For the last two years, I have provided a daily wisdom quote through a Twitter account called Tiny Buddha. Since the follower count has grown by leaps and bounds, people have suggested I tweet more often throughout the day. I’ve realized, however, that the greatest lesson we can all learn is that less is enough. In a time when connections can seem like commodities and online interactions can become casually inauthentic, mindfulness is not just a matter of fostering increased awareness. It’s about relating meaningfully to other people and ourselves. With this goal in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for using social media mindfully. 

 

Image: James Clar Little. Yellow. Different., (2010) 100 cm x 100 cm Acrylic, Switches, Indicators Edition of 3 + 1 AP
Image: James Clar Little. Yellow. Different., (2010) 100 cm x 100 cm Acrylic, Switches, Indicators Edition of 3 + 1 AP

1. Know your intentions.
Doug Firebaugh of SocialMediaBlogster.com has identified seven psychological needs we may be looking to meet when we log on: acknowledgment, attention, approval, appreciation, acclaim, assurance, and inclusion. Before you post, ask yourself: Am I looking to be seen or validated? Is there something more constructive I could do to meet that need?

2. Be your authentic self.
In the age of personal branding, most of us have a persona we’d like to develop or maintain. Ego-driven tweets focus on an agenda; authenticity communicates from the heart. Talk about the things that really matter to you. If you need advice or support, ask for it. It’s easier to be present when you’re being true to yourself.

3. If you propose to tweet, always ask yourself: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Sometimes we post thoughts without considering how they might impact our entire audience. It’s easy to forget how many friends are reading. Two hundred people make a crowd in person, but online that number can seem insignificant. Before you share, ask yourself: is there anyone this might harm?

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