Be strategic in sharing good
“How many of you have ever found yourself in a random rabbit hole on social media?” asked Jay Shetty.
“You start off watching a friend, then you end up on a cat video, a dog video, and then somehow you're watching a video on Justin Bieber's mom.”
Jay Shetty challenged Soren Gordhamer and his audience at Wisdom 2.0 right off the bat with this question.
Everyone in the audience could relate.
Social media is a part of daily life, like it or not. It has the power to be incredibly powerful or destructive.
The difference comes, Shetty explained, in how it’s consumed.
Kids These Days
The root issue with social media is not the platform itself, but the intention. People complain about how much worse the world has become since social media came on the scene. Jay Shetty has a different take on things.
“One of the most incredible things I believe that social media has done, is that it genuinely just amplifies what's inside us already,” said Shetty.
Humans have always wrestled with things like loneliness, comparison, dissention, and jealousy. Social media just turns up the volume.
“Social media simply puts a massive magnifying glass on them,” Jay Shetty explained. “It makes it feel like it's this new issue, but actually it's been something that we've dealt with for a long, long time. The desire for competition, comparison, or criticism, gossip – that's always been there.”
Giving up social media or crawling into a hermit hole isn’t the solution. But perhaps if the problem has always been around, the solution has been, too.
Don’t Give Up. Get Disciplined.
“Social media inherently is not good or bad,” Jay Shetty said. “It's given meaning by how I use it. It's given meaning by what I subscribe to it for. It's given meaning by who I follow, what I follow and what I share.”
Social media is here. It’s not going anywhere, and it is powerful.
Shetty challenges the thinking that we can outrun social media. Instead, learning how to use it well and practicing discipline is the key.
“There's always been a way in which consumerism and capitalism will constantly try to bombard you,” said Jay Shetty. “We can either sit here and complain about it or be upset about it. But guess what? Social media is not going away. So what are we going to do about it?”
Shetty urged listeners to create practices and habits of personal discipline to help them refrain from unhealthy use.
Jay Shetty learned to be strategic and disciplined when it comes to phone and social media use. He has designated “No Technology Zones” in his house. Phones are not allowed in the kitchen or the bedroom because, as he said, “It's more fun to eat and sleep with people.”
Shetty also set aside “No Technology Times” in his day, two of which are first thing upon waking and an hour before bed. When he set these intentions, he immediately ordered an alarm clock and started keeping his phone away from his bed.
Shetty acknowledged that breaking these habits was not easy. At times he locked all of the devices in his car in the garage to remove the temptation. Sometimes a “do what you gotta do” mentality is needed.
Even though some would see these actions as extreme, Jay Shetty has no regrets. Freeing himself in this way paid off.
“I trained myself out of the habit of relying on notifications to make me feel good so that I could dedicate my time to my personal two-hour meditation practice every morning,” he said.
Jay Shetty Urges, “Put Feelings Over Facts”
Heart-warming videos stop most people in their tracks.
“Out of the 777 million posts on Facebook year, the majority of posts that did well were positive,” Jay Shetty told listeners. “The top 500 posts on Facebook last year were positive, uplifting, and empowering. And the top 10 videos were all positive and made people happy.”
More than the news, politics or current events, things that did well online were focused on positivity and goodness.
When asked what he has learned about making content that people want, Jay Shetty remarked that it boils down to feelings. A study done by the New York Times determined there are 5 main categories of content that tend to go viral:
- Adventure: Content that gives a sense of adventure is sharable
- Comedy or Humor: Everyone loves to laugh
- Emotion: When we see negative news, it triggers emotion and we share it
- Inspiration, positivity, motivation: Everyone is looking for more of this in their lives
- Surprise: Who can resist sharing a cat or dog video or a baby dancing to Beyonce?
“When I look at all of that and I look at the type of content I've created, every time I've gone wrong is when I've tried to create a piece of content where I want someone to learn something or know something,” said Jay Shetty. He is strategic on making his content appeal to people’s feelings; not on facts. He believes this is the difference.
MLK Strikes Again
People get disheartened when it feels like toxicity or negativity is taking the internet by storm. While he acknowledges the toxicity, Jay Shetty counters with a challenge.
Shetty quotes Martin Luther King Jr. “There's a beautiful thought from Martin Luther King that I always think of when I answer a question like this. He says that, ‘Those who love peace need to learn to organize themselves as well as those who love war.’”
“The mistake I see,” Shetty explained, “Is that we rely so much on those who are coming from a place of love, compassion and empathy that we don't get strategic. We don't get focused. We don't hustle hard; we don't work.”
For Jay Shetty, hard work has been the bedrock of what he does. Instead of just sharing things on social media, he started creating them. Rather than just watching the story unfold, he stepped up to play a part in how the narrative is crafted. He challenges others to look at their place in the world and in social media and be strategic about how they are promoting good and change through that platform.
Taking It to the Streets with Jay Shetty
Human connection is powerful. Jay acknowledges this and takes that truth very seriously as he considers how to shape his influence. As with anything on social media, it has the power to divide or unite people. It can either drive people further into isolation, or draw them together.
Shetty has committed to using his platform and his community to gather people together. Groups meet in 140 cities all over the world each week to discuss what they are learning from him face-to-face.
People who take initiative to connect with others are a key part in making wisdom go viral. It can be a lifeline for some.
“The quicker we can transfer our online connections to offline ones, the more meaningful social media becomes; rather than just leaving them there and chatting to people. So I really believe in the transfer of online to offline and I think that can make a huge impact,” said Shetty.
Connect to Nature Instead of the Web
While some may only see the negative side of social media, Jay Shetty can’t help but dig for the gold.
He tells the story of the creator of Pokémon GO. Looking for a way to connect with his son and get him outside, the Pokémon GO genius re-lived his childhood. He drew upon his sons’ favorite things and the way he himself had enjoyed walks in the woods searching for plants and creatures with his own father. With that, Pokémon GO was born.
Jay Shetty reminds us all that social media will always be there. The responsibility to use it for good falls on us.
“My encouragement and recommendation is to share good, follow good, create good. And social media can be a place that enlivens and enlightens,” Shetty said.
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “The Power Of Social Media” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out his website at jayshetty.me.