Friday Musings: Inclusive and Exclusion Social Media

We all use social media. Well, maybe not all of us, but the vast majority of us maintain and use at least a few social platforms. Likely, you came to this very article by clicking the link to it that we shared on one of our various networks.

I have a very conflicted relationship with social media. I acknowledge the opportunities it creates to connect with people and content that I might not find in other ways. Yet, I’m constantly perturbed by the invasive undermining it can have on my attention and self-worth.

Healthy social media use relies on understanding the two-faced personality of each platform. The ability to connect with friends old and new paired with ads and click-bait. The opportunity to see amazing photos coupled with the esteem trampling barrage of images of all the Insta-beautiful people. The ability to aggregate news from numerous sources while knowing the tendencies for each network to only display sources that fit our prior viewing activity.

There are many ways to alter your social media usage to curate a positive and nourishing message from your feed.

However, this Friday I’ll muse about how the way that we add content effects our wellbeing.

Inclusive or Exclusive?

There are two primary motivations in posting to social media: you either aim to include others or exclude them.

I’ll expand.

Exclusive posts can take many forms. We can post a photo of an amazing experience or exotic destination. If our aim is of the “look at me” variety, this is an exclusive post. You sought to distinguish yourself from the masses by displaying something that makes you special. When we post a biting remark about a political or social issue, we may aim for affirmation from our side of the aisle, but we also seek to alienate and admonish those on the other side.

This does not mean that travel photos or political comments are off-limits. Sharing an adventure you had with your friends and family can simply be a reflection and celebration of a special time. A critical political post can aim at discourse. Disagreement that leads to healthy discussion can be inclusive if the motivations of all involved is an attempt to learn and grow.

We can use social media as a soapbox to preach and denigrate and a platform to complain and criticize. All of these simply create an ever-increasing swirl of negativity.

Or, we can use social media as a tool to share, learn, and create more positivity in our life.

This distinction comes down to your motivations in creating a post or commenting on someone else’s. Ask yourself, am I aiming at inclusion or exclusion? Do I wish to add value to the world or am I posturing, pandering, or provoking?

Take honest account of your motivations with each post. Only add content that aims to bring more value into the world. Your ideas might not appeal to everyone, but only post in the positive spirit of sharing.

Seek to include with your posts and curate your feed for others that do the same. You social media experience can be as positive as you make it.