Social media often gets a bad press. So we decided to talk to Alexis Bushnell from Social Media for Humans on how we can use it for good; how we can use it to spread kindness and spark connections far and wide. So, without further ado, I'll hand you over to Alexis who can tell you more ...
Imagine if you had access to something that could spread kindness and challenge the status quo in a non-preachy, non-judgmental way. Something that could change hearts and minds simply by how you use it.
The great news is that that thing exists; social media! So how can it do these awesome, seemingly magical things when it’s so often seen as a net negative for society?
Let me illuminate you.
Don’t like it? Don’t comment.
One of the simplest, though not easiest, ways to use social media for good is by not engaging with negative posts. Engaging (liking, commenting, sharing, even angry reacting) with a post tells the algorithm that you want to see more of that thing and also ensures that even more people see it.
Much like a fire, the best way to fight the darker side of social media is to starve it of oxygen, only in this case oxygen is your attention. Use the report, block and mute buttons liberally and scroll on past the rest.
Post for you.
Much of the judgemental and unkind posts tend to come from us trying to impress or get validation from others. That’s only human but when we choose to post the things that matter to us and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and authentic, magical things can happen.
Start to simply question what you’re hoping to get from each post; if it’s lots of likes, comments or perhaps to show how knowledgeable you are on something, consider skipping that post and sharing something simply because it’s a proud moment or it makes you smile instead.
Focus on the positives.
On a similar note, making an effort to share your happy moments and small positives alongside the rants and news can really tip the balance of people’s feeds and the platforms as a whole. This goes for focusing on good news articles too!
I’ve been loving the trend of people sharing 3 things they’re grateful for or “3 good things” on their social media each day and others sharing a monthly list of positives. Being able to celebrate with them on their posts and to enjoy their happiness has certainly made my social media experience a much more positive one.
Ditch the filters.
With filters becoming the new normal, choosing to post unfiltered photos, especially selfies, is a powerful way to counter the unrealistic images all of us are seeing regularly.
While it might be very scary to step out from behind the forgiving monochrome filter, the impact it has is huge, especially on children and teenagers. Aging, bad hair days and bigger bodies are normal and we all need to see the wide variety of humans in all their unfiltered beauty.
Consider context with compassion.
We all have vastly different life experiences which inform our worldviews. We also all have bad days, make mistakes and change our minds.
It’s so easy to judge someone on their one comment, to forget that they’re a whole person and we are seeing just one thought in one moment. Equally important is to remember that nobody is defined by their past posts; their current actions matter more.
Choosing to comment from compassion or not at all goes a long way to making social media a more positive place for everyone.
Create the social media culture you want to see.
When it comes down to it, it’s really about being the change you want to. It’s not always easy but every one of us has so much power to impact a large circle around us; let’s use that domino effect to make a kinder, more positive social media.
Alexis is a social media guide and founder of Social Media for Humans, a movement changing the way social media works from the inside. She busts myths and provides an honest, jargon-free explanation of algorithms and strategy to help business owners and individuals use social media effectively, ethically and in a way that’s sustainable for both the human running the business and the planet.
Outside of trying to ruin Zuck’s master plan, she enjoys walking, dog agility with TiLi, her Bichon Frise, and playing chess.