How to Recalibrate Our Relationship with Social Media

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I am curious. Always questioning and searching for how to make my life and the world better. A few years ago, my brother/journey partner and I were having a ketchup (the spelling is just for him to make him smile) session. We were talking about our days that day. Explaining my rough day with bullies ultimately turned into a conversation about high school and what if there was social media then. Both of us agreeing that having it would have made our teenage years much more complicated. For me, the people making me feel awful and doubt everything I know about myself (now) would have had 24/7 access because I knew nothing about creating and enforcing boundaries for myself back then.

The two of us revisit this topic as needed. I think of it as recalibration. Knowing social media is here to stay, what does doing it well look like? How to not get addicted and forget there is a world to explore, make better, contribute to and engage with. The constant negativity and bickering I see on social media bother me on multiple levels: as a citizen, a woman, a physically challenged person, and yes, a political scientist.

People are freer to be ugly online in a way they are not in real life. Accountability for the words we say is less behind a screen because it is much more anonymous. Yet, the hurt is not any less real. That is why I am so mindful of everything I post. I never want anyone to feel what I have the last couple of weeks in terms of the cruelty of people I know in real life.

What does the process of recalibration look like for me? I make it a point never to engage on my personal social media with the people who tormented me as a teenager consistently and without an apology as adults. Unfriending and/or blocking people who do not respect me or my boundaries is a priority as well. Another term for it, self-care.

Unexpectedly I prefer the blog’s public social media accounts rather than my one personal account these days. Thank you to all who read this for embracing this blog and me so wholeheartedly. You all stoke the fire of my dreams. Impossible seems possible again. Those dreams I gave up on are possible again. Even if though, admittedly, they look nothing like I thought they would once upon a time. God works in mysterious ways and likes to show off when I give up control. This is something I must do over and over. Stubbornness is in my DNA from both sides of my family tree.

Being comfortable in my own skin more these days thanks to all of you, gives me courage to do what is best for myself and my half of the crazy/beautiful journey. I hope reading this post gives you courage to recalibrate your own social media experience if you feel the need. It will likely always be ongoing for me, so please do not feel as if it must be once and done. Having a positive, healthy, relationship with social media is part of our overall health and wellness as well in my opinion. Here is to all of us cultivating meaningful connections online and off.

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