Reflections: Mindfulness in the age of social media
(rainy, cold and very quiet long walk along the longest coast of the North Sea in St Peter Ording, Germany – excellent for self reflection and practising, endurance and mindfulness!)
Mindfulness has been a buzz word in the last year or so – but what does it really mean to be mindful? I started this journey of meditation inspired by Prof Mark William’s book that comes with a CD of meditations. Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world, I highly recommend it.
I’ve always found #socialmedia on a personal level to be a double edged sword. It connects people in very positive ways, inspires (self help made readily available) but at the same time the amount of hate and envy generated by those narcissistic staged photos of their ‘wonderful’ lives that people brag about – rather than living the moment like we would in the old days – it’s an insecurity rampage, really no one cares about how amazing your other half is buying expensive gifts for you or if you’re always checking into the airport first class lounge – ironically my friends flying first class never once share on social.
This image took the internet by storm because these days, everyone hides behind an illuminated screen to “capture the moment” and few actually LIVE the moment in this day and age. I’ve had the privilege growing up as a 1980s generation kid – so we knew life before and after the internet. And I actually miss the old days of real connection, while I can’t let go of the luxury and privilege of connectivity.
We’re losing ourselves obsessed with an image to upkeep. I haven’t quite reconciled my dilemma being a social media advocate and consultant while trying to live mindfully enjoying everything in real time, not enslaved behind illuminated screens to capture it all to share – with the hope to inspire – and build those castles of my wonderful middle class life – and of course purely with the business objective to increase engagement and get more fans. No one likes reading about negativity. Well, haters will always hate and it’s the users prerogative to brag all they want. The internet is a free world, at the expense of your privacy. So, please excuse me if and when my posts border on being overtly self indulgent. ;)
So, this weighs on my mind daily – being a social media advocate and teaching people how to leverage it best for business, but the insecurity rampage and incessant bragging goes against my practice of mindfulness and living the moment – like the good old days. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset, instead of hiding behind an illuminated screen capturing the best shot for instagram – grow more fans, increase engagement, measure your personal worth in numbers etc. The other thing that often bothers me is cyber bullying and how prevalent it is these days where illuminated screens allows us to become passive aggressive and selfish – where grammatically challenged keyboard warriors hide behind screens and say nasty things about other people and each other. It’s the world of selfies and narcissistic adventures, we forgot how to be mindful of hurting other’s feelings.
Hopefully, I’ll find a way to be still, be mindful while staying true to my social media/marketing business at full capacity without guilt and hypocrisy.