I live my life too consumed with what others are doing. There I said it! Social media is killing me and I don’t know what to do about it. From the over exposure of celebrity personal business to the constant rotation of ignorant but entertaining ‘real-life’ comedy; I am addict for it all. Following pages for the likes of news, fashion, art and music among other things most of what I see is negativity. The comments are my absolutely favorite because I get to read millions of stranger reactions to things that almost never matter to what is happening in my life. Somehow finding humor and solace in what i read it becomes digested and I am left filling informed and distracted. At least I think I am but what am I really getting out of all of this? Think being the key word in the phrase there must be a something causing me to question what I think I already know. Knowing that I wake up and go to sleep with my phone in hand aimlessly scrolling leaves me feeling halted and ashamed. I then try to rationalize my social media use, thinking I hardly ever post and if I do it’s only pictures of myself through my work/leisure travels and interesting moments, what’s new on VashonWade.com or a quote to allude to how I may be feeling about something. There’s a problem here though and it’s not with what I post but what I watch read & digest. These algorithms, false idols and warped politics we are very seldom faced with a person’s authentic truths.
Confused about who or what to trust some of us fall victim to not being true to who we really are leading to the growing epidemic of group think. Group-think is when you abandon your individual ideas and suggestions discouraging personal creativity or responsibility. Disclaimer: This way of thinking tends to affect those aren’t self aware. People who lack the accountability and understanding of themselves. You may be reading this thinking, ‘How does he know this?’ I am aware of the affects because I used to live by the decisions and opinions of others. You know the saying, when you know better you do better or at least try.
It not easy thought because the reality is that we live in the land of the free speech and opinion perpetuated and manipulated by the internet. Live videos, hashtags and likes have made us rate ourselves based on the activities of celebrities, athletes and peers. Why can’t this be something that is used for good? It is though, but that’s only when you follow and digest information that is good for personal growth and understanding. For example, if I started to feel feverish and symptoms of getting sick I would normally schedule an appointment to see a doctor. Nowadays we try to google, diagnose and treat ourselves through remedies concocted by what the internet says. Researchers say that these kinds of actions can actually have a negative effect on our anxiety based on unnecessary angst. Now social media can cause the same set of ideas. We follow family and friends to keep up with them which can be a great thing.
We don’t like to admit that we are apart of the new society where you’re Instragam page speaks to and for who you might be. Fearful of judgement we try to scale what we post and how much we let people in. This two happens when you read too much into what you ‘think’ someone’s life is made up of. Causing you to feel some sort of dependency on what you see and read everyday. You notice how you open your phone to make a call or send a text and 10 minutes later your scrolling down one of your timelines and you think ‘what was I supposed to be doing?’ Yeah, me too that’s because we spend way too much time liking, commenting and subscribing to the lives of others. In an effort to take better care of myself, spend more time on my passions and just indulging in more self-care. Hopefully this helps you recognize how much time you spend on and offline.
5 Ways to get offline
- Leave your technology devices outside of your bedroom daily. This way when you wake up in the morning you can have a moment to gradually wake up, think and process your day ahead.
- Do no disturb helps you not disturb yourself. Most phones have it and this feature allows you to stay focused with less interruptions.
- Set a goal for how much social media time you give yourself in a day. It may be 30 minutes or 3 hours either way it helps you to be accountable for your time online.
- Try outdoor activities that DO NOT require technology, tennis, swimming, hiking, ect. Disconnect yourself from virtual reality and tap into YOUR own reality.
- Try a social media cleanse or fast; delete the apps and give yourself a 7-30 days of no social media contact.
Vashon Wade for VashonWade.com 2019