Hello SOTGC community,
One of my favorite graffiti artists is Banksy. Although my views on the world tend to be a bit more conservative than this fearless statement maker’s, I deeply connect to his ability to hit a nerve with the world with a simple graffiti design and a couple of words.
I first fell in love with his work when I was in a huge fight with my abusive ex-husband. I was in a situation where I felt trapped, unable to express what was truly going on behind the scenes of what looked like to be a perfect marriage.
As the fight escalated during a vacation we took to visit my family, I escaped into a store, hoping the eclectic items around me would provide the escape I needed from his pure negativity. That’s when I saw a book on Banksy, and immediately fell in love. That night, I spent hours listening to music and going through the glossy pages of the book that showcased Banksy’s graffiti work throughout the world. There was something in his defiance of unwarranted authority that I could relate to that night.
I picked up something random that day, that had nothing to do with anything going on in my life, and it spoke to me in a way that inspired a series of events that eventually led to me defying the unwarranted authority my ex had over me, and escaping an abusive marriage. Lesson here? Every message you send out on social media has the ability to be the starting point for someone to heal from their own wounds in their life.
While my example plays out in less of a digital sense, there were also Tweets and other forms of inspiration I found on social media that also supported me during one of the most challenging times of my life. Now, I often send out Banksy quotes and images because they once helped me get through a terrible time, and the response is overwhelmingly positive.
It’s our responsibility as social media users to make sure that our conversations are setting our communities up for success. There are so many people in the world that we don’t even know about that are following our every move on social media. If you send out a rant about your day, you help remind them of their own struggles during the day. However, if you send out an incredibly positive message about something you overcame that day, you inspire them to overcome their own struggles. Which would you rather do?
Here are five steps that will help ensure that you are sending out supportive messages to your community:
1. Change Your Don’t To A Do:
Sometimes all it takes is a re-framing of your message. Instead of advising your community on what not to do, advise them on what they should do to avoid the negative.
2. Be An Observer To Your Own Message
Take a step back and read your message as an outsider. Would you find the message to be supportive and positive? Or does the message bring up negative feelings in you? Make sure it leaves you in an encouraging mindset.
3. Share Your Success Stories
Even the little things add up! Start sharing everything that goes well for you throughout your day. Who knows, maybe that one, small good thing that happened for you is all someone needs to hear to get through their own day.
4. Emulate Your Role Models
Look at what the people you admire online are doing, and start joining the conversations in their communities.
5. Find Other Positive People
Search out people that foster positive engagement, and follow them! Start building a community of do-gooders, and you will find them encouraging you to stay on the positive side of the fence.
You never know who you are influencing, and wouldn’t you rather influence people for the better? Pay attention to the five latter points, and you will find yourself in a healthy, positive community in no time. Who knows who your optimistic turnaround will influence.
Inspired by this post? Leave something inspirational in the comments below and lets start to pay it forward.