Throw your phone in the ocean

I think we get so wrapped up in the presentation of ourselves, in demonstrating a cohesive message to the world about who we are, what we love, what we value, and where we're headed, that we forget the people around us.

In the form of status updates, selfies, blog posts, likes and shares and reblogs and uploads and favorites, we become so motivated to establish our identities that we lose empathy for other people and forget that the human experience is a shared experience.

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching and a lot of thinking about how I can continue to use social media without allowing it to drag me down into jealousy, greed, comparison with others, wistfully wishing my own life were different, or giving way to delusion. I'm looking for an enlightened way to use Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook.

I once read that enlightenment is the uprooting of greed, hatred, and delusion. You're no longer striving for things you want, running from things you don't want, or questioning the very nature of reality.

I think the best way to use these platforms is to use them with an outward focus. For encouragement. For looking at the lives around you to find ways of offering hope or promoting peace. To spread positive vibes and make people laugh. That's how I want to use social media.

I created a Digital Detox in January and I used it last week, as well as one week out of each month this year. I'd highly recommend taking a week off of social media to reflect on how you use it. For me, self-promotion and greed gave way to wasting all of my money in an effort to impress people who don't give a rip about me.

The constant updating and interacting in hopes to grow a following and promote my career were wearing me out.  I lost sleep to the glowing screen and forgot what life looks like no-filter.

Your identity isn't what you say and what you post on social media. There's that old adage, "Integrity is who you are when no one's looking." Do you know who you are when the camera's not rolling? Do you know who you are when you're logged out? Are you able to accept the you you can't share online?