Editorial: Decide to use social media in a more positive way | Editorials

We never know what the New Year has in store for us, but as it begins, many of us seem determined to make positive changes in our lives. We make resolutions.

Sadly, most of us will fail, mainly because we are either not sincere about our desires for change or we are simply biting too much and not getting the support we need.

Such resolutions “can actually create feelings of anxiety and a decrease in self-esteem, and this focus on negative feelings rarely provides long-term motivation,” says the American Counseling Association.

The Healthy, a personal health website, says the most popular resolutions focus on getting in shape, losing weight, quitting smoking or alcohol, living a better life, spending less and higher savings, spending more time with family and friends, getting organized, learning something new, traveling more and breaking addiction to smartphones.

Some of them seem manageable; others need help. Quitting an addiction, for example tobacco, is not something that many can do on their own. Better to choose things that don’t require so much effort, and we have a suggestion that is not difficult and can help change the world.

It has been another tough year in America with COVID, inflation, and failed political leadership topping the list. More of us are turning to social media for advice, new friends, and entertainment, but in the process we’ve lost our manners and worse. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with family and common interests, but far too often it is a toxic and harmful environment, especially for children.

The country’s political situation fuels much of what has become hateful and profane speech, which draws us into a world where we shouldn’t want to live, where we behave like we never would face to face. Some have found themselves trapped in this abusive but addicting environment, and the more they surrender to it, the more they hurt themselves and those with whom they associate.

There are those who spend most of their day in this dark place, every day, because they have been swallowed up there. There may be no hope for them. Many others have not reached this point and do not want to. If you’re one of those people who resists the urge to let the darkness sweep you away, now is the time to turn your back and run away. Don’t even look over your shoulder.

Decide to tell your social media friends that in this New Year you will be approaching the platform in a positive way and not going through any drama or negativity. You’ll ignore posts, comments, and messages that demean you, that demean others, that are gloomy, that pity yourself, and beg for attention. Tell them you don’t want to engage in political discourse. And tell them that a pattern of such posts will force you to stop following them so that you don’t see negative posts.

Ask your friends to support you and help make platforms a better place for everyone. You must resolve to keep your own posts free of the type of negativity that you don’t want to be exposed to.

Write your messages as if your friends are sitting next to you at the kitchen table sharing a cup of coffee.

You will only be better, just like your friends.

About Deborah Wilson

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