Overcome the Social Media Disonnect). Of course there is another side to the coin.... social
media can be brilliant! Who doesn't love the opportunity to boast about a big accomplishment,
celebrate a special moment, or get in touch with a long lost friend?
These are some obvious ways that social media benefits our lives. We can share pictures with
distant relatives and friends, ask for advice from lots of people at once, and get some extra smiles
from watching cute parakeets play the piano (extra smiles are a great thing, no matter what has
What was the last post you saw from a friend on Facebook that made you laugh, cry, or feel
something amazing? Don't just keep reading... think about it.... what post have you read recently
that inspired you?
And now think again.... what if, right there in the palm of your hand, you have the tools to create a
happier you? What if you have the power to make the world a better place at the same time?
Woah, you say, that's a big claim... what are you on about?
But this is not so far fetched. You Could Change The World. In little tiny ways that add up to really
big things. Or in really big ways too. But the key to this runs a bit opposite to how social media
normally stacks up..... you have to stop looking at it from your own personal space – documenting
what you do and who are you with and where you go. Instead, start thinking about it as a radio
broadcast to the world.
received by many people at once. Your 'voice' on social media has the power to inform, entertain,
advise, and care – it's up to you to be the editor and give the world something that will uplift and
cheer rather than depress and discourage.
How do you change the world? By adding one small piece of GOOD at a time. Social media has
that power. I'm sure you can think of a friend or two whose posts you are always glad to see. You
can probably also think of another person who seems to do nothing but complain! Which would
you rather tune into? Which makes your life better for hearing it?
LOTS of people might read what you write – your reputation will be formed on these things. If they
heard your messages on the radio, would they switch channels? Would they tune in again
tomorrow? People hear bad news and negative stuff every day, so make your social media feed
them much juicier content that is positive and enriches their experiences. Make them want to tune
in to what you have to say.
So imagine yourself in the radio studio behind the microphone – you have a message to give to the
world.... be an Agent for Happiness through what you broadcast and you are sure to find yourself
How do we do this? Here are 9 great ways to create more Happiness using social media:
1. Remember who you are. What is your essence? Being genuine is really important. Share what's really going on with you and be prepared to be vulnerable. There's a big difference between complaining about life ('My boss is so unreasonable! I am starting to hate working there') and being vulnerable in a constructive way ('I'm struggling with my work and some unrealistic expectations on me ... I'm sure you all have had some similar experiences... do you have have some tips on how to handle it?')
2. Be an attentive editor. While keeping that authenticity, filter your posts and choose your words carefully – build people up, don't tear them down. And if your audience isn't interested in your content, change it. Experiment, see what will get their attention.
3. Share things that make people smile and bring them joy. If it's bad news or heaping dirt on someone, don't post it – nobody looks good when you do that, and it creates no true happiness.
4. Reach out for help and advice. You are not an endless supply of all that is wonderful, and human beings need to lean on each other – being part of cheering you up or doing you a favour might be someone else's best moment of the day. And remember to be there for others in the same way – being there for someone else is a brilliant way to create a bit of personal happiness. I know a woman who is overwhelmed with her own three kids (twins are just 2) and yet she is first to volunteer anytime someone needs help with childcare – she creates happiness for several people at once! (This also shows it is important to consider who to accept help from and to filter the advice you receive.)
worry about something, be the voice of encouragement to them – 'You got this!'
6. Don't engage with a ranting radio station. If someone else is out to pick a fight or create
division, let them do it well away from your precious page. By all means discuss things, but
if it gets heated switch off before you are tempted to rant too!
7. Introduce a topic that is all about helping others. It might be your link to a charity and
their great work, or the fundraising you are doing for them. Or raise some awareness of
someone else's issue so that other's will understand better next time they encounter it.
8. Do some therapy: because social media connects groups of people who have similar
interests, it can be a great springboard for personal growth – join a group of people who
have similar struggles and be part of their support as they will be for you. (And the world is
definitely a better place with a better version of you in it!) We even found someone who
used social media to successfully self-treat her depression by reflecting back to her all the
positive things in her life. See her article here.
9. Share causes you believe in or start a movement. Some of the most brilliant hash-tags
have been started at grass roots and caught on to incite the public imagination. A concert
pianist named James Rhodes founded a movement called #Dontstopthemusic to drive the
campaign to make music education for children a right, not a privilege. Big things start with
one person and a clear idea. What are you itching to promote or do to make the world
Next article: Why Crying is good for you
Researched and written by: Heidi Hollis