disengage. When we turn Twitter or Facebook “on” or “off,” it is a conscious choice (or could be…if you so choose). The more we flex our true conscious choices in any environment, the more at peace we become. The quality of our lives and the quantity of “inner peace” in our lives is directly correllated with how we navigate amongst the stimuli. The more we “practice,” the better we get. More inner peace points for social media.
8 ) Abundant Resources. What resource would bring greater inner peace to you? What question do you need an answer to? Within minutes or seconds your resource or answer can be found, especially on Twitter. Other resources may become long-term relationships. Do you need a virtual assistant to take to-do’s off your plate? Maybe you’re marketing a book, and are looking for interview opportunities. Maybe you’re looking for a coach or mentor to take your business, health or relationship to the next level. I’ve learned about blogging, branding, internet marketing, delegating, SEO, social media, creating viral videos, Law of Attraction, raw foods (learned how to make my vegetables smoothies from Twitter friends), and stopping a wound from bleeding (when John crashed on his mountain bike last year). All of which has contributed to my inner peace.
9) Help flex your “Simple Disciplines” muscle. One of the keys to “social media,” especially if you’re partially there for business reasons, is CONSISTENCY. Isn’t that true in building any relationship in your life? Those creating the greatest impact online are those who integrate “social media” into their lives, at least a little bit every day. I talk about the “Compounding Effect of Choice” and how it is the “simple disciplines” compounded over time that make all the difference in the world. Posting 5-10 times a day on a social media site may seem to not make any (or much) difference at all. Yet, those who “show up” consistently experience the joys of new relationships, greater intimacy between friends and clients, and all that ultimately leads to more business and greater fulfillment. All of which, add favorably, to one’s inner peace.
The truth is I could go on and on about social media being good for one’s inner peace. But, perhaps I’ve given you enough to chew on for now.