The Big Idea
Make social media mindful.
Questions I Answer
- How can I be better about my social media time?
- What can I do to spend less time on social media?
- Is social media a waste of time?
- How can I use social media in a mindful way?
Actions to Take
- Add some friction to usage and access of social media on your phone.
- When you’re on social – be intentional with how you spend your time and energy
- Set a highlight to your day that is just for YOU
Key Topics in the Show
Negative effects of social media
How social media divides us
Positive effects of social media
How to use social media in a good way
Resources and Links
- Watch The Social Dilemma for insight on the dangers of social media.
- Related Episodes: 201: How to Train Your Brain to Overcome Bias
This is The Intentional Advantage podcast with your host, Tanya Dalton,
entrepreneur, best-selling author, nationally recognized productivity expert, and keynote speaker. On Season 16, Tanya is taking real to another level, sharing more of her
story and opinions and engaging in conscious conversations to start bringing more
women together. Are you ready? Here’s your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, Hello, Everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m your host,
Tanya Dalton, and this is Episode 204. This season we are talking about having
conscious conversations, and some of those conversations are with yourself;
understanding how you think, how you believe, why you make the decisions you do.
And there’s the other side of the coin. There are the conversations that we have with
And when I sat down and really mapped out this season and what I wanted to talk
about, I knew there was no way that we could possibly have a season on conscious
conversations if we didn’t talk about the one place where so many conversations
happen these days. Good conversations, bad conversations, all kinds of
conversations happen on social media.
And I have to admit, I have had a love, hate relationship with social media for a very,
very long time. And in the past, I would say that I love social media because it does
connect me with so many of you. I love that part of social media. Hmm. Yeah. That’s
about it. Most of the things I love was, like, one thing. And then pretty much
everything else fell into the hate category.
I mean, one of the biggest things that bother me about it is I feel like so many
people are glued to their screens because of social media and they’re not really
plugged into their own lives. They’re so busy scrolling. They’re missing the greatness
that’s happening right in front of them, with their friends and their families. They’re
not really engaged in the present.
And instead, they’re so busy scrolling. So that’s been part of my issue with social
media. But just like a lot of you, the love of connection has been enough for me to
overlook the 3,764 things that I didn’t like about it. So the one thing was like, okay,
the shining light. And there’s all these other things I didn’t like, but here’s my
promise for you today.
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We’re not going to dig into all the reasons that social media is evil or why you should
delete all of your accounts immediately because social media is a part of our lives.
Especially if you’re running a business, it’s something that is a necessary part of your
business. It’s necessary and important. And you know, you’re not alone.
If you have felt frustrated, exhausted by it, irritated by it. I think I’ve told my team on
at least 10,000 occasions that ‘I’m done with social media, I’m not doing it anymore’.
And then I’m like, well, but I do love the conversations that we have and the DMS you
guys send. And so I’ve come back around because I do love that connection.
So I want to talk about the realities of it, but I want to talk about what is good. We’re
going to talk today about how we can partner with social media for good, how we
can use it to make an impact, make a difference and really expand your reach
because it is an important part of any business. And let’s be honest, anyone who is
alive and breathing today is on some sort of social media platform.
But here’s the thing: we really, fully need to understand how it works. How does
social media work? And this is the part where it gets a little ugly. Maybe it gets a lot
ugly, let’s be honest. And it’s no secret, especially with documentaries out there like
The Social Dilemma on Netflix. If you haven’t watched that documentary, I really
would encourage you to watch it.
I watched it with my kids. It really opened up some great conversations with us, but
it talked a lot about the things that are the darker side of social media. And I think
you really need to be aware of it. Yes, we can partner with it. Yes, it can be our ally.
But just like all truths, we do need to peel back the layers. Let’s see it for what it is.
And then we can make intentional decisions about how we want to use it.
So that is what I want us to dig into today. Understanding some of the downsides of
social media and ensuring that when we’re engaging with it, we’re truly using it in its
best, most beneficial way possible. I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned as
I’ve worked on my own relationship with social media because here’s the truth: you
can have a really healthy relationship with social media.
And if you run a business, you need to have that relationship. So you might as well
make it a healthy one. And just like everything that we’ve talked about this season, it
comes down to mindfulness: understanding how it works, how it works with your
brain, and then choosing how; how do I want to move forward? Do I want to move
You know, we live in a world that has already seen so much negativity and so much
polarization. I want us to learn how to use social media as responsibly as possible, so
we can put forth more good into the world and we can open up more seats at our
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table. So that’s what I want to dive into today because like I said earlier, I truly do
believe there is so much positive potential in terms of social media, bringing us
together, helping us to connect with each other. It’s just a matter of really figuring
out the best way to go about it.
Okay. So first things first, I want to talk about that big buzzword I just mentioned a
second ago, polarization. We have to be careful because social media does have the
ability to polarize. Yes, it does a lot of good, which we’re going to get to in a little bit,
but we have to be aware. It has a very high potential to polarize. You know, we’ve
talked about how our own subconscious mind influences our thinking.
It dictates our thoughts and beliefs. It causes us to react without even realizing
where those thoughts and beliefs are rooted. So it’s important to realize social media
influences that subconscious. Social media is a big player in some of the polarization
that we’re seeing right now because it does plant these seeds in our subconscious.
It’s really tied to that whole big topic that we talked about a couple of weeks ago on
Episode 201, where we talked about confirmation bias. And let me tell you what I
mean by that.
If you haven’t listened to that episode, I definitely recommend listening to it. But
confirmation bias is this concept where we actively, without even realizing it, seek
out information that agrees with our point of view or our beliefs. And we kind of shy
away, again without realizing it, from information that goes contrary to what we
believe are our opinions. And social media is a huge player in this because of the way
that social media platforms are created.
They use these different algorithms, and the whole purpose of them is to learn as
much about you as a user. That is the point of social media. It really is. Social media is
a business. It’s a huge business, and it’s wanting to learn all about you. It wants to
give you all the things that you want to watch, all the things you want to read. And at
face value, that seems really helpful.
You know, I really like this article, then all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s another
article you might like.’ Oh, I do like that article. Or I watched this movie and it’s like,
‘Hey, here’s another movie you might like.’ It seems incredibly helpful. Whatever
you’re interested in, that algorithm, those platforms you use, are capitalizing on
those preferences. And that starts to show you things that you like more and more
And it does that because it wants to keep you on their site. Right? So let me give you
an example of this. Have you ever watched, let’s say a funny cat video, that’s come up
in your Facebook feed or you’ve read some articles, some news article about
something, and then you come back later, maybe a day later or later that afternoon,
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and all of a sudden you see, notice in your newsfeed that there’s all these different,
funny cat videos or these other news articles that are related to what you read
earlier? That’s the algorithm at work, plain and simple.
It learns what you read about, or it pays attention that, ‘Oh, she likes funny cat
videos,’ and it pays attention to the people you engage with and the preferences of
those people too. And then it starts spitting out information that’s similar to your
assumed taste and preferences. It’s a way to keep you engaged. And again, that
sounds like it’s really good because it’s giving you more of what you want, but that’s
It gives you what you want and what you already know. The reason
site is there because it wants to make money. One of my favorite quotes from The
Social Dilemma, which is that documentary I highly recommend watching, is:
If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. Anytime something is free,
there’s a cost hidden in there somewhere. And on social media platforms, you’re
being sold to; your kids on social media are being sold to. We all are. That
information they’re gathering is so they can sell better to you, so they can give your
information and privacy, willingly and openly. They sell it to somebody else. They give
it to someone else because the whole purpose is this whole marketing machine to
get you to buy, buy, buy. And it’s giving you what you want to keep you engaged
longer. And it’s sneaky because it does seem like this is to your advantage.
It shows you more funny cat videos, because who doesn’t like funny cat videos? But
because it’s hand-picking for you, that feed that you have that you think is just all
these random articles and random videos, it quickly becomes pretty biased. It’s
mirroring all the preferences you already have. So you’re not seeing all the other
different things, right? In other words, social media is created with a brain of its own.
That’s how this mysterious algorithm works. The algorithm is social media’s brain. So
its brain influences your brain in a way. Your social media pages are a reflection of
you, right? Both on a conscious level in terms of what you actually post yourself and
a subconscious level based on what the algorithm picks up and learns about you as
a user. And because it’s playing to this subconscious bias, we see this polarization
I mean, think about it. If all you’re seeing in your newsfeed are things that play to
your opinions and your beliefs instead of a wide variety of ideas and beliefs and
opinions, including the ones that are the opposite of what you believe, then all we
see are the things that we agree with. So it’s no surprise. It’s no wonder that we’re
seeing a lot of polarization happening on social media.
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People are separating themselves into their own camps. You see things that you
believe in and that further confirms your beliefs. And on the other side of the coin,
your neighbor who lives across the street from you and believes the exact opposite
of you, she is also seeing things on her newsfeed that plays into her own opinions
and her beliefs.
Neither one of you are getting a good, healthy dose of variety when you’re tuned into
social media, and that’s why you continue to butt heads when you try to have a
conversation about something that you have a strong opinion about. Whether it’s
online or even face to face, we like to assume that everybody is exposed the same
You know, when I hop on Facebook, I see these things I assume everyone else does,
but it’s really not the case because that’s not how the social media platforms are
geared to work. And I think most people don’t realize that we’re all seeing the things
that are curated for us. So in order to make social media work better for us in the
most beneficial way, we have to be careful. We have to be cognizant of that. We have
to realize that’s what it’s doing for us.
You know, variety is the spice of life. And this is especially true when it comes to
opinions and beliefs. So I think it’s really important to understand that mysterious
algorithm. We hear that term, the algorithm, all the time. That is how it works.
And that is the whole point of it, to engage you more, sell to you even more, and
really get you hooked in. But it does play into that confirmation bias. So let’s talk
about another issue, which is probably one of the biggest issues I think with social
media. And I want you to listen closely to what I’m about to say next because I think
it might change the way you feel about your usage of social media.
Social media encourages us to think small, which I feel like is just the opposite of
probably why people started social media. It was to expand our horizons and let us
see all the possibilities. But I want you to think about this. And I want you to think
about whether you agree or disagree with that.
Social media encourages us to think small. Now, let me just walk you through a little
imaginary scenario. You hop on social media, you scroll through your newsfeed,
maybe check out an influencer’s page, because you stumbled across a picture. It
catches your attention and you’re immediately slapped in the face with everybody
else’s accomplishments, or worse, with what you think your life should look like,
because that’s what it looks like for this person. You know what I’m talking about
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The fitness guru who has, like, perfect abs, right, and is in amazing shape? And she’s
living at the gym, nonstop; the food blogger who makes incredible food and they go
to different places and they meet different people; or the organizer who shows you
her immaculate pantry and claims to not have a junk drawer, which doesn’t seem
Let’s be honest, everyone has a junk drawer for God’s sake. You know, we see these
things and we immediately think we’re somehow less than. Or worse, that we’re
doing something wrong in our own lives. You know, in the background of it all, it
looks picture-perfect, but our lives look like real life. And so it’s a problem because it
really makes us question who we are and what we’re doing.
And it pushes us into these tiny boxes of what we think we’re supposed to do or
what we should be doing. You know, here’s the thing it’s, it’s okay to be perfectly
okay with who you are, imperfectly. None of us are perfect. That’s the fun part about
living; it’s the junk drawer of life. The problem is, with social media, is that it does
encourage us to think small because it encourages us to compare ourselves with
each other far, far too often.
And not in a way that is at all helpful, unless you’re really intentional with it, which
we’re going to get to in just a few minutes. But it’s this constant comparison-ism
that’s happening, where we’re comparing ourselves to one another, doubting our
own progress in our own lives. And that keeps us stagnated. It keeps us from moving
We start asking ourselves, What if I fail? What if I don’t find the same success that
so-and-so has? What if I don’t have as many followers that this person or that person
does? Nobody liked my photo; what’s happening? Right? We fall into these mindset
pitfalls and we become afraid to move further in our own way.
And instead of moving forward, we continue to think small about ourselves, about
the work we do; maybe about the business that you’ve created. We worry about our
relationships and our potential for finding success. In effect, not only do we become
polarized from people who think and believe differently than we do, but we also
become polarized from ourselves. The current version of you, the one who has all
these big, amazing goals and big dreams.
When we get caught up in this darker side of social media and continually compare
ourselves with others . . . You’re becoming more and more polarized from that ideal
version of yourself, the one who actually accomplishes those goals and dreams and
feels confident. So we have to really be aware when we’re on social media, how we’re
using it, how it’s affecting us and how it’s affecting how we feel about ourselves.
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So those are two of the big things that I struggle with when it comes to social media.
But again, it’s all about understanding how it works so then we can move forward.
We’ve talked about some of the darker sides of it. Now I want to talk about how we
can use social media as our ally, how we can partner with it so we can put forth good
into the world. So before we do that, let’s take a quick mid-episode break.
Listen, 2020 was not exactly the year we all hoped it would be. I know that many of
you planned and dreamed out your goals only to have to toss them out the window
because of the craziness of the last 12 months. I like 2021 to not just feel like a
beautiful blank slate; I want to feel like the springboard that you need to help you
and your business grow and expand.
So to help you do that, I’ve got a free interview series that I’m offering to you. I’m
calling it the 7-Figure Sessions because all of the women I’ll be featuring, which are a
part of my own peer group of 7, 8, and 9-figure businesswomen who I turn to myself
when I need support or advice, or encouragement. And I do that for them as well.
We link arms with one another in helping our businesses grow and thrive. Now, this
interview series is going to take place from January 4th through the 15th, and each
day I’ll feature one of my friends. Every single one of them is an incredible
businesswoman that I have a personal relationship with. And each one has agreed to
show up, to be here to help you jumpstart your 2021. So head over to
Tanyadalton.com/series to sign up, to join us. It’s free.
And here’s what I want you to do. I want you to commit to yourself and to your
business. I want you to push pause on the podcast right now and head over to
Tanyadalton.com/series. This event is going to be limited in size. This is not some big
webinar that I’m offering. It’s designed to give you back-of-the-room type access to
these incredible women leaders, just like I have. So let’s do this. Let’s make 2021 the
year that you and your business grow incredibly. So head to Tanyadalton.com/series.
Now that we understand some of the social media pitfalls we can fall into, let’s flip
those on their heads. Let’s talk about how we can use social media for good. And yes,
it does have some good to it. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s been a bit of a lifeline this
year. Hasn’t it? When we’ve been quarantined, we’ve been isolated from friends and
family, things like Facebook and Instagram, have been there to help us stay
connected to the people we love.
And that right there, the connection, making it easier to reach out, making it easier
to send a message or leave a comment to somebody that we love or someone that
we want to connect more with, that is possibly the biggest reason social media
deserves a few accolades. It really does because it has in many ways woven our
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We have to stop looking at each other as competitors and realize that what makes
her great can also make you great. But also, what makes her great doesn’t have to
be the same thing as what makes you great, right? Confidence isn’t thinking that
you are great. It’s realizing you are great — and so is she. There’s enough pieces of pie
to go around.
So think about how social media not only makes you a person to your clients, how
does it make your competitors a person to you? That’s a real person running the
business that you’re competing against. Don’t be competitors. Be worthy rivals; allow
each of you to push each other, to rise up and do better and be better. Use social
media to create these real connections and have true, authentic conversations.
You know, it’s a great place to truly make a difference, to understand the unique
problems that are out there; to understand how we can change things. You can
crowdsource. There are some incredible change-makers who’ve used social media
alone to change the world. You just have to be intentional with how you use it. So
you don’t get lost in the rabbit hole.
Social media has an opportunity for you. It really does. It has an opportunity for you
to expand and grow in ways that were not possible before, so use it to your
advantage, especially if you’re a person out there who wants to do good, that just
exponentially grows that impact that you’re wanting to create. I want to encourage
you to see social media a little bit differently.
So this week I’ll actually go ahead and I’ll share a video with you about how you can
be more intentional with your social media posts, especially if you’re running a
business. I’m going to send that out through my newsletter. So look for an email to
come on that later this week, because I do think it’s really important. It’s a great
place to take the impact you’re already making and allow it to grow exponentially, so
look for that later on this week.
But now let’s focus on a couple of momentum builders. I’ve got three momentum
builders to help you start using social media with a little more intention.
Momentum Builder Number One: add some friction. You know, one of the best ways
to ensure that you’re using social media as responsibly as you can, is to really check
in on your usage of it. I’m not going to suggest that you take social media apps off
your phone. I know that would be, that’s kind of a big thing, right? But what if you
choose to log in and log out each time you got on social media? Add a tiny bit of
friction so it’s not as easy just to pop in there at a moment’s notice.
You’ll start to notice if you’re having to type in your password each time, how often
you’re defaulting to mindlessly opening up the app and then scrolling. You know,
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one of the things that I did to add even more friction is I moved my social media
apps inside a folder on my home screen, away from the place where it used to be. I
replaced it and I put my meditation app.
My finger just always used to go to that same spot. So now instead it opens my
meditation app and I end up doing like a 2-5 minute meditation, instead of scrolling.
And so I want to encourage you; instead of just mindlessly scrolling, choose a time to
intentionally be in there with the time you have, and then choose a time to stop. I
find it really helpful to set a timer for myself because then I know I’m not going to
get caught up in that rabbit hole.
And that idea leads me to Momentum Builder Number Two: when you’re [on social
media], make meaningful comments; actually read the posts that you’re interested
in, instead of just rushing through the scroll. I want you to be intentional with your
time, taking care to really be mindful of what you’re checking in on and where you’re
spending your energy and how you feel.
You know, quite honestly, if you’re checking on somebody’s social media feed and
you feel really bad about yourself afterward, you need to ask yourself, is that
someone that I really want to follow? Make sure you’re spending that time to reach
out to the people that you care about because that really is one of the greatest
things about social media. Isn’t it? The connections we make and the relationships
we can build. So I want you to take care when you’re surfing through the newsfeed
and checking in on how you’re feeling. Do you need to follow all those people? Or is
there some people you need to maybe unfollow or mute? Either one works.
All right. Lastly, Momentum Builder Number Three: have a highlight. One of the
things I’m constantly asking my kids when they are scrolling is this, Are you living
your life or are you busy living in someone else’s? So let’s get busy living your life.
Let’s do something to help you create a life that makes you want to live more offline.
So here’s my challenge to you. I want you to set a highlight for yourself every day this
week. Just something small that you can look forward to that has absolutely nothing
to do with your job and doesn’t require social media at all. It could be reviving an old
hobby or finding a few minutes to curl up with that book that you’ve been dying to
Maybe it’s spending some time outside or just doing something, anything that is just
for you. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be something small, something you’re really
excited about. Just add a little something extra to your day. Something that is just
for you. I can promise you those highlight reels you’re seeing on social media aren’t
all they’re cracked up to be.
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The life you’ve got is pretty amazing. So let’s start living that instead. And right there,
the ability and the confidence to say, ‘You know what? I’m going to be intentional
with how I spend my time’, or saying, ‘Nope, this isn’t for me right now’, that is truly
what it’s all about.
When you feel compromised and you feel stretched too thin or exhausted from
trying to keep up with it all, I want you to choose to have the courage and
confidence to take a step back, give yourself permission to recharge and recuperate.
That’s how you know that you’re on the path towards success that you want. That is
how you know you have the intentional advantage.