The Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram path to happiness!
More and more each day we hear about the negative effect social media is having on our relationships and especially on the lives of young people. Some criticisms are that it provides a false sense of connection, is a new medium for bullying to occur and decreases productivity. I unfortunately must agree with these concerns.
But, I also want to recommend social media to you as, believe it or not, a potential contributor to increased happiness! You may be thinking “How can that be?” well let’s look at the facts together.
A recent study conducted with a population of more than 4000 people, found that happiness can spread from person to person in a social network like Facebook or Twitter. The research went on to prove that each of your happy friends can increase your happiness by up to 9%. This spread of happiness among friends is similar to what happens sometimes when we are having a down day and we go to school or work and after spending some time around friends who are talking and laughing, suddenly we are laughing too!
Dos and Don'ts when using Social Media
These are some ways to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to cultivate happiness:
- Use social media as a tool to help you achieve your future goals. Facebook and other social networks are tools that can be used to practice happiness, for example. You could post a picture of something that you are thankful for on Twitter or Instagram. Posting words of love and appreciation for others' positive contribution to your life on their Facebook wall can make a huge impact on your friendships. How about using Tumblr to collect photos and quotes that inspire or motivate you, then share them with friends? I have been extremely motivated by witnessing the success and achievements of my friends and peers who shared on social networks.
- Use social networks to nurture your genuine social relationships. Facebook is perfect for finding friends from your past. Nothing beats the excitement of finally, then, arranging to meet them again in person! Twitter is ideal for sending a funny cartoon to your best friend or spouse, then laughing about it when you see each other later. Use Instagram to send your daughter a photo of her beloved puppy, so that even though she is far away at college she knows you are missing her and thinking about her. I have been able to reconnect with childhood friends and family members overseas and share my life with them in a way that would have been impossible without it.
- Use social networks to fulfill your dreams! Social media is becoming a more and more viable way of promoting your business, your skills, gifts and talents and fulfilling a dream that you may not have had the time, resources or opportunity to pursue otherwise.
- Would you like to become a positive influence on the world? The thing about social media is that its global reach makes it possible for us to create happiness not only for ourselves and our communities, but also eventually the world! We can put the spotlight on important social and emotional issues, inviting views from others that can educate and stimulate the readers to positive action.
Now what do you think? I propose that with a bit of wisdom, balance and innovation I daresay, social media can not only be a valuable tool, it can be a ‘happy tool’ too!
Do you think that Social Media has improved the quality of your life?
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© karen mcgibbon