It’s been said we’re the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. This can be transferred to who we hang out with online, as well. Take stock of who (and what) you allow to shape your thoughts, and raise the bar where necessary.
If you listen to podcasts or watch educational videos, listen to ones hosted by people who talk about ideas from a point of both expertise and curiosity and who bring a thoughtful perspective to the table. I love On Being, hosted by Krista Tippett. The Stanford Graduate School of Business also puts many of their guest lectures and interviews on YouTube, as do other business schools.
If you’re taking an online course, consider taking a free one through MIT, Harvard, Columbia, etc through EdX. They have over a thousand free classes covering multiple areas of interest, including first-rate business courses ranging from Business 101 to marketing to finance to supply chains.
Follow artists on Instagram who have nothing to do with your field so that you can train yourself to see inspiration everywhere.
The purpose of Twitter is mindshare, which is why it is the preferred social media platform for so many leaders. Follow people who talk about things that cause you to think about topics from a different angle.
Social and online media is a great way to gain exposure to new people and ideas that sharpen you, force you to examine long-held beliefs you may have never questioned, and spark your creativity. This is especially true if you work for yourself and don't have the same interactions that a standard corporate office has. If you leave social media feeling more drained than inspired, change who you follow. You are the sum of who you surround yourself with, online and off.