The Bright Side of Social Media

So many of us now get our news from social media, and so much of that news is negative and fear-inducing. How can we stay present to the beauty of the world in the face of this onslaught? Is the answer to avoid social media altogether?

Many have noted that the goal of news media organizations (including those whose content is shared by your friends) is to scare the $*@! out of you. The simple recognition that what you see was chosen out of all the news in the world as the absolute worst thing that happened recently can do wonders for reframing the way you feel about it all.

Furthermore, I believe that social media contains its own antidote. There, between the pieces of deliberately fear-inducing bad news, are moments from the lives of your friends. These are the things that are actually happening, right now, to those you know and care about. If you read your social media feeds and concentrate on this news, what you'll find looks very different than what the news media wants you to see. In my network, people do have bad things happen to them from time to time, but the overwhelming majority of my friends' posts about their lives are positive. People celebrate their partners and children, post beautiful images of nature, spend time with friends. Love and beauty are overwhelmingly the themes.

This is how I stay as grounded and present as possible without completely eliminating social media. Love and beauty make up most people's lives, most of the time. Soak your heart in that, and suddenly the world looks a lot brighter.