Paradise is Sharing...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Facebook and the Four Agreements

This morning I logged into Facebook with the intention of sending a colleague a message, only to find out she had blocked me.  My immediate reaction was "What a bitch! She blocked me!"..... I proceeded to "cyber-stalk" her - I looked up her Linked-In profile which remained unchanged, brought up her twitter account which was still active, and even checked to see if she was still "pinning" on Pinterest ... The rest of her social media world seemed normal - so I was left with the feeling of "what the heck - did I say something to piss her off?"....

I had just spent a good part of an hour worried about the state of our relationship, I had created fake arguments in my mind, and awful girl-fight scenarios in my imagination.  All that time and energy - wasted - over a social media account.  Maybe she shut down her entire Facebook account because of a personal issue.  Maybe she decided she only wanted to use Facebook for friends and close family.  Maybe I needed to stop taking everything so personally and move on with my life.  Maybe I just need to pick up the phone and call her instead of sending her a message on Facebook.  Although I didn't ask her about being black-balled from her friends list, I did find out that she is fine, we are fine, and everything in her life is busy, chaotic and wonderful.  It felt good to connect with her in such a positive way.   Why didn't I just pick up the phone and call her instead of creating this crazy scenario of her hating me in my head to begin with?  Think of the time and energy I could have saved!

Then I remembered one of the Four Agreements established by author Miguel Ruiz - "Don't take anything personally."  I pulled out my book and re-read the chapter and realized that even though this book was published a full seven years before Facebook was established, the Four Agreements could be a rulebook on how to behave and act on the social media platform, and made a pledge to walk the talk and follow these golden rules myself.  Here again, are the Four Agreements, and I modified them to fit the etiquette of Social Media.  It is my belief that if you follow these Four Agreements while posting, corresponding and sharing on Facebook or any other social media platform, you will save time, feel more at ease, have more friends and followers, and save your sanity.


1) Be Impeccable with Your Word -

Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

In Facebook terms - only post what is absolute truth and not hearsay.  Check our sources and be sure that what you post and share is the truth.  Gossip is defined as "talking to someone about something who is not part of the solution"

2) Don't Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

There has been a time or two when I have posted something that had nothing to do with anyone on my friends list, but someone took offense.  It had nothing to do with them, I was expressing my own pain, but my pain landed on them like a hot arrow.  Hurt people, hurt people.  If you are hurt, it is best to stay off Social Media until wounds have healed.  At the same time, if you are wounded by someones posting - it is not you, it is their anger that caused them to lash out.  You are not forcing them to be hurtful, their hurt is causing them to be hurtful.

3) Don't Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

This can transform your life, both on and offline.  We make assumptions because we believe that we know what other people are thinking and feeling.  Remove your ego from the chat room.  You can not possibly know how that person feeling from a mile, 10 miles, or a 1000 miles away.  Break down the barrier of time and space and make human contact to alleviate the unknown.  Pick up the phone or ask them to coffee. 

3) Always Do Your Best 

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

In Facebook terms,  we have allowed the world to peek in through window and see us at our highest and lowest moments.  When I think of always doing my best  - I don't mean that every status update has to be upbeat with rainbows and unicorns farting glitter and fairy dust.  I think of doing my best is to be humble, forthright, and human.  Sometimes we fall down, but it's how we pick ourselves up that defines us.  Look back at your last few days of posts - were they complaining? Cranky? Whiney?  Would you put up with that behavior from your child?  If not, you may want to consider to change your mindset - and your status updates.

Facebook is a funny, weird, crazy new territory that we are all learning to get along on.  It is creating scenarios that we never had to think of even a decade ago - how to deal with break-ups, bad news, family issues, or even someones death on this social media platform. Keep in mind that while some kids are growing up in this culture, it is still very new to most of us.   Be kind to each other - and remember to stay in Paradise.

Paradise is here, Paradise is now - Paradise is being connected.