Saturday, March 4, 2017

We rise by lifting others*

Legacy mural, Drewery Lane in the city

As I've mentioned in recent posts, this year I've been working on establishing a number of new habits, including being more positive on social media. 

I've been conscious of not being too whiny on Twitter and Facebook for nearly as long as I've been using them, because I'm aware of how draining it can be to be around (online or IRL) people who do nothing but complain and criticise (though of course it's easier to get away from the online whiners and critics). I've aimed to balance my moaning with positive (or at least neutral) posts, although I'm not sure if I achieved it or even whether the positive really cancels out the negative.

But it doesn't matter now because I'm trying not to be whiny and critical online at all, which is not to suggest I'm OK with being a ball of negativity offline because I'm not; I'm working on Offline Me as well (for example, trying to be less judgemental and less irritated by stupid stuff), but social media seems to have become my outlet for bitching and moaning. 

Most of what I complain about is minor stuff anyway - petty annoyances like people blocking the doors on public transport or talking too loudly in my vicinity - so it's not as if keeping my thoughts to myself is going to lead to an explosion of repressed rage. Instead of taking to Twitter to whinge, I try to let it go, or I get up and move away from the annoying people. 

I've been doing very well at being more positive on social media so far and it's been quite uplifting. Not that I was feeling low - I've been a pretty happy little camper lately - but making an effort to be a more positive online presence makes me feel even better. 

But wait! There's more! This past week I've stepped things up a level. I'm not just avoiding being negative, I'm making an extra effort to be more positive. For example, instead of just clicking 'like' on Instagram, I've been making a lot more comments - genuine compliments on photos that I love. Likes have a tendency to blend together in a fairly anonymous mass, but a thoughtful compliment is a little more special.  

Paying all these compliments makes me feel good, even if the recipients don't respond, but usually they do, and those little connections make me happy too. 

There's more than enough negativity in the world, online and off, so I'm going to keep doing my little bit to spread kindness and lift others up, with the added bonus of boosting my own happiness. 

* This quote - or something similar - is by Robert Ingersoll, who also said, "The way to be happy is to make others so".  


Andrew said...

That's good, truly, always present as positive, mostly but nothing wrong with complaining either. It is especially bad for older people using trams, which I may be close to becoming. People who stand in tram doorways should be kneecapped. They will be less of a problem on the tram when they are in a wheelchair.

Jayne said...

I do have one particular friend to whom I vent by text message...

PT is full of people who could do with kneecapping - another good reason to walk!