Can we use social media mindfully?

Find a comfortable, alert posture. Shrug your shoulders, take a few breaths, and bring your awareness to your physical and emotional state here and now. Open your computer or click on your phone.

Consider both your intentions and expectations. As you focus on the icon, notice what experiences you have in your mind and body. Why are you visiting this site? What are you hoping for? How are you going to react and reply to different kinds of updates? By checking your social media, are you interested in connecting or distracting?

Close your eyes and rest your awareness in your emotional state for a couple of breaths before you begin to engage. Opening your eyes now, look at the first status update or photo, and then sit back and close your eyes again.

Notice how you are responding—your emotion. Is it excitement? Restlessness? Jealousy? Regret? Worry? How does this emotion manifest in the mind and body? What do you now feel like doing? Reading more, following a link, sharing something yourself, ‘liking’ something? Something else? Wait a breath or two for these feelings to pass, or focus on your breath, your body, your surroundings.

And then permit yourself to respond.