Social Media Posting Meditation
Is posting on social media egotistical, narcissistic or vain? It depends on our intention.
If our intention is to validate ourselves, gain approval or compete, it’s coming from an egotistical, narcissistic place… this is comparing.
But if our intention is to capture and convey a feeling, an emotion, an experience or story to others with the hope that it will connect, uplift, educate or contribute... this is sharing.
Social media doesn’t have to be an ego trap, it can be a process of meditation if we utilize it as a way to become more present and to dissolve the ego. I’ve found that when I’ve been able to move through the egotistical fear based feelings and thoughts that come up around sharing on social media, this has been a process of me actually letting go of and experiencing freedom from my ego, rather than strengthening it.
Sharing on social media can be a process of strengthening presence and love rather than validating the ego.
When we feel wonder, awe, love, joy, we want to share it with others. It’s not the aesthetics of a photo we want to share with each other, it’s the feeling we get when we look at it.
Our lives are built on chasing positive feelings and avoiding negative feelings. But negative feelings can be just as powerful as positive ones. They can be pointers toward more “positive” feelings if we observe them with a loving mind instead of a fearful mind. This mindfulness is a form of meditation.
Comparing comes from insecurity and a view of separation. But that’s not to say that it’s bad. Feelings like jealousy can be helpful pointers to assist us in becoming more present and aware, it’s just an indication of a need for a shift in perspective. When we perceive negative emotion as a call to action, it can be a positive catalyst for change.
There’s nothing “wrong” with egotistical sharing, it can be helpful in observing and understanding ourselves and the way we perceive the world and others. We are all human and we all have an ego, there should be no shame about that. When we judge others for what they share, we are also being an Egotistical Eddie. Again, we can’t let Shaming Shane take over. It’s just how the ego mind operates.
When I share my truth from my heart, I feel a sense of connection and a multiplying of the love I feel rippling out to everyone who comes into contact with my posts. This feel good feeling not only lasts in me, but it extends out to others. It affirms our sense of connection and oneness rather than our separation.
I didn’t start out sharing on Facebook thinking “I want to build a following”, I shared with the intention of simply sharing, and my relationship with posting has changed over the years.
I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of the egotistical share, I’ve posted photos trying to try to fill a void, to prove to some douche bad guy that I was pretty, talented, worthy enough… did I feel better afterwards? Honestly, if I got a lot of likes, yes! But it was a false sense of “feel good”, it wasn’t the real deal, underneath it just perpetuated my feelings of unworthiness and turned me into even more of an insecure Irene (no offense to people called Irene ;-)
Thankfully this was just a phase, and although I sometimes fall into the social media fear trap, I’m conscious to ensure my posts more often come from love and a desire to share, rather than compare.
When I shared about my panic attacks I didn’t think “This is going to be a Facebook Best Seller”, a friend had said that they didn’t think “someone like me” would have panic attacks - and that shocked and moved me. That’s when I knew I had to share my experience no matter how scared I was of judgment or ridicule, I knew it could help people, and that was more important than my egoic fears.
Social media can be used for:
A great opportunity to practice being mindful of tolerating different opinions to our own.
Sharing art, practicing working our creative muscle
Letting go of our eg
Sharing stories and remembering we’re not alone
Learning about other cultures
Inspiration for travel destinations, art, activities
Motivation to take action to improve our lives
Day to day communication,
Staying in touch with friends from around the world
We can set our notifications so that you only see posts and content that we're interested in. Great! It's not like TV where we're forced to see ads that don't apply to us.
I personally don't think it's a bad thing that social media shows me ads I want to see... I like it! I don't really like internet shopping, it saves me time! It's like a good friend who knows me well and suggests movies and activities I like. We can only be manipulated if we're not aware of it and we allow it to happen.
So when you post, take a moment to ask yourself “where’s this coming from?”. Am I trying to prove something, am I trying to make someone else wrong, am I trying to puff up my ego, and if you are trying to do any of those things, just be aware of it without judging yourself. Ask where this is coming from. If we’re trying to gain approval from someone, it might be a call to action to do some self love work or see a therapist. If we’re trying to fill a void, maybe we need to take action to pursue a hobby and meet new people. And you can still post it if you feel like it and just notice how you feel afterwards.
We can use posting on social media as a zen mindfulness practice. We can utilize social media as a platform to share, rather than compare. And if we find ourselves comparing, we just need to give Insecure Irene, Egotistical Eddie and Shaming Shane some love rather than putting them in the naughty corner. Let them do their job of pointing out a call to action, and then let Loving Letisha take over because that lady knows what she’s doing ;-)
NOTE: Narcissistic behavior is different to someone who is considered a “Narcissist”. We are all capable of narcissistic behavior, but a narcissist is someone who identifies with their narcissistic behavior and practicing this over many years (often a lifetime) it becomes their perceived “personality”.