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A few weeks ago an Instagram model named Essena O’Neill decided to quit Instagram after revealing the “life” she was living on social media was a lie (see video below).

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Opinions of her decision were polarizing…  ranging from some calling O’Neill “brave” and “inspiring” –while others questioned her true intentions. Wherever you fall on the spectrum in relation to her choice, O’Neill’s change of heart serves as an invaluable lesson.

If you’re managing an online brand, social media can become an addiction, as bad as any other drug. It’s intoxicating, hypnotic, habit-forming, and at times completely detrimental. While it has the power to influence, inspire, change lives, and connect you to new friends — finding balance between the good and the bad — the virtual reality and this reality — can be a challenge.

It’s so easy to get lost in the illusion of numbers, likes, and comments. When you begin to see your reach get to viral proportions, it can be incredibly exciting, yet simultaneously overwhelming. However, it’s important to find the solution to the illusion(s), to breathe and know that “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Every day is a chance to learn something new about yourself and to discover where there is room to stretch, grow, and expand — the contrasting experiences are what allow you to become a powerful teacher, so you can share your lessons with the world.

If you’re a blogger, social media is an essential tool that provides access to millions, and if the millions we influence continue to influence millions, we each can claim our power to create something beautiful, to be agents of change… and that’s where the illusion dissolves, and the solution comes forward.

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The list below contains 7 solutions for social media, to help you elevate and expand, while staying grounded with good intentions.

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Social media solutions for bloggers, and brands:

  1. Find your mission: Author Daniel Pinchbeck has a quote that states, “Deep down, nobody wants a job to occupy his or her time. We want a mission that inspires us.” An essential way to allow social media to be a tool for positive influence is to find the mission that inspires you. Are you passionate about healthy living, sustainability, music, art, science or spirituality? Identify your cause, and allow this to be your blueprint for the voice you design online.
  2. Create your social “solar system“: Align with blogs, brands, and friends that share similar passions. Finding like-minded allies and affiliates will allow you to move closer to your dreams by inspiring and motivating one another.
  3. Be mindful of your message: Once you’ve identified your mission, and aligned with your “tribe” – it is important to remember to remain mindful of your message. Passions and opinions can be polarizing, and sometimes when we feel we are right (beyond any shadow of a doubt) we can be lead into ego traps such as judgement or frustration. Be gentle with your words, pose your thoughts as questions, and if someone challenges your opinions — take the high road and respond with love and respect.
  4. Let time work for you, not against you: It’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole, and lose hours online… especially when your presence begins to grow. A great way to stay grounded and find balance is to schedule out your daily posts in advance by using tools like IFTTT and Buffer. Begin your mornings by mapping out your day and dedicating a certain amount of hours to do so — once you’re done, step off the computer and enjoy your time in this reality.
  5. Collaborate, don’t compete: Humanity evolved through collaboration, and it seems that the current state of affairs in this world stem from competition, and pinning people against one another. There are a million different ways to say one thing, and every individual will find a different resonance with your individual message. Embrace your unique voice, and collaborate with others that have their own unique vision. Don’t be afraid to message someone you admire and extend an offer to share and create together.
  6. Cite your sources: Finding inspiration from others is fantastic. Even Einstein once said, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” However, that shouldn’t be the case online. If you find an article that resonates and you want to elaborate on it, or if you find artwork that really speaks to you — whenever you can (if applicable), always make sure to link back to the original source, or the artist behind the art. It’s easy to cut and paste, but before moving forward, take a step back and put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you publish something without citing the origin of your information.
  7.  Be yourself: With all of these steps in mind, staying true to yourself is the key that will unlock all doors. While it may take a while to grow, don’t lose faith in you, or try to become something other than who you are. As Terence McKenna once said, “you are a divine being, you matter, you count.” Be persistent, be patient, and know that your passions are there for a purpose bigger than just yourself, and even if you only inspire a few people — that’s still a job well done.


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