Social media, stay or go?
I’m still reflecting on this. How about you?
I find myself sitting with this question versus answering it. It doesn’t help when my intuition is confirmed. When TikTok started, I opened an account and then quickly deleted it. I had a “bad feeling” about its effect on mental health and its power to sway, groom and shape behaviour. Call it intuition if you must.
Missing Person Alert: Answers to “Critical Thinking”, has been spotted in a few locations but remains elusive and when approached is easily scared. If you spot it, please pause, listen open-heartedly and apply your own critical thinking when engaging.
I found Twitter cumbersome but loved the quick access to traditional journalism. Now I use “X” to keep my “critical thinking” fresh and practiced. Filtering through BS is a skill to hone and cultivate.
In fact, filtering through BS is a peacekeeping tool in short supply as much as critical thinking.
What will it take to evoke critical thinking? The willingness to be vulnerable, to step into difficult conversations, those sweaty palm moments, and to see them through.
And until I meet Elon Musk, I’m reserving the opinion I’ve formed filtered through others’ interpretations and stories. My listening has been infected many times by people who “tell me” who someone is before I’ve had a chance to experience them for myself.
Critical thinking cures conformity.
Using social media without actively applying critical thinking skills is what has us here, and it’s time to reassess.
For example, I know the characteristics of my audience: working professionals who read more than they watch. You are the ones who skip the video how-to’s and head straight to the PDF or written versions. You know there are no shortcuts in life, including getting rich quickly and earning six figures in 6 weeks by becoming a life coach (in 6 hours).
“You tolerate Audiobooks, preferring to interpret stories, characters and voices for yourself in the paper pages you turn. Yet you dabble with stories and reels that crack you up and appeal to your funny bone. You like podcasts that confront your ideas and ideals and introduce you to things you’ve never conceived before.
You’re a dreamer yet a healthy skeptic with a side of rebel.
You use your critical thinking skills to recognize people attempting to manipulate – whether through ads, news articles, business advisors or even friends. You avoid getting caught up in the rhetoric. You call a red flag on the play when someone instructs you to increase your social media presence to “develop your brand” – parroting yesterday’s news vs using critical thinking skills to inform a new future.
You read and consume information from multiple sources, including independent media outlets, research studies, or books by experts, making you less susceptible to manipulation and more aware of how you think about issues. You sift, dig, filter and follow backlinks all the way to the back. You’re a researcher and familiar with the horse’s mouth.
You maintain an open mind and consider all angles of any issue before forming an opinion. When you do, you’re keenly aware that forming an opinion “feels like” forward movement but is merely relief from the discomfort of stuckness. You know your opinions, biases and judgments and hold them loosely with an open, curious mind.
You prefer the center and not sides, aloneness over conformity, humility and grace over rightness.
You know that love-based leadership is powerful beyond measure.
In a world inundated with choices, the decision to engage with social media or step away becomes a personal quest for balance, introspection, and a commitment to safeguarding the sanctity of independent thought in the digital age.
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