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May 28, 2014

Contract Complete: A Tribute to Maya Angelou.

 

brave jump fly

Today, a one year contract I made with myself is complete.

It read, “I will no longer use the ‘Like’ button on Facebook.”

I call it a contract because it was a construct I wrote and signed within myself to engage social media in a new way.
I tribute this contract resolution to Maya Angelou, may she rest in peace.

I’ll never forget her words, “When you know better, you do better.”

And today, I know better, so I will do better. Thank you, Maya.

It goes like this. Some of you may have read my article Pop Rocks & Social Media Are All the Rave. In this piece I shared how my inner-ghoul devoured posts on social media with excessive “Likes.” When I realized I’d lost soulful media interaction, I called off my ego and demanded deeper expression of myself.

I wrote new rules of engagement with social media and swore off the “Like” button.

Over the last year, my experience with Facebook has evolved. I’ve seen the value and impurity of social media. I’ve seen how mindful action increases the positive potential of this virtual medium. I’ve seen how, for me, commenting only on posts has deepened and expanded my perspective.

And because of this contract, I’ve come to know that I am now capable of interacting with social media in a way I can be proud of.

While I sipped coffee this morning, I read endearing Facebook posts honoring the life of Maya Angelou. These countless tributes oozed love. I felt each post reach and embrace Maya’s beauty, wisdom, courage and power. What more could I say?

The urge to “Like” those posts came over me more than ever. I had to stop and ask myself, “Is this unconscious desire to connect, or, truth that says I’m not commenting because I’m still hearing you…”

Then I asked myself, “What’s the harm in acknowledging such soul on Facebook with a “Like?”

My answer?

“There is no harm, now.”

So I imagined myself liking all those posts from dear friends.

The action felt neutral, and this quiet calm signified change.

So what do I love to do when I acknowledge transformation in my life? I walk.

The steady beat of paws and feet echoed through the trail. My dogs engaged their sniffers while I reveled in late morning ponder.

I was reminded that I made the contract with myself. No other party held responsibility. And once I claimed full ownership, outspoken parts of me wrestled inside.

Loyalty and Open-mind took turns pinning the other to the mat. “I said I was going to do this, so I’m committed till I’m done!”

“Interesting,” wondered Open-mind as her body relaxed under Loyalty’s hold. “Well then, what does done look like?”

Loyalty lifted off Open-mind and reached for his glasses. “Let me see,” he answered while reading the contract word for word. “Huh! There is no set time.”

“Exactly,” affirmed Open-mind, placing her finger on Loyalty’s shoulder, pretending to hold Loyalty in place.

And that was that.

I knew right then the neutrality I felt around the “Like” button meant it was time to end the contract.

In the past, the commitment I made to not “Like” was my middle road with social media. I wasn’t going to stop engaging virtually, but I needed a healthier practice. Now that time had passed and I had embodied objectivity, my left turn on the path didn’t’ require strict direction.

And since I’m in charge, I now command the contract complete, null and void.

I’m grateful for loyalty and open-mind. I am grateful for that old rule of engagement. It challenged me, broke a habit, and made me grow.

And now, I embrace a way of being with Facebook that allows for greater possibility.

Funny thing is, though, when I went back to “Like” all the wonderful posts, I felt action swell from a place deep within.

And well, with even more choice in hand, I chose to comment.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, I open as love to you, wherever you are. Your work on Earth continues to inspire me.

 

 

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Ronen Rosenblatt/Pixoto

 

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Alexandra Folz  |  Contribution: 1,600