In our Academy, we teach the importance of being genuine while using social media.
I was an Elephant Academy Apprentice back in the Fall of 2016, and am just finishing up two years of working as a staff member here at Elephant Journal.
One of my biggest takeaways from all of my experience with Elephant is this: social media can be a giant pain in the ass.
Sometimes we can feel like slaves to our devices, and if I’m honest, it scares me to consider just how Orwellian things have become. Between the socially acceptable wiretaps like Google Home, and the algorithms that support our phones listening to our conversations (and sometimes, it seems, our thoughts?!) in order to serve us targeted ads, it can be easy to want to throw in the towel, unplug our phones from the wall, and throw them out the window of a moving vehicle.
I’ll admit that I’ve considered this many times, and may have done it if it weren’t for the fact that iPhones cost a ridiculous amount of money.
Tech rants aside though, there’s another side to social media that we don’t often consider.
Technology can foster community.
Thanks to Elephant Journal and the wonders of the internet, I now have a global gaggle of “writer friends”—something I always dreamed of but never would have seen as a possibility prior to my participation in the Academy. Some of these folks I’ve now met in real life, and others, I still plan to one day. Some of the bonds I’ve forged through this shared experience will be lifelong, and I knew it from our first small group chat.
While working one of my final shifts on Elephant’s social media this week, I posed a question to our readers: “What’s the secret to a happy life?”
Being a Buddhist publication, I expected to read about non-attachment and remembering to meditate. I was surprised and delighted with the results, provided with some pretty awesome wisdom, and aptly, once again reminded of the ability of social media to build and sustain a community.
Though a virtual gathering space is no substitute for real, live hugs—this is pretty close. Enjoy!
- Live in the present. Also, appreciation and acceptance of everything. ~ Mark H.
- Expectation is the root of all heartache. Be grateful for what you already have. ~ Amber M.
- Nature, and lots of chocolate. ~ Lonna C.
- Just enjoy. and live in the moment. ~ Wendy H.
- Acceptance and Gratitude. ~ Linda D.
- Remembering to breathe, and unclench. ~ Gary and Missy T.
- Purpose, love, and gratitude. ~ Nina L.
- There is no secret to a happy life, just plenty of happy moments. ~ Antoinette W.
- Do not compare yourself to others. Be happy with who and where you are in life. Also never ever stop or settle. And chocolate, of course. ~ Wanda S.
- Remove expectations, love unconditionally, and be kind. ~ Laurie C.
- Self-love/acceptance. It is the beginning of everything. ~ Karen R.
- Always have a dog in your life. ~ Angela T. (Tracy C. also said: “Lots of dogs.”)
- Let go of any and all expectations I have over anyone else, including myself ♥️. ~ Latitia H.
- Don’t worry what others think about you and don’t stay stuck in a place, job, or relationship that doesn’t make you happy. It’s not always easy but you can find a way out of all 3! ~ Maureen K.
- Birdsong in the morning. ~ Savannah R.
- Listen to others but be yourself. ~ Tremel L.
- Self-awareness. ~ Karlin K.
- Minding your own business. ~ Alexander S.
- Be the kind of person that you’d admire and respect. ~ Jerome B.
- Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. ~ Ilene M.
- Wonder! ~ Enrique P.
What “secrets” do you have? Share them below in the comments! <3