I watch social media like a hawk. I have to. That's where my clients are. But in the midst of trying to find the next great legal story or tidbit or word of advice that will lead a potential client to my door (or website), I have to go through a lot of posts. A LOT! I have tools in place to help filter posts, of course. Things like Tweetdeck and Buzzsumo help me categorize things and find out what's trending.
But even on my personal facebook page, I am sometimes overwhelmed. And, surprisingly, what overwhelms me the most is the negativity of people. From election coverage 24-7, to someone complaining about their boss, to another friend of a friend complaining about the weather.
Negativity is bad for you. It's bad for your soul, your state of mind, your health. It manifests in a myriad of different ways. It's plain unhealthy. Don't believe me? Scientists are STUDYING IT! Go to Google Scholar and type in "negativity in social media" and you get over 62,000 hits in less than 1 second. And Reader's Digest published 5 things it does TO you, including: 1) spending more money, 2) eating more, 3) losing independent thought, 4)reducing your self-confidence, and 5) hurting your real life conversations.
What can you do about it? The world these days is filled with tips on what not to do. So how about something that you CAN do to fight off the bad feels? It turns out that positive thinking leads to positive feelings according to at least one blogger at Psych Central: http://psychcentral.com/lib/coping-with-a-negative-mood-2/. I tend to agree.
I try to find at least one good story to read, especially on social media, each day. Things that are uplifting. Things that real people post--not machines, or marketing firms, or even legal posts. Just plain people. Posts that are about one person doing good for another person for no reason, or at least for a totally unselfish reason.
Things like this story about a single dad, raising three kids of his own, who leaves a tip for a waitress who reminds him of his mom if only to help her raise her own kids: http://www.littlethings.com/dad-divorce-chinese-restaurant/.
Even better, how about this story about a pregnant dog getting her glamour shots done? And EVEN BETTER a suggestion that people spay and neuter and ADOPT DON'T SHOP as part of the story!?http://www.boredpanda.com/dog-maternity-photo-shoot-lilica-ana-paula-grillo/. I find that pretty pictures and visual aids help to boost my mood more than anything. Instagram is good for more than just marketing right?! (coincidentally, find me on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/justie4justice/ for pet pictures, artwork, and funny captions).
These positive-vibe moments are the types of stories we all see online, but rarely click on, and even more rarely read entirely from top to bottom.
What inspires you?
I'll update the comments myself with POSITIVE stories I find online from time to time.