How to create a joyful experience on the web

joyful experience on the web

I wanted to do a short post today on a subject that is plaguing a lot of people right now — a social media news feed that brings your day down.

Each day my social media friend-feed is filled with web-induced angst:

  • “There are so many fakers on the web — it makes me angry.”
  • “Politics brings out the worst in people. These rants are driving me crazy.”
  • “The web is filled with so much crap. The whole Internet seems to be dumbed-down.”
  • “This person is so negative … but I hate to stop following them in case I miss something.”

Here’s the beauty of the web. We all have the opportunity to create our own experience here. If we want to be joyful, we can surround ourselves with inspiration and joy. If we want to learn, we can connect to so many smart people! If we need a laugh, there is so much funny stuff on the web (like Bacon Baby!)

Sure, there’s a lot of crap on the web but there’s still plenty of quality, inspiring content, too. It’s kind of like TV. Are you going to watch The Kardashians or Cosmos? You are the master of your online content selection. Sure there’s a lot of fluff but nobody is making you consume it.

Likewise, you’re the master of your “friend” selection, too. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to learn about diverse views but when it gets to the point where a person is shrill, it’s time for them to go.

Life is too short for toxicity. If somebody is angry, hateful, or annoying, jettison them from your stream. You will feel so much better.

There is so much good out there. If social media news feeds are bringing you down, take accountability for your experience and surround yourself instead with something beautiful.

Why not start creating your own experience today?

This very joyful photo came from Flickr CC and Pieter Mooij

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  • Mia Sherwood Landau

    Your post photo is a joyful experience. I WANT their hair… OK, more to your point… Unfriending or disconnecting occasionally keeps my FB feed more satisfying. It really is like food, isn’t it? Good taste and a friendly flavor are always my goal when I post, not griping or critcizing. But it’s easy to accidentally slip into whining a bit.

  • The best feature Facebook added was the “unfollow” button. You can unfollow people without unfriending them. There are several I want to stay friends with but because of their ranting political posts I can unfollow them during the election year!

  • What a great post to start the day. The politics are probably the hardest to see. I have no problem agreeing to disagreeing, but when the posts are hateful. Yeah, hard, particularly when they come from people you like.

  • Thanks for noticing the pic. I loved their joyful expressions!

  • There are so many viewpoints about social media – that it brings out the worst in people, that it fosters incredible friendships and networking, that it’s dangerous, that it’s the best thing ever, etc. I think all these points of view have some validity, but like you say at the end of the day we are our own ‘curators’ and are responsible for what we get out of it. I do think however that some people don’t realise that what they see in their Newsfeeds is getting them down (I’m referring to the research that says “Facebook makes us sadder and Less Satisfied”). The connection isn’t clear to everyone, nor is the fact that they are in control of their own web experience.

  • I feel just like Bacon Baby when I eat bacon. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I sneaked downstairs on a Saturday morning and “fried” a pound of bacon. “Fried” is in italics because I thought all you’d have to do is get it nice and warm. I toasted 4 pieces of bread and had myself two sandwiches each with a half of a pound of incredibly undercooked bacon. I sat down at the table and devoured the first sandwich. Oh my, that was delicious! Then I started nodding out trying to make my way through the second sandwich which was now leaking completely through the bottom piece of toast. My sister comes downstairs, sees my head swaying back and forth, looks at what I’m eating and exclaims, “Oh my god, you can’t eat that much bacon. And you’ve got to cook it!” Who knew?

    Back to the main point of your post: The net is pretty much just like life, as you say, Mark. You get what you put your attention on.

  • I see that you posted this same content on Medium. Are there SEO concerns from your point of view about creating duplicate content on different channels? I thought I once heard that Google dings content copied on different mediums – not sure if that was a myth or if there is truth to that. I wanted to ask this question when you recently did this podcast interview with Mitch Joel and Michael Stelzner on the future of blogging 🙂

  • well said my friend!

  • The political cycle probably breaks up a lot of friendships!

  • A key point. I’m sure psychologists will make money in the future helping people with newsfeed anxiety!

  • Bacon stories always welcome.

  • There is some risk in that but I think you have to look at it this way. Do I want people to see the content or do I want to worry about “traffic?” Most of my posts aren’t really optimized to any sort of Google keyword. You can’t be a thought leader and blog on the same keywords as everyone else. So I carve my own path. Most blog traffic are tourists who never come back, Your own Google analytics will verify that. The economic value of content is not seen and shared is zero. So I’m less focused on pleasing Google and more focused on helping the most people possible. Thanks for the question.

  • I love this post, Mark. We are what we pay attention to – and attention is the only thing we really have. The trick is to balance having an open mind with spending attention carefully. You have earned my attention.

  • Thanks for your feedback on this. I appreciate it.

  • Awww. Thanks so much Anne!

  • Happy to help. We’re all just figuring it out

  • “So I’m less focused on pleasing Google and more focused on helping the most people possible” – this is actually exactly what Google wants! Creating and optimising for people, not search engines.

  • Yup. That’s what I have bet on all along. : )

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