Using social media to help your bushcraft

Home Sweet Home

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that social media is in our lives to stay, certainly for the foreseeable future.  Social media can at best be distracting and at worse can be akin to an addiction, with evidence linking its use to an increased sense of loneliness, anxiety, depression and more tangible issues like shortened attention spans and a measurable increase in fidgeting.

I mainly use Facebook and Instagram. In recent years I have taken a deliberate step back from both (I was never a big user) as I was finding them increasingly distracting, filling the odd moments in my life with browsing what other people were doing rather than bettering myself. I had also noticed an increasing inability in myself to sit still and focus on a task.

So why am I writing a bushcraft blog post on social media? I would like to try and get you to view these platforms in a different way and start using them as tools to benefit your bushcraft learning.

One positive aspect of social media that has really jelled with me is the sense of community when discussing things I am passionate about with like-minded individuals. I didn’t want to lose this. I also found that I was getting a lot of value from the ‘memories’ function on Facebook. As I am sure that most of you know, this randomly brings up a post that you have previously created, sometimes years in the past. These posts allowed me to reflect on my own bushcraft journey, past adventures and learning and just how far I have developed and where I still need to go.

Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home – Memories

I now only really post infrequently and in a limited number of places. Places where I have learnt that the communities are supportive and where a genuine learning environment exists. I now also focus my posts on recording my own journey or adding value to others where I can share my knowledge in a constructive way. A really important part of this, I have found, is being open and honest about my own knowledge gaps and the mistakes I have made. This not only allows my own self improvement through a really powerful tool called reflective practice, it also allows others to see that being less than perfect is all part of the journey.

In a way, my social media accounts have become my electronic journal. Allowing me to easily record activities in both pictures and text. I have awful hand-writing and cannot draw for toffee, so an electronic journaling method works for me. Why share them publicly? Well, it’s not because I am chasing likes or trying to present an optimal view of myself as the worlds best bushcrafter. To be honest, it’s to keep me accountable to myself and those that I interact with, whom I have come to respect. These people push me forwards and help make me better.

So, what other benefits are there too keeping a regular journal of our activities? Some of the many recognised benefits include:

  1. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety
  2. It aids learning from experiences
  3. Increases the brains ability to intake, process, retain and retrieve information
  4. Improves general communication skills
  5. Improves your memory
  6. Improves your sleep
  7. Helps move you towards your goals
  8. Improves mindfulness.

Hopefully these thoughts on the alternative way I use social media, will encourage you to view it in a new light – as a useful tool for your own self improvement.

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