Archive for December, 2012

Making Social Media Soulful

StonesLightBombarded by social media during the holiday season, my soul risks oblivion.    Blog posts double in frequency, Facebook ads exhort me to buy, holiday gift offers flood my inbox.  My soul cries out for space, for moments to ponder the life that gestates within me during these dark days of Advent.  How can I welcome the light when it comes if I don’t have time to experience the darkness?

As both a reader and a producer of social media, I’ve been pondering how social media can be soulful, especially during the holiday season.  How can I choose to read only what nurtures my soul, rather than consuming everything that comes my way?  How can I take space to meditate and pray, to ground myself when I face a difficult task, instead of procrastinating by “catching up” on Facebook?

On the other side, as a producer of social media, I wonder: How can I offer spacious and thoughtful blogs, newsletters, fliers, Facebook posts, and website information?  How can I contribute to nurturing people’s souls during the holidays, instead of contributing to their souls’ oblivion?

One resource that I’ve found particularly helpful is Tanja Gardner’s Crystal Clarity writing tips.  From blog posts to websites to emails, Gardner helps me hone my message, invite my readers into spaciousness, and communicate my message clearly and invitingly.  She also reminds me, when I’m on the receiving end as a reader, how to focus, how not to get distracted by unnecessary information, and how to feed my soul with my reading.

In “Make Your Webpage Crystal Clear,” for example, Gardner points out how many websites (rightfully) actually drive readers away.  By obscuring the message and filling the page with too much text, most websites waste readers’ time.  She offers 12 tips for writing spacious, inviting websites.  My favorites: using the inverted pyramid, focusing on the reader, and avoiding jargon.  In addition, Gardner offers “Crystal Writing Tips,”  regular tips to help make writing easy, fun, and clear.

This year, I’m seeking to be conscious about social media.  In both my reading and my writing, I’m committed to nurturing my soul and the souls of my readers.  I’ll experiment with being “crystal clear,” both inwardly as I take in information, and outwardly, as I write and send my message out to the world.  May we all find ways to use social media in soul-nurturing ways in this holiday season.