186: It’s Time to Do Something Else
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When social media dissolves into post after post of what’s going on in the world, I want to crawl in to a hole with a bunch of people who are actually doing something—doing something else.
I recently posted this on my social media accounts:
Today I am super thankful to be part of a community of doers and encouragers. I get that there is a lot of “stuff” going on in the world, but man… social media can be overwhelming when all people do is post meme after meme about what’s wrong with everything and everyone.
Thanks for NOT being that community. (And if you are part of that community, consider if it’s actually serving a purpose.) Not that we should flat out ignore what’s going on out in the big wide world… but dang. I’m so thankful for people who can finish their coffee or tea and then say, “let’s get on with the day”. I’m so thankful for people who can talk about how they are moving forward in their life and ask others how they are doing the same.
That’s how we get through today and tomorrow and the next day, you guys. Memes don’t feed the chickens, and complaints don’t pay the mortgage.
Can we talk about something else?
Trust me, I love a good meme. But to me, socializing with someone shouldn’t just be talking about what’s going on out there, it should be about what’s going on with you.
If every time I went to someone’s house, I knew it was just going to be more talk about the declining state of the world and what was wrong with everything—even if I agreed with that person on certain points, that’s an exhausting and depressing conversation to have every single visit.
Imagine having that conversation every day on social media?
Wait. Isn’t that what some of us are seeing? Isn’t that what some of us are doing?
It’s meme after meme or complaint after complaint, and at some point I think okay, I get it, but… what else do you have to talk about? Is there anything else going on in your life that you can tell me about or are we just going to drill the popular world topic of the hour to death?
Be a “do-er” online
When we think about being around do-ers, we think about “in real life”. But I think it’s just as important to surround yourself with “doers” in your online life, too. Everything you’re seeing online shapes your mood and affects your day.
We can be people who complain or we can be people who talk about what we’re doing. And in order to talk about what we’re doing, we have to do stuff.
To be people who get stuff done, it’s important to surround ourselves with people who get stuff done. And by building a community of people who are getting stuff done, you will also end up being a community that encourages each other to get stuff done.
Being a community of do-ers is way to help people focus on what they can control—what they can do—not just getting stuck in a cycle of complaining about something that someone else is or isn’t doing— much of it being stuff you literally have no control over.
The thing about social media
Can you imagine explaining social media to Ma Ingalls?
“See, we have this thing called social media where we can talk about anything—anything with anyone.”
And yet, the majority of what I see when I log in—regardless of whether we’re talking Facebook, Flote, MeWe, whatever—is meme after meme, article after article, commentary after commentary about everything that’s wrong with the world, how the politicians are stupid, how one side did something to upset the other, and who skewed what numbers to make something work in their favor.
You guys, we can talk about anything.
And that’s what we choose to talk about?
If you’re mad at what’s going on in the world, why not focus on and help build up the things that are going right? If you’re upset because you think everything is negative and hopeless, why not share something that isn’t?
Me sharing that my friends started a new podcast or my other friend made homemade bacon for the first time or my other friend decided to homeschool their kids makes them feel like someone cares, and it helps build community for them. What does sharing again about masks and jabs and mandates and skewed numbers and who lied about what do for the people involved?
I mean honestly, y’all. If you haven’t figured it out by now, you’re not going to. You believe what you believe, you understand what you understand, and me sharing another meme is not going to be some light bulb moment that gets any particular message across.
Let’s maybe start talking about something else.
How to build/find/embrace a community that’s doing something else
Share what you’re doing.
You have to let people know what you’re doing. Be brave enough to say hey, this is what I’ve got going on before you have all the pieces figured out. When everyone is sharing things they are actually doing, we will know what other people actually have going on in their life instead of just how they feel about Current World Issue XYZ.
Then, talk about what you’re doing.
Continue to talk about what you’re doing. Be brave enough to jump in and ask someone else more about their project.
Encourage others/be encouraged.
Pay attention to what’s happening in other people’s lives and remember to encourage them along their journey. It’s also absolutely okay to say, I have no clue what you’re talking about but I’m excited that you’re excited!
Make suggestions/accept criticism.
Don’t be afraid to have discussions and give each other suggestions about the task at hand. And remember, part of being an adult is listening to (constructive) criticism.
Why people get stuck in the negative
- It’s easier to complain than fix something. The “fix” is too hard.
- The negative stuff feeds a powerful, addictive part of us that the good just doesn’t.
- The problem isn’t yours to fix, so all you can do is complain about it.
- You want to move forward but you’re afraid of failure.
- You want to move forward but you suffer from analysis paralysis.
What do you want to do?
“The things you want to do have to be more important than the things you want to complain about.”
Consider what you want to do and how you want to move forward in life. Is the community you’re hanging out in going to get you there? Does it fit with the life you want? Are the people in your life (in person and online) a community that is going to encourage growth and stretching and trying new things and doing what you set out to do?
If that’s the community you want, but you instead hang out in a community of people that spends all day complaining about the world… what are you doing? They’re holding you back.
There are people who say they won’t watch the news because it’s just negative. They say the only thing that’s ever talked about is what’s wrong with the world, and they never report the good. You guys, in some places, that’s what social media is. And just because the constant negative commentary doesn’t stem from some mainstream news source, it doesn’t mean that the constant negative commentary from some alternative sector is somehow some next level or enlightened.
Do something in your life. Talk about what you’re doing in your life. Encourage other people to talk about what they’re doing with theirs. Don’t get sucked into the 24 hour a day cycle of negativity.
Let’s do something else.
— Amy Dingmann, 2-15-22
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