Baratunde Thurston has done so many cool and interesting things that it’s hard to give him a short introduction. He is a stand-up comedian, a New York Times best-selling author, the former digital manager at The Onion, and, most recently, a TV host.
Beyond all that, though, Baratunde is deeply aware of the effect of social media in our lives and has followed its evolution from the beginning. He has also navigated the challenges of countless life transitions through the years and built a powerful platform and presence through them all.
In a recent interview with him, we talked about a wide range of topics, but one of the most important things we discussed was the power we have to practice mindfulness, love, and presence no matter what forces are around us.
I asked Baratunde what he has learned about social media through all of his experiences (the good and the bad) and he shared an awesome story with me.
A few years back, he decided to go on a 25-day social media fast. As in, he didn’t check any of his accounts at all for a month. For a guy as plugged in and busy as he is, this was a big deal.
Baratunde said it was a great experience and taught him a lot about the perceived importance we place on these forms of communication. His key takeaways were:
1. Our current “gold rush” mentality around getting on the next hot platform is not sustainable.
2. Taking ownership of what content we actually post is really important.
3. It’s actually physically hard for us to disconnect from our devices when we are so used to checking them.
4. When you are practicing self-care, it doesn’t matter if your followers or likes go down, your sense of self doesn’t go down with it.
I loved these lessons from Baratunde and have tried to remind myself of them often. As much as I love the tool of social media to spread my message and connect with amazing people around the world, I know it’s a fine balance between using social media and letting it use me.
Will you follow Baratunde’s example and try a month-long fast from social media? It might be the best thing you do for your health all month.
With the extent to which social media is being used nowadays, it’s easy to get caught up in tying our sense of self-worth to the number of likes and comments we get on our pages. Young people especially tend to do everything they can just to fit into the culture, and feel accepted. Who you are and your value as a person is not defined by what people think of you and how many “likes” they choose to give you. You are gifted, talented and carry so much value because God, who took time to create you, says you are wonderfully made. You were someone of great value way before social media ever existed, and you still are today. If you have doubts about what we have shared, or you feel insecure in who you are and tend to draw your confidence from what people say, we’d like to take this message further and share more with you. Please click on the banner below.