Do you remember the days when social media and cell phones did not yet exist? When you would fill your free time by staring out a window, playing a game of make-believe, calling a friend from a land line you shared with everyone in your house. The days when you would go outside and wander about, build a fort, climb a tree, or lay in the grass. Do you remember making mix tapes, or listening to your favorite radio station, hoping they played your favorite song so you could quickly record it? Or maybe you were like me, and you spent your free time trading stickers with your friends, while praying you’d end up getting one of those puffy stickers with googly eyes.
Fast forward to today, and it’s much different. When we have a down moment or need a break in today’s world, we reach for our phone. We scroll social platforms... text our besties... play games... watch videos... check e-mail... or focus on whatever else our phones can entertain us with. And oddly enough, we do this all in the name of “staying connected”.
Now…. I am not saying one way of living is better than the other, but I am saying they are different.
First difference is that I am comparing a child perspective from the 70’s and 80’s to an adult perspective in 2021. Second, clearly there have been major technological advances from then till now, that really do make staying connected easier… but there is a third big difference, that many don’t realize. It’s the massive energetic shift in mindset that has been fueled directly from our usage of social media.
If you are like most, you probably find yourself wishing you could disengage from social media more, but something always draws you back into the scrolling. This can be a frustrating cycle, which is why it’s important to understand what’s happening behind the behavior. I truly believe that it’s through better understanding, that we are able to more easily shift the way we live our lives.
Please know, I am not here to chastise any one way of living. I am simply here to illuminate what is happening behind the scenes, so those that seek fuller alignment with their lives will be empowered to do so.
At the start of my journey into Facebook land, I remember reading an article about the new platform. The article shared studies showing Facebook was more addictive than cigarettes, as it was accessible at all moments, and it provided a stronger, quicker, easier dopamine hit. For those unaware, dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel pleasure. That always stayed with me, and it continued to be this “little red flag of warning” every time I picked up my phone to scroll. Even still...
In those early days, I would tell myself I HAD to be online scrolling because that was where I housed my business page. I said I was “community building”, marketing, creating engaging ads, and driving traffic. It really was my good intention from the start, however, it also helped to justify my aimless scrolling through the minutia. I would scroll getting pulled this way and that, and before you knew it, an hour would go by… or two.
Can you relate? If you are on social media, I know you can!
At some point, we all signed up to access social media. Maybe your intention was to keep in touch with family and friends, or maybe you are like me and it was to market with your business. You made “friends” and rekindled lost connections. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.... taking in all the input. Articles, photos, ads, events, videos. It was like your finger was on the pulse of community.
While you were focused on this simple action, something else entirely was brewing in your subconscious mind; COMPARISON. As this energy took hold in the mind, your thoughts while scrolling started to sound like: “That business does it better”, “That couple has it better”, “That person is a moron”, “Oh, look! Randos from high school”, “I like that too”, “I should try that”, “I need to buy that”, “I wish I was like that”, “I wish I had that”, “puppies!”, “I wish my kids did that”, “I need to do that more”, and on, and on, and on, and on.
Comparison, my friends, is the first major shift in mindset through social media scrolling. Once it has taken root, suddenly every time you look around your life, you feel lack. You feel less than. Even if you are not on social media, you think about all the things you compared yourself to on social media. You feel not good enough.
When we feel less than, we often want to look or seem better.
When we want to look or seem better, we compete to do so. (even if we just compete with ourselves)
This is why once mindset is in comparison, it almost instantly shifts again into the energy of COMPETITION.
Competition to ‘be better’ or ‘win’, takes hold of our energy and fuels our posts, likes, and comments on all social platforms. Some become righteous… some become push overs. Either way, the mindset of “Competition” is based in shame of “Comparison”, and becomes a very needy and forceful energy.
I often refer to it as the, ‘Look at Me!’ energy of social media pages and posts. Its entire energetic essence stems from the person behind the page not feeling good enough, and their need for others validation that they are ‘better’. They get this validation through how many followers or friends they can collect, how many likes they can get on posts, and how many comments they receive telling them they are awesome.
When you encounter this energy, it will either make you feel not good enough too OR it will evoke heavy emotions within you like frustration, irritability, and even sadness.
Pause here a moment and look at your presence on social media. As you look at it through the eyes of a ‘fly on the wall’, ask yourself:
Are you friends with a ton of people that you would never actually stop and talk to if you saw them out and about in person? Are you connected to people out of guilt? Why do you think you share so much of your personal life with others that you really do not even know?
If you have a business page ask yourself, what metrics give you success and satisfaction? Is it how many followers or likes you can get? What drives your presence on-line? Is it following what someone else is doing, because they seem to do it well OR is it from your own soul and what you feel you do well?
This is a tough reflection, I know, as it brings forth awareness about your own behaviors and mindset. However, to break the cycles and to return to an optimal mindset of peace, confidence, and strength, you need to understand where you are comparing yourself… and where you are competing.
I’m a true believer that once you know something, it’s impossible to un-know it. And once you know it, it’s waaaaay harder to try and go back to the old way of doing things, then it is to empower yourself to create a new way forward.
Soul Shakers, when you choose to let go of (or greatly decrease the use of) things that do not serve your Soul’s intention, such as social media, you suddenly have a surplus of time and energy. It is up to you what you do with it, but might I suggest rekindling with a favorite activity of yours from pre-social media?
Maybe instead of making a mix tape, you could make a playlist… or you go could wander outside and take in the beauty of nature… or you could call a friend… or you could stare out the window… or you could even play a game of make-believe…. Or… maybe, just maybe, we could bring back sticker trading and I could trade you my puffy sticker with googly eyes.
The times are different… but the same.