It is more difficult now to find wisdom and stay grounded than at any other time in history. One major reason is that social-media is increasingly dominating people’s thoughts, forming perceptions, and influencing attitudes – mostly negatively.
It is very easy to lose one’s identity, values, maturity, or sanity (yes, sanity – this Forbes article on heavy Facebook and social-media usage causing depression is quite compelling) through unhealthy exposure to social-media.
This tendency to be negatively influenced by the social-media is more common in youths and, especially, teenagers, who are naturally more excitable and impressionable.
On the one hand, people are spending increasingly more time on superficial activities like following, obsessively, the lives and moments of celebrities. On the other hand, they are spending less time on activities that can help them find wisdom and develop intellectually.
For instance, we’ve seen celebrities trying to make instant celebrities of their children, by constantly showing off their every fanciful activity, daily. Once those celebs are involved in a scandal and social-media is awash with it, their children become targets of abuse and bullying.
There are also people who start to judge their love relationships by the superficial and make-belief standards of Instagram, thereby appreciating their spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends less.
Social media is ubiquitous and, for various reasons, we are all exposed to it. As a result, even the most mature of minds could find themselves occasionally conforming to social-media trends or, at least, struggling to stick to their own principles.
So, how then do we stay grounded inspite of these inundations by social-media?
Here are 10 ways – happy reading!
1. Discover your purpose and walk in it.
A man of purpose is a man who knows where he is going. Therefore, he will never lose sight of the values he needs to arrive at his destination. He might be impressed by the achievements of others, but he will never question his own mission, doubt his potentials or wish someone else’s life was his.
When you see someone who, by his unhealthy exposure to social-media, loses his identity and wants to be everything fashionable on Instagram, it is a sign that they are not living their purpose.
2. Develop your talent, showcase it.
Everyone has something in them that, if properly nurtured, can make them superstars in their own right.
Instead of dreaming all decade-long about being like a particular celebrity on Instagram, look inwards, discover and nurture that talent that is unique to you.
It’s human nature to seek and cherish attention; however, it’s better to get the attention for reasons of your achievements or value-adding uniqueness.
3. Read the bible – especially the book of Proverbs.
When it comes to wisdom – all encompassing, ever-green wisdom – there is no piece of literature deeper than the book of Proverbs. It covers dealing with all societal and social pressures which exist today – including social media.
4. Spend time and rub minds more with your grandparents.
We might consider our grannies old-school, but the truth is, the wisdom that emanates from them remains a remedy for many of today’s social ills.
I learnt a lot about staying grounded from my paternal grandma in particular. Not so much in terms of quantity, as I didn’t spend that much time with her, but in terms of quality of words. Many of her wise words still resonate with me and help me find wisdom in tricky situations till this day.
I, like the rest of her grandchildren, found her too strict and at times boring back in the day. Now that she’s no more, I wish I had drawn more from her well of wisdom.
5. Follow thought-leaders and inspirational people.
There are some really inspirational people who can help you develop the right mindset to grow in the most important aspects of your life. They are thought leaders who, by their lifestyles and/or written and spoken literature on leading a purposeful and fulfilled life, will help you find wisdom.
One of the best things about social-media is that you don’t need to know a mentor personally for them to influence you positively. You only need to follow their social-media accounts or blogs – people like John C. Maxwell, Micheal Hyatt, Sam Adeyemi, Joyce Meyer, and Lanre Olusola.
6. Read motivational literature.
To find wisdom, direction, and build self-esteem, you can do worse than read motivational books. All the great men the world has ever known have one thing in common: they develop their minds through reading.
If you don’t have the appetite or time for books, you can occasionally visit top self-improvement and personal-development sites to read short impactful articles like this current one. Alternatively, you can subscribe to receive their articles, on average, twice a month, by email.
These are a few that have helped me and whom I have drawn inspiration for this blog from at times:
7. Surround yourself with mature people.
The easiest way to find wisdom and stay grounded is interacting consistently with emotionally mature people. These kinds of people are not impressionable, their actions and lifestyles are not influenced by pop-culture or social-media.
They are led by their own values and principles. The people we surround ourselves with determines the voices in our head; those voices shape our attitude to life.
8. ‘Unfollow’ certain people.
At times, the easiest way to solve a problem is to tackle it at source.
I know people who are not on Facebook or Instagram due to the social issues (narcissism, bullying, moral-decadence…) attached to them. There are others who have quit social-media or a certain platform all together.
I, while understanding their position, still consider such actions as drastic or tantamount to throwing-away-the-baby-with-the-bath-water, as social media has far more benefits – social, career, business, learning – than disadvantages.
So, what’s the balance? Simply unfollow people who have a negative influence on your emotions or who cause you to compromise your values. All it takes is a click of a button.
READ ALSO: 10 TELLING SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL IMMATURITY
9. Find a mentor.
I mentioned earlier the need to follow some thought-leaders. That needs to be complemented with having a personal mentor – someone you can reach with little or no protocol, who can chat with you real-time and offer advises that are tailored to your peculiar needs.
10. Spend more time with family.
We are at our freest and most spontaneous when in the midst of close family members. The family is a safe refuge from all the social pressures out there today, including social-media.
Family will always strive to keep you on the straight and narrow without putting undue social pressure on you.
What are your views about how social-media is having a negative social, emotional and, at times, mental effect on people – young ones especially?
What are your personal experiences, and what steps have you taken to manage them?
I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments.
If this article has blessed you or you know someone who needs to read it, please share with them. Thank you.