Hey, you guys! Chuck here!
2016 was the best year of my life! I had many successes in 2016! One of the secrets to my many successes in 2016 is that I figured out how to use social media to make myself a better person!
It is generally agreed upon that social media is making us worse! We create an echo-chamber in which all of our negative behaviors are constantly justified and then rewarded! Not a day goes by that I don’t see some meme justifying alcohol abuse or junk food or laziness. And then Facebook notifies us every time someone “likes” or even “loves” our little meme. The little dopamine rush we get from this approval serves as a reward for our bad behaviors.
This is so obvious to me now when I look back on my drinking years. I would post a status update like “Hey, I’m drinking bourbon! I’m funny and aloof!” and every time that post would get a “like” my brain would pump a tiny bit of dopamine and that destructive habit would become just a little bit stronger! The good news is that we can flip the script! If social media can be used as a tool to make ourselves worse, than logically it can be used as a tool to make ourselves better!
In the past I had always had a little bit of contempt for people who posted status updates about how long it had been since they quit drinking or quit smoking, but now I was wondering if maybe there was something to that. If social media can be used to reinforce negative behaviors, then why can’t it be used to reinforce positive behaviors? So I began experimenting. Not only did I post status updates about how long it had been since I quit drinking, I also posted about eating broccoli and exercising and washing dishes. The goal being that the “likes” that these posts got would serve to reinforce those positive behaviors in much the same way that they had previously served to reinforce negative behaviors. Basically, I started using the echo-chamber to my advantage!
It is six months since I began this practice and I have had many successes! I’m still alcohol-free, I eat broccoli every day, and household tasks like washing dishes and shoveling snow have become enjoyable!
In a previous post I mentioned Cialdini’s six weapons of influence, the second weapon being consistency. Our brains have a natural urge to maintain a consistent sense of self. If you make posts on Facebook about how you love to eat healthy, even if it’s not true at first, you will begin to find that you eat healthy more and more as the weeks past. The social animal in you will want to reconcile your actions with your words and maintain a consistent sense of self! If you publicly declare that you quit drinking, you will be more likely to stick with that positive behavior for the sake of maintaining a consistent sense of self! And likewise, if I keep telling everyone that I will have many successes, the social animal in me will need to maintain a consistent sense of self and will focus on the ways in which I can find success. This is definitely one way to begin having a mindset that is attuned to success! Basically, fake it until you make it!
A little bit of advice; try to make your posts fun! Posting status updates about how you quit drinking and you love to eat healthy, can rub some people the wrong way! You don’t want to come off as preachy or holier-than-thou! Luckily, I already have a reputation for being somewhat of a goofball, so I was able to talk about these positive behaviors in a way that was fun and not too preachy. When I started posting about how I quit drinking and how I love to eat healthy, most people thought I was just being a goofball. And I was being a goofball, but I was also using social media as a tool to basically hypnotize myself!
So quit arguing about politics, knock it off with the alcohol and junk food memes, start using social media to make yourself a better person, and together we will have many successes in 2017! And if you have any questions or you have something you would like to see me talk about on this blog, feel free to email me at my new high-energy email address firstname.lastname@example.org!