Social Media as a Mindfulness Practice
I know a lot of HSPs that need to take frequent breaks from social media due to feelings of overwhelm and overstimulation. While I definitely encourage this if needed, I feel it's an invitation to explore deeper - as far as our relationship to social media itself.
Taking breaks could be seen as more of a self-soothing technique - more of a band-aid solution. Similar to when people temporarily delete social media apps from their phone.
They may feel better. But why? What is it about how we engage with social media that makes us need to take breaks in the first place?
For HSPs, I feel it relates to our capacity to take in a lot of information. We are deep thinkers. We are deep feelers. We are able to pick up on subtleties that others often miss.
Personally, I'm a fan of social media. It allows me to connect with people from all over the world that I might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. I get to learn about new things - and broaden my perspectives. It allows me to get outside my personal bubble and even exercise my empathy.
Where HSPs often get into trouble is that we JUDGE what we see on our feeds. We mistake our deep capacity for DISCERNMENT - for the need to judge.
Of course, this is not unexpected. Social media is designed for us to judge what we see - to "engage" us. Do I LIKE this piece of content? Or do I LOVE it? Maybe it makes me SAD or ANGRY instead? Do I AGREE or DISAGREE with it? What's the creator's motivation for posting this? What does this piece of content say about me?
When we engage social media as a place to practice JUDGMENT - of course we're going to experience things like decision fatigue and overwhelm. It can feel like we're consuming a lot of empty calories but not getting a lot of nourishment.
Rather, you can try engaging social media as a mindfulness practice. Try viewing pieces of content in your feeds like thoughts in your mind. They come and go - just like clouds in the infinite sky. We are not our thinking minds.
From this space, I can appreciate all content - especially if it comes from a place of authentic expression. It is the expression itself that I appreciate - and the human being that created the expression.
The more we judge something, the more we attach ourselves to it. It is why we see such polarity and separation on social media.
But I believe we can mindfully use social media as a tool - just like how we can train our minds to be of service to us, rather than be a slave to them.
If you have an antagonistic relationship to social media - taking breaks and deleting apps doesn't address the root cause.
Practice greater self-care. Explore within. Be intentional. Judge less. Connection over separation.