How to Create a Truly Supportive Community Online
Do you ever feel lonely online?
You know, you're flipping through page after page of your so-called "friends" on Facebook or some other social media platform, but you realize you are actually quite lonely?
It may seem strange, but even though the world has become more connected via the internet and social media, studies are showing that more people consider themselves unhappy, even as we're becoming more connected.
Why More People Are Unhappy
A University of Michigan psychologist conducted a study last year which found that when users consumed online social media, it made those users more lonely and reduced overall life satisfaction.
Almost 100 participants in the study were sent questions five times a day over a two-week period with a link to a survey about their Facebook use, their feelings of well being and the amount of face-to-face social interaction they had engaged in.
According to the study, the more time participants had spent on Facebook, the less happy they felt over time.
"The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them," the study reported. "The more they used Facebook over two weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time."
A few years ago, I was just like the participants in that study. I was active on all the major platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but I felt lonely. I didn't feel like I had a community where I belonged.
Part of the problem was my business. Like most lawyers, I was too dependent on the service-based billable hour. I was chained to my desk. If I wasn't at my desk, I wasn't making money.
I decided that I didn't want to be 100% dependent on the billable hour. I also knew I needed a community to help me transition my business by expanding my online presence, including using blogging and podcasting.
There's a saying "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." That's what happened for me.
Read the full article "How to Create a Truly Supportive Community Online" at The Huffington Post.