“So, I have to ask, what’s with all the questions on Facebook?”
I was talking with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. It was about the third or fourth time I’d been asked this question in the last few months.
I began by explaining that I didn’t have any particular reason at first, it was just for fun.
Then the more I asked, the better reasons I had to keep going.
And those reasons have ended up changing my life for the better.
It started on a day back in winter. The first was just a casual question to my wife:
“What’s something you’ve read today that has made a difference to you?”
She lovingly cares for our two beautiful children all day while I’m at work, so she doesn’t get too much time to read. After her response indicated she hadn’t read much that day I realized two things.
I need to make more time for my wife to be able to read!
I should ask my friends on Facebook that question!
So I did.
I was amazed at how blind I was to the brilliant insights of the people around me. I learned a lot from many people that day, and especially many that I hadn’t talked to in a very long time.
Asking Questions on Social Media Will Teach You To Fail Well
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
-Thomas A. Edison
Some of my questions were good.
Many of them were pretty terrible. I knew it when I didn’t get any responses on them, although I sometimes wondered if some of the questions without a response at least made people think.
I felt some days that my friends and family were put off by my asking questions.
One day I got an interesting response.
“What even is this question?”
It was from a good friend and we ended up having a good laugh and banter back and forth.
Many days I was afraid to hit that “Share” button, but I committed to myself to keep going so I did.
I learned to keep going regardless of how well it was going.
No question can be perfect.
Neither are any of us when it’s time to try something new, whether it be school, marriage, having children, or even retirement.
You’re never really ready to make the next step.
But practicing with many little, imperfect steps along the way is certainly very helpful.
The Main Idea Behind Social Media Platforms is Fundamentally Flawed
People naturally love to talk about themselves. Social media takes advantage of this.
But not in a way that is beneficial to any of us.
We post, share, and comment, all so that we can be seen and heard and liked, often getting disappointed by the responses (or lack thereof) that we get from our friends.
But that’s not how real life works.
Think about it this way. When was the last time that you were truly interested when someone you knew came up to you and started talking about themselves?
When you meet someone new or see someone you haven’t seen in a while, what’s usually the first thing you do?
“How are you?”
“What have you been up to?”
“How is your family?”
The natural initial interaction between people is to ask questions.
Social media can’t give you that.
We really start to see the light in the world when we’re interested in the people around us and when we show it by asking questions.
When we begin to see others as sources of valuable experience, insight, and mentorship, our lives and our worlds change dramatically.
This is what I’ve experienced. And it’s what you can experience too.
I’ve begun to remember that each individual that has answered my questions is a living, breathing person, even though I don’t often see most of them in person.
I became more interested in their lives as I asked each question.
Contributing and Connecting on Social Media Helps Fight Depression
“University of Missouri psychologists discovered that the actively engaged test subjects experienced a physiological response that indicated an increase in happiness. This increased happiness, however, went away once subjects switched back to passively browsing.” -allpsychologyschools.com
Social media has made for too many depressed days and made too many of my already depressed days much worse.
But while I’ve been asking questions every day I’ve felt less depressed and more motivated. I still experience the usual ups and downs of life, but they have been significantly easier to manage.
We’ve all been a “lurker”, or “consumer” before, just scrolling endlessly through, hoping that somehow everything we see or read or watch will make us happier.
Consuming without contributing will never make you happier. Science shows that. I can attest that this is true because I’ve tried both consuming and contributing.
Stop just consuming social media.
Start contributing with interest and intent and it will change your life.