No monkey business on social media, please

Yoga to improve social media use? (Reuters)

Yoga to improve social media use? (Reuters)


Hey everyone, welcome to social media class. My name is Stacey and I’m super-excited because today we have a sequence for the complete beginner. So, if you’re new to social media, or you have been curious about social media and all its beautiful, wonderful benefits, this is a great sequence for you.

You don’t need any blocks, you don’t need any blankets; all you need is an open phone and an open mind.
If you have an iPad, that’s great; otherwise, slide to unlock and let’s get started.

Place your right hand on the phone’s screen, slide your index finger on the surface and open Facebook. Remember to breathe, everyone. Go to the keyboard and type what’s on your mind. Click on “public” and hit “publish”. Your post can now be seen by everyone. Are you with us, Dianne? Good.

Now take your palms and dive forward on all fours. On your next inhale, move the shoulders, drop the belly, and look forward. A little Cat-Cow stretch here ... Curl your toes, walk your fingers back and come up for a little rest. This is a great opportunity to roll the wrists out and reflect on your post. Did anyone denounce Islam or post a picture of the Prophet Muhammad? No? Great. We’re doing great, everyone!

Stay connected to that breath. Walk your palms out and slowly bring the knees back to come into our first Downward Dog. Pulse in and out of it a few times and visualise your post. Are there any hints of racism or bigotry? Are your spelling and grammar correct? Did you call black people monkeys? Penny? You did? That’s okay.

Penny, I want you to slowly rise up into the Mountain Pose. Now lift your shirt so I can lay into you with this sjambok. This is called a Twitter Backlash, everyone. It’s a perfectly normal reaction to something that was said on the internet. It’s important to remember that all social networks are connected. That’s why they’re called networks.

Okay, everyone, extend the right toes out long. We’re just going to take a few seconds here to breathe into that back leg. Notice that I’m rocking a little back and forth here. Chris, you tweeted “Apartheid victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement” 30 seconds ago. That’s okay.

Chris, I want you to press away from the earth, press on the tops of the feet and just check in with one Hovering Cat or Suspended Banker. This is a great pose to gather your thoughts and punch out an apology. Awesome.

Okay everyone, let’s come back to Table Top, bring the two big toes together and bring the knees as wide as the mat. Great. Inhale. Loop the shoulders, heart radiates forward, exhale and send it back. Extended Child’s Pose.

Here I want you to hold the pose for the rest of the week. I think it’s a good idea for you guys to lay low for a while and think about the hurtful things you said. Congratulations on your first social media class, have a wonderful week and I will see you next time. Namaste.

  Hansie Smit is a freelance journalist

JS Smit

JS Smit

JS Smit is a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Formally trained as a copywriter, he took a break from ads in 2010 to write a blog for the Mail & Guardian's Thought Leader and since 2015 has written for the Mail & Guardian. Read more from JS Smit

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