digital resilience

The importance of the shrug: a necessary skill for digital resilience

Why is a shrug so important to digital resilience you ask?

Recently I was in my “Grit Strength” gym class which is not a regular enough occurrence but it is where most of my thinking happens. I guess we don’t get a lot of down time these days as we usually fill in the space catching up on our social network feeds anytime there is a lull. Anyway one of the exercises we were doing was working the trapezius muscle. When we finished the instructor reminded us that this was the muscles we use to shrug. To shrug our shoulders and get on with life.

Really useful muscles.

And I have to agree. Today more than ever we need to work on these muscles that allow us to shrug.

Because the online world opens us up to so many people. So many opinions. So many beliefs. So many different life experiences. So many judgements. So many points of views. So many people with ulterior motives. So many nasty, vitriolic, jealous, bitter, and downright crazy people.

There are times we need to respond to these people. There are times when we need to call out the bad behaviours. Times we need to stick up for a mate. Or even a stranger. When we need to assert our right to an opinion without being belittled, judged or harassed. Times when we need to use the tools at our disposal to block, delete and report.

But there are also times when we need to just shrug. For our own wellbeing it can be a really useful skill. It helps us leave bitterness and anger behind.

I use it now for those times I read something that makes me think ‘What in Gods name are they thinking’…..or `how could people ever come to that conclusion’….or `man I wish they would just stop typing or tweeting or posting’, or ‘how could they even think that let alone type it’.

Because at the end of the day it is difficult to change people online. We can try and enlighten and we can certainly call out the deplorable behaviour when it is warranted. But there is a certain amount of stuff that happens that just requires a good shrug of the trapezius.

To lift up our shoulders, take a deep breath, drop the shoulders, exhale and say to your self  ‘not my problem…..not today….I’m movin on……”

Let’s teach our kids how to shrug. It’s a muscle well worth exercising.


It is no surprise Michael Grose wrote a book on 40 ways to raise a resilient child and teach them to shrug so you might want to check that out for some super sensible ideas. 

And new out this week I have a brand new webinar to help your family deal with the distraction of digital devices, take back control and reap the many benefits from a connected world. Here is the link and best of all, you can do it in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you! 

Webinar -Driven-to-distraction - The Modern Parent

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