Tag Archives: Facebook

How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions were… unsuccessful.

A year ago, I wrote about my ‘resolution’ for 2015: to use social media more mindfully. Less, yes, but specifically more deliberately – not in the absent-minded, scattered, trying-to-fill-a-hole-in-time kind of way. Refreshing Facebook in the hope that some interesting article will appear, to occupy my brain momentarily and make me feel like I’ve spent that time in a worthwhile manner.

For the first part of the year, I did alright. I had rules for myself around when I could check in with social media during the day. It was kind of liberating, and useful when I started studying again and needed to focus. Then it started to sneak back in dribs and drabs, until suddenly I’m grazing on social media while lying in bed again. The blurring of lines also came about, I think, due to the connections and friendships I developed with people online – some of whom I have subsequently met in ‘real life’, and some I haven’t. Although I’d like to break the social media addiction, I’m not willing to give up those positive relationships. Continue reading

Seeking simplicity in 2015 (and hopefully beyond!)

As I’ve been talking to and hearing about others’ New Years Resolutions, intentions, plans and visions for 2015, I’ve noticed a common thread: simplicity. It seems to me that this year in particular, people are seeking simpler lives. They want to focus on human relationships, on being in the moment, on gratitude and appreciation. Many have labelled mindfulness as the latest trend, and questioned the push by corporations to use it as a way of increasing productivity. I say: What a WONDERFUL trend! Because while we all know people who roll their eyes when they hear someone has adopted mindfulness, meditation, yoga or healthy eating – are these not some of the most giving trends we’ve had in years?

I am the worst offender for allowing busy-ness to take over my life and my perspective. In my last post I shared a link to an article about the disease of being busy, which questions why we forgot that we are human beings, not human doings. At a time when I was contemplating how the hell I was going to get through 2015, it served well as a slap in the face for me. I’m the first to admit that my life is over-scheduled. I’m the Mum who can only catch up for the odd play-date once a week or fortnight, and the friend who can meet for lunch – in three weeks time. Unfortunately, this is largely unavoidable – with a shift-working husband, I juggle some of my work hours flexibly when he can be home to look after the kids, and I also try to ensure we have regular family-only time, which can often fall during odd times of the week. Like other families, we also try to find a balance between ‘free’ time and regular activities, such as swimming lessons. Continue reading

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