Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat etc etc. Being a part of todays modern world means having 24/7 access to these websites and platforms. We see smiling faces, delicious food, read interesting stories but more often than not we read, look and as a result have opinions.
‘I wouldn’t do it that way’
‘No way would I try that’
‘That’s too much effort…’
‘That’s not enough effort!’
Some take their opinions to the extreme (trolls), some don’t go so far but instead make snarky comments. Others keep their opinions to themselves (thank you!) but it doesn’t stop us from feeling the way we feel. I’m not perfect. I don’t read blogs and look at pictures on Instagram and believe everyone is doing or saying the right thing. I disagree all the time and, like everyone, I let certain things really get to me. But I always reflect back – why do I feel this way? Then I give myself some compassion and the author and poster of said blog/ picture some kindness.
Let’s dive into that a bit more for this weeks 5 top tips on a Tuesday – self-compassion and giving kindness online.
Reflecting back on why something makes you feel a certain way is important. We do it all the time in our day to day life but we somehow forget to do it when it comes to our online life. This person was not writing or posting directly to you, why have you taken it so personally? Does it expose some insecurities you have about yourself? Get to the bottom of why you feel this way.
We are human. We are going to compare our lives and have different opinions. We are going to feel jealous, frustrated and hurt by what some people post. Some are pushing the boundaries trying to hit your buttons and you are falling right for the trap. But in these moments show yourself some compassion. So you see someone with the ‘ideal body’, who does 4 hours of cardio per day. You have reflected back and realised that this picture makes you feel insecure about your own body but also makes you angry at the message he/she is promoting. Be compassionate. You are human. This will happen. It’s what you do next that counts.
Let’s carry on with the example above. You are feeling insecure and angry about that photo. You can do one of 3 things. 1) Leave an angry comment about how you disagree with their message 2) Walk away and stew for the next few hours letting it affect you. Or 3) Show them kindness.
Many people out there don’t realise what they have done would annoy you. Many folks are out there doing their best with what they know. You may be seeing their highlight reel but not knowing the struggle that goes on behind that post. They may be too afraid to show the truth or their fear. Kindness is acknowledging their right to post. Kindness is being friendly because it makes you feel good, not because you have to, but because you want to.
To follow or unfollow?
I follow people I disagree with on a regular basis. Why? Because I acknowledge their right to think differently from me. I like the questions they allow to bring up in my mind. I like that they help me define how I really feel about different issues. However, I have also followed people who have made me feel unhappy. I understand I am allowed to feel this way but the best kindness I can show this person is to unfollow them. You are in control of what you see on a regular basis. If someone does not gel with you or makes you feel unhappy then unfollow. It’s as simple as a click of a button.
Let it go
Our online lives are only going to become more prominent. We are going to be exposed more and more to things we don’t like/ disagree with. There were always people out there who thought differently to you, you just didn’t see them pop up on your Facebook feed every morning. Follow the steps above and even after you have unfollowed them, you must let it go. We all need to start either being at peace being surrounded by differing opinions or backing away from life online. Don’t let one picture or post ruin your day. Instead focus on the ones that have made your day. Keep your life online a happy one.
Do follow people online that you disagree with?
How do you react when you read something you don’t like?
How often do you unfollow people?