Anger and outrage and crying wolf:

a4

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.

Continue reading

On social media and stalking people from our past:

rawpixel-604745-unsplash

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.

Continue reading

Hate is addicting

IMG_20190111_184032_430.jpg

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Cleaning my social media: Was it enough?

IMG_0837

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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Continue reading

Outrage is all the rage:

I’ve noticed something happening over the past few years. Outrage is in style. I should have noticed it sooner then this year, the viral “what are ya’ll mad about today” tweet that made its rounds everyday, opinion pieces losing their journalistic standards and gaining more explanation points, people creating anonymous accounts just to leave untraceable slurs. I was blind to it though, because I was busy being angry like everyone else. The end of that started when I detoxed my social media six months ago, but really, me deleting that only opened my eyes to how much anger there was, and how much people enjoy being enraged.

When I deleted all the politics and anger from my feeds I noticed that I had problems checking the accounts I had unfollowed. It wasn’t because I was uninformed, I was still keeping up with the news by following sites that reported facts without the slant. It was because I missed the raging opinions. I missed the hot takes.

I thought I missed the passion.

It’s a really interesting situation, being enthralled in anger makes us feel like we’re doing something about the issue, even if we’re just ranting online or to friends who in turn rant back, but in reality all we’re doing is stoking fires that burn out of control.

Continue reading

I blocked all toxic media from my feeds and its almost left them blank: A social media realization.

IMG_1613.JPG

The original title for this post was why I left Twitter, but I ended up not leaving it for good. So what have I done? I’ve muted all slurs, all dramatic accounts, all political buzz words, all political accounts, all accounts that spew hate. I deleted them all from my Twitter feed. I downloaded a news app called Smart News to get actual articles instead of hot and angry takes. I had already blocked this all from my Facebook and Tumblr accounts.

And it’s made them completely bare of content. The amount of posts on my feed is alarming. I didn’t realize the amount of negative and toxic hot takes I was taking in a day. It was most of my media intake. I was feeding on toxins. Posts from publications I like have been removed because of muted words. I’ve lost entire accounts. My twitter feed is so dead that I don’t feel the need to check it that often.

So, I did the same thing with my youtube account. I cleared out my watched history and liked videos. I just removed all of the angry and toxic media I was consuming.

And with it gone I find myself wanting to read and create more, because I had to find new things to consume. Trying to find accounts without toxins seems to be impossible on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram and Tumblr I’ve managed fairly well. But it’s had me thinking about what kind of content needs to be put out and along with that what kind of content should we be reading. I’ve talked about this before but the serious lack of that content is becoming disturbing.

We live in a world that thrives on differences, divides, and drama. How do we go about correcting that? How do we counter it in what we’re creating?

Continue reading