3 Ways to Use Social Media for Good

A couple days ago I got my nose pierced. It may seem like an impulse decision to those who don't know me, but it was the furthest thing from that. I've wanted to get my nose pierced for more than 3 years. What inspired me to finally get it done? Oddly enough, social media. That sounds strange, but let me explain:

A few years ago I saw some young women with their noses pierced on social media and thought to myself something like "wow, I wish I could do that." But I've always been self-conscious of my nose, so I wouldn't dare do anything that could bring attention to it.

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After some time I thought that maybe a super tiny, little stud would look ok. Maybe it would make my nose look a little prettier. But because I was pregnant and nursing my youngest daughter, it wasn't possible to get it done.

And I'm glad I didn't get it done sooner. I never would have had the confidence to do it until now.

Since joining Younique last year, I've forced myself to put myself out there on social media. Even posting--*gasp*--selfies. Something I would never, ever, ever, ever consider doing. But that's because I was an insecure woman who didn't want to be judged by others.

The thing is, I have a deep passion for helping inspire women to love themselves just as they are and believe in themselves and their potential. I knew that the only way I could impact others with that message would be to truly live it out myself.

Three years ago, heck--even one year ago, I never would have done something as bold as get a nose ring because I wouldn't want to stand out or give anyone a reason to take notice of me (whether positive or negative).

You may see my nose ring as a piece of jewelry on my face. I see my nose ring as a symbol for how much I've grown. I love it and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

My experiences over this past year has shown me that there are a lot of positives to social media. But like most things, YOU may need to be the one to make it positive. Because I am so active on social media for my businesses, I knew that I had the potential to redeem something that is often negative, judgmental, and unhealthy and turn it into something encouraging, God-honouring, and community building.

Here are 3 ways to use social media for good:

1. Encourage others

Whoever the first woman was to have a nose-pierced selfie on my Facebook timeline encouraged me to consider doing something I wanted to do but felt too self-conscious to consider. I'm 100% positive she had no idea her selfie encouraged me but that's just it: we have no idea how what we say, do, or post will impact another person.

Through our social media posts, we can either have a positive or a negative effect on people. Choose to be an encouragement!

There are a lot of people who would say that social media shows a "highlight reel" of people's lives; they would even go so far as to say that people are posting too positively and not depicting their lives accurately.

Really? Because I tend to see a lot more whining, complaining, gossiping, trolling, and debating.

Being positive doesn't mean being fake. It means being authentic about your struggles but showing God's hope; it means saying something nice or saying nothing at all; it means treating people as real human beings not anonymous targets for judgement.

2. Spread your message

When you have something good to say--something that can encourage, inspire, and help others--then social media is an incredible tool. It has  never been easier to spread messages of joy, hope, and love to thousands, even millions of people.

Focus on loving other people and your message will spread, whether it's for encouragement, business, or awareness for a cause.

3. Find your tribe

We're all unique, and some of us are even a little weird. Social media allows us to go beyond our geographical location to find a network of people who "get" us.

I have some amazing "real-life" friends and family but social media has allowed me to connect with like-minded people who I never would have had a chance to "meet" otherwise. By being authentic online and putting yourself out there, you'll find that people who resonate with you will start to find you and connect with you.

My Facebook newsfeed is an amazing place of encouragement, inspiration, and opportunities to learn. It has gotten that way because I attract positive people into my life.

(Here's a tip if you still have a lot of Negative Nellies: you can "unfollow" people so they don't show up in your newsfeed but you can still remain "friends")

If you ever find yourself complaining about social media, ask yourself: What are you doing to be a part of the solution?

LifeTaryn Nergaard