I did this backwards so you don’t have too! My girls aren’t on here yet but will be in no time. I live by these requirements myself. It’s so much more empowering and liberating being on social media this way. It’s not a big bad monster. Can it be…sure. But so can Slime!! So can a water bottle! I believe this foundation needs to be taught to all kids before they start their relationship with social media. The same way we talk to them about engaging with kids in real life, this is no different. And often we teach this on the defensive…like how to not engage in bullying, or what not to look at, or what happens when your feelings get hurt. Which, don’t get me wrong, are important…just not super empowering to the mass platform they are walking into. It’s so exciting for kids to get on here. I mean they’ve only seen their parents maneuver and engage in it for so many years. Of course, they are excited! So let’s walk them into it with grace, and dignity, and joy! That way when it becomes anything less than that, they have a foundation to work with. Let’s do the same for ourselves!

Here are my 6 Non-Negotiables when engaging ‘Socially”…

1. Find your Voice!!! Then share it in a compassionate way! Social media is an amazing platform to connect to the whole world! Even if your whole world are just 20 or 2000 people. It’s your whole world. Let’s dig deep and find our passion and allow that to burst out of us! Share that with your world. It can be anything…love to cook, photography, economics, making slime in cool colors, dance, fashion, medicine, robotics, legos, being a mom, staying connected with family, connecting your community, wanting women and girls to feel alive and empowered in their own skin (that’s mine). There is no wrong way to have a voice when you lead with passion.

2. Use Your Voice Outside of Social Media As Well! No passive aggressive comments or posts, or incongruent behavior. I am That, I am! Integrate your message into your whole life. This is where we alleviate the pressure to be something different online. Don’t get lost…Just Show Up!! We also get to set limits with how open we want to show up on Social Media…just be congruent. If you wouldn’t say it in real life, don’t say it online. For some reason the empathy and compassion on a human level seems to be exempt when we see something that creates emotions. If you would never walk up to someone in real life and tell them they are wearing hideous outfit, or are an asshole, or are so stupid for making a decision…then don’t comment or post about it. It doesn’t work to only have a voice on Social Media, but being hermit in real life who pretends to be something else. This makes our sweet soul feel so small and insignificant. Choose to be congruent. It’s liberating and empowering and it allows us to be heard in all ways!

3. Act Mindfully! No one is forcing us to log on and scroll…and scroll…and scroll…and refresh…and scroll. And see what people are wearing, who they are with, what exactly they said, how horrible she is in real life and how incongruent she is online,… We have to focus on ourselves and what empowers us, that’s it! Notice how you feel before, during, and after you go on…adjust accordingly. Soooo important for us to recognize AND to teach our kids. We are missing such an opportunity if we don’t go here!

4. Take Breaks and Fill Up Your Own Tank! The same way you would with any other relationships in your life. We are never with someone all the time. Not our kids, not our partners, not anyone!!! Choose to take conscious breaks. Not because you are over it and exhausted by it…but because it feels like the right time. We choose to give our eyes a break, we choose to sit with an actual human and socialize, we choose to be in nature without screens. Hang out and do things in real life that feel good to you. Find out what that is. What gets you excited and joyful and giddy and passionate to engage in. Sometimes as a tween/teen you may feel too cool for school to be giddy…but let those feelings exist. I promise being on social media will feel better when you do.

5. Clean Out Your Friend List. In real life and online. I promised myself when I started raising my family, that I would only be with people that felt good to me. That made me feel good about my life and my choices and my way of being in this world. For me to be congruent as a human, this was not negotiable. Not because I am better than anyone, but I needed to be better to me! This may sound like a given, but it’s soooo not the norm. We get lost in being with people out of obligation, out of loyalty, out of ‘it’s the right thing to do’, but according to who? When we tune into ourselves and listen to what feels good to us, this will change. Allow it to change. I don’t want to teach my kids they have to be somewhere that doesn’t feel good to them. Not in life, and not online! Unless we are at the doctors and they need a shot, there is truly nowhere else this feeling in our bellies need to exist. Let it be ok! Online, Only look at people’s lives that you like and that make you feel good things. If you are getting stuck in envy, jealous, angry, sad feelings…Unfollow! Unfollow! Unfollow! No need to inflict self-torture and make ourselves feel bad for what we choose to look at!

6. And last, but one of the most important ones!! If You’re Not Engaging, Don’t Be On It! As a human acting socially, we want to make eye contact, use our voice, and engage in some way with another person, or situation. Social Media is no different. Either engage socially or don’t be on. It confuses the brain. You create stories that fuel your feelings, but the stories are not fully accurate. Remember I said I lived through this so you don’t have to. I lost friends over this. I created stories about photos I saw online that were so far from the truth, and so out of context. It’s like if you go to a party and stand around looking at everyone having fun…you’re going to leave the party feeling like shit. Why would you feel anything else? You stood around talking to yourself and making yourself feel bad the whole time. Tearing yourself apart, tearing your friends apart. Same thing with social media. If you aren’t being social, get off. If it doesn’t feel good, get off.

This is probably one of the hardest things to give ourselves permission to do. To give ourselves permission to stay in joy, to stay in the light! To not only NOT engage in what makes us feel bad, but not even give it any energy.

When I first started being mindful and paying attention to how I felt on Social Media, I was not happy. I felt insecure, uneasy about friendships, upset about not being included, wanting to hide in real life, and pressure to like/respond in a way that didn’t completely align with my truths. I also felt my happiness or worth was somehow connected to how many likes or comments I received.

These brought up old feelings of high school. Anybody else feel this? Or feel things similarly to their old story? The truth is…How could I like social media, when I didn’t even love being social all the time!

I took a much needed and very conscious Pause! I took off my social media glasses and just focused on myself. Because when my relationship with myself is solid, I breathe new life into everything else. Even Social Media!

It may sound odd to say it’s a relationship, but anything else would be inaccurate. Like any other relationship, it could be amazing, diminishing, abusive, codependent, flat, numb, joyful, you name it. Once we are aware..we can choose to shift into what feels best. Because when we know better…we do better. 


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