To be publicly nominated for a challenge on Facebook or Instagram as a “Powerwoman” or with other appreciative terms caresses personal vanity and is always tempting. Who wouldn’t like to get a stage every now and then for something that remains unnoticed and unappreciated by society. This is sometimes a beautiful, warming and strengthening feeling. However, it usually fizzles out again very quickly, because hardly any challenge is long-term. What remains of the hashtag? This is the question I always ask myself before I decide to participate or not. If it’s just a matter of satisfying your own ego with a challenge, I’m now leaving it off as often as possible, because I want to decide for myself, with which contributions I want to appear on Social Media Channels. “Green smoothie challenges”, “morning rituals”, “#photoyouwouldneverpost”, “30 days of fasting food pictures” or even “TikTok challenges”, where alpine cows are scared off, get neither a hashtag nor energy from me. When it comes to regional products, women’s empowerment, initiatives against abuse, donations for refugees, social justice, plastic avoidance and other basic life issues that are important to me, I am very happy to support these challenges. However, I try to do my best to ensure that this commitment is not seen as finished with a hashtag, but rather that I am active beyond that. In women’s groups, in a service club and wherever it is possible.
I think it’s wonderful that there are challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge, where the German Society for Muscle Diseases (DGM) collected more than one million euros in September 2014 which led to advancing research into the incurable muscle disease ALS. Although I didn’t pour a bucket of ice water over my head and posted the video, I did share the challenge and donated. As did many other people. But even with this voluntary challenge, which was perhaps weird but harmless, there was an incredible number of hate posts as far as I can remember. If we could succeed in stopping or reversing hate, envy, resentment, exclusion, stupidity, spreading and indifference towards right-wing extremist ideas with a challenge on the social media channels, I would be in. Because the most important thing on our planet is in the long run a functioning social and societal coexistence. This is the basis for ultimately solving all other challenges – war, pandemics, poverty, diseases, refugees, climate change, etc. The fact that social media currently tends to divide rather than connect, is frightening. It certainly requires much more individual commitment to think in a positive, supportive direction and to initiate a change.
Yes, of course do exist such situations. Again and again. Something that feels right to me, a success, a situation where I feel that everything is good and right as it is. And suddenly I have some doubts. What could my environment think of it? Is it worth the effort? Am I good enough? Can I afford it (externally)? Do I make a fool of myself? Am I too open, too visible? So, my ego speaks out loudly and questions many things, gives too much attention to superficiality and outwardness, prevents me from remaining in self-love. Facebook & Co. favor my ego and make ME weaker and sometimes stronger than I like. Then I find it difficult to listen to my inner voice, to stay with me, to listen to my soul, not to give in to the doubting thought patterns. But I learn. Just the awareness that there is this ego, which is definitely influenced by social media, makes me clearer and therefore also able to recognize when my ego is screaming or when it is really my inner voice that is well-disposed towards me. And then – giving the inner voice more power – to decide.