A filter for social media.
A filter for all forms of communication and action.
A filter for living life.
- Is it true?
- Is it positive?
- Is it useful?
Living by these three tenets makes for a less-stressful social media experience for sure, but lately I’ve been trying to apply them to my conversations, my writings, and to my day-to-day actions.
Have I got it all 100% figured out, dialed-in, and mastered?
Are they three golden rules I am reminding myself of daily?
I type them, and I write them down, and I repeat them out loud on a daily basis.
If I had a mantra this would be it. OK – maybe I have a mantra.
So am I applying all three flawlessly to 100% of my life?
But I’m trying. And it’s not that simple. Here are the things I wrestle with:
The trickiest thing to manage is the perception of others. Studies have indicated that people with a negative bias towards life are often viewed as more intelligent than those with a more sunny disposition. It would seem that to be a touch too optimistic might call your intellect into doubt. It might affect your street-cred, leading people to think you’ve got your head in the clouds to all the genuine pain, suffering, and danger in the world.
Too pessimistic is also risky, because nobody wants to hang out full-time with the ‘Cliff Clavin’ of doom and gloom, always letting us know just how bad things are at this exact moment.
And once again that most frustrating word of our time enters the picture: balance.
All things in moderation, it is said. And thus we may want to ‘balance’ our communications. But for those of us whose first language is English, the fact is that 62% of our emotional words are negatively biased. So there is no perfect balance within the very medium in which we communicate.
Studies around the little voice in our head have indicated that 60% to 70% of our daily self-talk and thoughts are negatively biased.
In fact, the average person has about 50,000 words of self-talk per day. Seventy percent of that is 35,000 words, which is a reasonably short book, about four hours of reading time… and it’s a daily book about you – an autobiography written daily about all the negative things you do, say, experience, worry about doing, saying, or experiencing.
Does that seem healthy?
Does that seem like balance?
I think I will risk appearing less intelligent by being a more vocal optimist moving forward, for my own mental health, and for the sake of those around me. Because there is enough negativity going on inside our heads that we don’t need to add more to it by sharing it with one another.
Instead we need to drown it out with positive messages.
Sharing & social media
Recently we’ve learned the scary truth about fake-news factories churning out lies disguised as legitimate journalism. And these fabrications —generally negative and sensational in nature— are 70% more likely to be shared on Twitter, and travel six times faster than fact-based stories, according to a
I will not try any longer for ‘balance’ between negative and positive news. I am done sharing negative news. I don’t need to share it; you are already surrounded by people who will share it.
Instead I will share things that I find to be true, positive, and useful.
And on occasion I will also share things that I find to be little more than smile inducing. Because a smile is undeniably true, it is unquestionably positive, and it’s always useful because smiles open hearts, minds, doors, and dialogues.