Social media is a powerful tool. Are you aware of how you’re using it?
BY ROBERT IRVINE
There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not posting something to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I love interacting with fans and there’s never been a better time in history for ease of communication between public figures and the general public. Rest in peace, fan mail.
Social media is also a wonderful tool to keep old classmates and friends connected. Casual acquaintances and old colleagues usually fade from memory with time, but now that almost never happens. You probably know someone you worked with for one month five years ago who is on your timeline liking pictures and commenting on everything you post. Depending on how you look at that, it’s either a miracle or a curse. Either way, technologies that didn’t exist just a few short years ago have fundamentally changed the nature of human interaction in the world today.
William Gibson, the science fiction author who coined the term “cyberspace” said that no technology is inherently good or evil. It’s how we apply it that matters. The same applies to social media. Sharing pictures of good times, promoting your work, and generally staying in touch with friends and family are all obvious pluses. If, however, you’re someone who uses social media to “vent” about problems in your life, post cryptic messages that beg for sympathy or attention, publicly complain to companies about customer service, or generally bash things that you don’t like—be it a recent episode of Supergirl or the President’s latest speech—I hope you’ll take a moment to pause and realize that your words and thoughts are indeed powerful, and to be careful about what you’re bringing to the table and choosing to share with the world.
I am by no means saying that social media can’t be used as a platform to critique; the ability to galvanize and mobilize millions around a social protest or other cause for the common good is extraordinarily wonderful. One fine example: in the wake of recent natural disasters we see that a simple hashtag has the power to create global awareness and set fundraising efforts to light speed. I’m just saying to choose your words carefully; complaining without offering a constructive solution doesn’t do much. Also remember that advocating for what you believe is right doesn’t ever have to involve using insulting language. If you can’t argue your point without belittling your opponent, then maybe your argument isn’t worth making.
The rapid advance of technology makes our world smaller every day and connects us in ways that were once unimaginable. Let’s respect that ability and decide to always choose our words carefully. Don’t ever forget that whoever you’re talking to, there’s a real person on the other end. Like technology, our world can only be as good as what we choose to bring to the table.
On the cover of the latest issue of Robert Irvine Magazine, we feature the one and only Deepak Chopra, who shares this viewpoint. In our wide-ranging interview (click HERE to read it) Deepak offers his thoughts on a whole host of topics. With regard to technology, Deepak says that we can’t stop its advance. We can only commit to using it for good.
In that spirit, I ask you to stay mindful of how you use technology and social media. Choose to spread a little love today. I think you’ll be amazed at what happens. Remember: whatever you put out into the world always has a way of coming back to you.
Yours in health,
Originally published in Robert Irvine Magazine.