Hypocrites calling each other hypocrites:

 

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I’ve started this post at least ten times and every time it ends up being deleted and the title alone sits in my drafts folder. Why? Because it’s something everyone already knows. Of course you’re a hypocrite. Of course I am. We all are.

It’s a fact we call people out on a lot. We like to tell people when they are being hypocritical, and most of the time it’s friendly. It’s just calling out when the pot is calling  the kettle black. It’s easy to laugh about. We all have small moments between friends that makes everyone roll their eyes and laugh. But sometimes the topics are more sensitive and hypocritical moments are met with hard backlash and shame. I’m not saying that that’s wrong. People need to be told when they are doing things they say others shouldn’t. We shouldn’t be the exceptions to our own rules. But with the rise of people digging into old social media posts to call us out on our hypocritical moments, it leads one to wonder, where’s the line?

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Keeping things in mind: Everything online is dramatized.

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The internet is a intense place, I don’t think anyone would argue that. You get the perfectly curated views of life and you get anger and intense viewpoints.

There hardly seems to be anything else.

Mid-way views, deep rational thinking, and realistic images are hard to find, but we’ve become numb to the fact that they’re missing. We’re feeding on that content and nothing else. It seems to go over our head that the internet is completely dramatized. The politics are more intense. The tragedies are expanded upon. Conspiracy theories are fed. And perfect lives are staged for praise.

We fall down rabbit holes and don’t realize that the internet is changing our views, but even more so, we don’t seem to realize that the rabbit holes we’re in don’t reflect real life. The internet will make you believe that the world is falling apart, but it’s not. If we go outside we can see that opposite sides come together in hard times and are polite to each other in the grocery store check out. We can also see that those who have perfectly frames lives are still chasing their screaming kids around and getting frizzy hair in the rain. We realize that the front we’ve been seeing, both the good and the bad, are completely overblown.

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Anger and outrage and crying wolf:

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Anger and outrage are really strong emotions, anyone who has ever scrolled down their Facebook feed would probably agree. People have a lot of feelings and emotions and they want them heard. There is nothing wrong with sharing your opinions or emotions, but what is the key to having them be heard?

It’s not overusing anger and outrage as tools. If you’re angry all the time people don’t take your anger seriously. If you’re outraged all the time people don’t take your outrage seriously. It’s the emotional version of “the boy who cried wolf”.

That’s not to say that there isn’t enough terrible things happening in the world for you to be outraged or angry about. The world is full of terrible things, that’s not in question, but how much you choose to focus on them and how much you get upset about the not so important things really sets you up for screaming into the void.

The void doesn’t care what you think, nor does anyone else who is also screaming into the void.

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On social media and stalking people from our past:

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I have a friend that checks her ex-boyfriend’s social media feeds semi-regularly. I check an ex-friend’s feed even more often.

We’re in a digital world, most of our generation shares their lives on social media, it’s easy to cyber stalk. It’s easy to learn details that you wouldn’t ever learn in person. It’s easy to dismiss your need to hash up the past on ‘oh I just thought about them and I was curious.’ But did you check their feed because you were curious or were you curious because you check their feed so often?

The longer you linger on a topic the more likely it is to circle back around later. The more frequently you indulge in a curiosity, the more likely you are to do it again. Somebody doesn’t have to be standing on the other side of the door to make their way in when you open it. Whether you are talking to these people or not, whether they are thinking of you or not, you’re asking them to come live in your head rent free.

It’s not good for you, not only because it makes you linger in the past, or in your anger, or in your broken heart, but also because you’re now in a relationship for one. No one-sided relationship is healthy simply because relationships are never meant to be one sided. It’s not a new phenomenon, people have lingered on those they shouldn’t for years, but social media is making it easier, and it’s giving us a front row seat to someones life we aren’t supposed to be a part of any longer.

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Hate is addicting

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I think we have a skewed perception about what is addicting and what isn’t. There are a lot of substances that aren’t addictive physically but can be mentally. It’s very easy to get hooked on a feeling, hooked on emotions. We can crave the endorphins that something releases or the power we feel when we do a certain act. Are emotions technically addictive? No. Do you get emotional withdraws from them all the same? Yes. That makes them addictive enough in my book.

But it isn’t just the good emotions we get hooked on, it isn’t just things that numb our pain, sometimes we can get addicted to the things that fuel it. It’s an interesting thing really, but more and more people are becoming addicted to outrage, addicted to anger, addicted to hate.

Maybe it’s the way we take in our news, maybe it’s that the most outrageous, enraging headlines are the ones to grab our attention. Maybe it’s that social media has acted as a barrier from other people emotions, so we don’t realize when we are treading to far, maybe then we become desensitized to it to the point that we no longer care when we do. Maybe its the fact that we’re taking in so much hate all the time that we start to think of it as normal, and therefore needlessly dish it back out into the world.

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Retraining your brain: We’ve taught ourselves that mindless activities can take the place of hobbies

20180716_202856.jpgIf you’re like me you might be making a big push to spend more time on your hobbies and less time wasting time. I know a lot of people who are doing this, because after all we are in a digital age that runs on wasting time. Instead of going for a hike you’re rewatching a show you’ve seen before on Netflix, or worse, you’re wasting your time scrolling through Netflix for something to watch. We mindlessly scroll and we know it’s a problem, so a lot of us are trying to fix it.

But adding our hobbies back into our lives often feels like a chore. I talked about how going from a mindless activity to a mindful activity often seems like hard work, and I think we can agree just by how hard it is to talk ourselves into doing the things we love.

We love them, it should be easy, but it never is. So we add it to our to do list, we force ourselves to do them. Maybe that’s the only way to break the cycle, to make yourself get up and act. Maybe it’s harder to channel motivation to do it in a more natural way. Maybe it takes some time to build up the excitement you used to have. But if it lasts for more than the first two weeks you have to really look at why these things still feel like chores to you.

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Cleaning my social media: Was it enough?

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I work on social media because I like social media. I enjoy scrolling through feeds, laughing, connecting, and getting inspired. There is a ton good to say about social media, and I think all the nay-sayers ignore the long list of positive features. It can build community, it can connect you with similar people when you can’t find them in your daily life. It can help make your life easier by teaching and informing. Its how most people get their news now a days. It exposes you to beauty that you wouldn’t otherwise see. And it’s great for a good laugh most days.

That being said, social media is a lot like most of your favorite foods. It’s wonderful, it brings you joy, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. It, like every other thing in this world, has negative features to balance it’s positive ones. That doesn’t mean you need to delete all your feeds the moment you notice the not so glittery side of social media, but it does mean that you need to find a way to filter and control yourself and your feeds.

I’ve written about the dangers of consuming things online. At the end of it I decided the solution was to balance what accounts I was following with accounts of the adverse. Then a few months later I wrote about how I filtered all toxic media out of my feeds, which is what I should have done in the first place. It was a learning experience because I lost most of the accounts I was following based on my definition of what toxic media is. I had to start over and find more accounts to follow, mainly ones that focused on hobbies and clean humor. I built back a nice positive social media experience. I thought that was it, that I had achieved what I had set out to do.

But then my fiancé, who doesn’t use hardly any social media, pointed out that I was scrolling instead of doing other actives, which lead me to realize that scrolling always seemed like an easier task than my hobbies, because scrolling doesn’t require you to think or move or commit to anything.

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