First of all, why share?

For me, I share things that bring me joy. I share things that I think will bring others joy.

For example, I write blog posts which I think will help others. I make photos which I think will show beauty and appreciation of everyday life.


What do I not share?

I didn’t share on social media that Cindy proposed to me and that I (a month later) also proposed to Cindy.

Why not?

For me, I shared I proposed to Cindy to a few friends and family that were very close to me. And vice-versa, when Cindy proposed to me first.

I felt this way:

If I shared that I got engaged to Cindy, is it to get likes on social media to crowd-source my self esteem, or to really share my joy?

To be honest, I would only share my proposal with Cindy to show off on social media. So I didn’t share my engagement with Cindy on Facebook. I felt if I shared this very personal and meaningful thing, it would have cheapened our engagement.

Sharing is caring, it can be fun!

I feel that sharing is what makes us human, and what helps society.

So sharing is good. Very good. Share what is important and meaningful to you.

But my suggestion is this:

Before you share something ask yourself why am I sharing it? Am I doing it for the likes, comments, and external social affirmation– or to genuinely share my joy?

Another way of thinking:

If I share this happy moment or thing I created with others on social media, and nobody commented or liked it– would that make me sad? If so, why?

Practical suggestion:

Never expect to get any likes or comments or views on anything you share.

This will help you become immune to irrational social media emotions, and your self-esteem.

Even for myself: ever since I deleted my Instagram, I feel more self-confident in my photos. Ever since I disabled statistics, page views, and comments on this blog– I have learned to follow my own creative intuition. And not allow my artistic vision be too swayed by the opinions of others.

10 assignments to be less addicted to social media

Some ideas:

  1. Delete all the photos on your Instagram, and then re-upload your personal favorite photos or moments.
  2. Uninstall Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram from your phone for a week. See how you feel.
  3. If you’re a blogger, disable your page view statistics and Google Analytics for a month. See how your blogging behavior changes.
  4. Upload photos to Instagram from your laptop, I recommend “Flume” on the Mac, available in the App Store.
  5. Try to avoid looking at anything with page view numbers. Download “Adblock Ultimate” on Firefox, Safari or Chrome– and use the “block page element” tool to disable and hide page views comments, etc.
  6. For Safari install “Shut Up” plugin to disable comments on popular sites. Less stress from looking at inane YouTube comments.
  7. Download a “News Feed Eradicatior” plugin for Facebook, available on major browsers. I’ve lived without a news feed for 4 years, and it was the best thing ever– I no longer get envious of friends getting expensive cars, homes, or their fancy vacations.
  8. Don’t watch anything “free”– all newspapers, blogs, apps, or anything that is “free” always has a hidden catch. Either selling your personal browsing behavior, or serving you (very well targeted) advertisements. If you use a free app, you are the product.
  9. If you want to be more creative switch your phone to airplane mode more often. Better yet, turn off the phone completely when not necessary. Charge your phone at night in another room, and start using a “stand alone” electronic alarm clock to wake you up in the morning, to avoid checking social media streams and email in morning to get you out of bed. The alarm clocks from MUJI or BRAUN look very nice.
  10. Don’t share what you don’t like seeing in your own social media feed.

Of course, these are just personal recommendations that work for me– like a good doctor, I only prescribe you medications that I follow myself.

So don’t listen to me, just self-experiment, and see what works for you.



Hayward, 2015 #cindyproject

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