As we continue to introduce the concept of PESSCE (peace) Wholeness, I want to share some foundational thoughts about various areas of focus for the PESSCE model. PESSCE reflects the five life streams: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career and economic. PESSCE Unlimited offers a model for wholeness supported by lifestyle coaching and guidance for navigating your life streams more effectively. I want to spend a little time discussing the “social” life stream. As you begin to focus on your five life streams, it will be important to give consideration to your “why.” Why you do what you do, who you do it with, who you do it for and why you do what you do when you do what you do? What is your “why” for social media? I’ve heard the current justification some use, “I only use it for marketing.” Okay, that’s fine, but what about the other users? Could it be a way of “muting” your silence? I want to share thoughts to help you assess your “why” as it relates to social media and give you opportunity for consideration of regaining an important component of yourself, your silence. Yep, I want to help you “unmute” your silence!

Has your silence been muted? Odd question, right? Silence in most cases is a chosen behavior. People who are closest to you, the people who really “know” you, often know what your silence means or at minimum know how best to interact with you when you are silent. A rich dynamic that fits within the definition of paralanguage, is your body language. Your silence still speaks through observed body language. Face to face communication allows opportunity for your silence to speak. So, I again ask, has your silence been muted? Have you muted your silence with excess utilization of social media?

The Social Life Stream within the PESSCE model gives consideration to our daily social experiences. Our social life experiences begin the day we are born and are exposed to the human experience outside the womb. Who you are today is often shaped by the social interactions you have had over the course of your life time. When we think of the current state of the Social Life Stream, the focus for many has shifted to social media utilization and less on social experiences. Social experiences hinges on the richest form of communication which is face to face interaction. Social media has changed this key developmental dynamic inherent to humans in how we live our lives.

Because of this shift, we have created a disengaged communication forum that has muted silence for many. Silence is not a bad thing. Face to face communication helps to give silence a voice. Through body language or physical touch, we are able to communicate our silence. Social media has muted the beauty of silence. Social media allows many to hide their silence through each individual’s ability to become whomever they want others to believe them to be if they were not silent. This is one aspect of the façade that plagues social media.

I do understand that some would say that social media platforms give voice to those who feel they have no voice. This isn’t necessary all bad, however, as it relates to muted silence, replacement of silence with social media is a way of hiding a gift that is a part of our human nature. The other extreme related to silence, social media also gives an online megaphone to those who are never silent who maybe should be. Online forums, give them opportunity to spew out that which is unimportant, inaccurate, opinionated, and often times just rude or obnoxious. This too is a form of muting the silence. Because in times that should be silent moments in their own personal life and space, such individuals are loudly speaking on social media platforms. Enough already, be silent!

In order to walk in your PESSCE Wholeness, it will be important to look at your social life stream to identify areas of challenge and opportunity. Your muted silence is just one area of consideration related to social. Unmuting your silence by replacing social media time with face to face time with others, personal reflection time, prayer or meditation time can be transformative for you and those around you. Embrace the silence over dinner with your family versus having your phone out scrolling through social media. It might lead to opportunity for engaging dialogue. I challenge you to reengage with your face-to-face circle of family and friends by letting them hear your silence. It’s okay to be silent and not be on social media. You should also consider spending time in your own quiet space of silence. Enjoy the silence. Will your silence be heard? Yes, by you, those in your circle, and your Higher Power! I dare you, try being silent. Unmute your silence and reclaim your social life experiences with yourself, God and those in your social circles, and less through social media absorption!