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Oh, Social Media! You beautiful, wonderful, complex, and tortuous invention! I love you, I hate you, I can live without you but I don't want to... I can curate you as a source for good but every once in a while, I get caught up in my own need for validation through your "like" button. It's as if you are a mirror reflecting my shadow back to myself...

Let's be real: social media is and will always be a huge part of our lives. There is no escaping it, try as we might. We use social media to connect with friends, run our businesses and make money, be inspired and create. There is so much social media offers us and while this powerful tool was invented with the intention of doing good in this world, as with anything in this life, it also has its shadow aspects.

This is where our choices matter. How we show up to that container matters. How we interact, share, consume content: matters. It is our responsibility to create a healthy relationship with social media.

First, let's acknowledge that awareness is key. Noticing when we have the itch to check our accounts or are caught up in doom-scrolling is the beginning of creating a positive, balanced relationship.

Second, set boundaries. How often do we mindlessly scroll, switching from one app to another to fill a void of boredom, procrastination, need for validation? How often do we let our self-worth be dictated by the amount of views or likes we receive? We help ourselves by setting time AND mind limits.

Third, we become consistent. Much like we would raise a toddler, we have the ability to become judicious about the time we spend on these apps. We can notice then shift our thoughts during and after interacting with them. The latter part is probably the hardest to do but with a consistent mindfulness practice, it's possible. Anything is possible, if you really try.

Four: take breaks! It's possible to still live a full and social life without sharing about it online! Witness your impulses to check. The first few days may be challenging without that instant hit of dopamine but eventually, it gets easier. Replace that desired sensation with a walk or a short meditation. Now you are fully living your practice.

I am still learning how to navigate all of this and some weeks I feel in control of my relationship with social media, others not so much. What I'm learning is that the relationship I have with social media is simply a reflection of my relationship with myself. Social media's impact is mitigated if I'm in alignment with my truest self.

I hope this inspires you to take action around your own relationship to social media. When we take control over what is in control of us, we find ultimate freedom.



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