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  • Dr. Shane Owens

Can mindfulness beat the social media buzz?

Any who use social media have had difficulty turning it off. What Jesse Singal describes—that phantom tingle when we lack access to social media—is an all-too-familiar feeling.

When I read pieces like this—chiding us for being glued to what my father calls “hand-brains”—I think: Would these people just get over it?! Luddites!

Then I think, maybe they have a point, because I posted this to Facebook (just before reading Singal’s blog) signaling my intention to get all social media freaky on my friends:

Finally, I arrive at the middle path: Social media, like all things, is best used in moderation. But how do you do that when it feels so … damnedgood?

My friend and fellow psychologist, Dr. Leah Klungness, says that social media is about engagement. That may seem at first to be self-evident. But think about it: do you really engage with the things you share or retweet? Do you read every word of the links in the post? Do you consider who posted the material? Thank them for it? Respond directly to them?

If you use social media intentionally—mindfully—you many just beat your fiendish need to distribute clever memes and cute cat videos.

Slow down. Pay attention. See what happens.

Follow me on Twitter (but not too closely).

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