You don't even realize it's happening when it's happening!
Today I wanted to chat with you about social media manipulation. Mostly for me that would be Facebook and Twitter. In all honesty, I had resisted both of these social mediums for years. Everyone kept asking me to join and everything in my body was screaming not too. I held out for quite a few years until, my nephews and my niece were old enough to be on there and wanted to 'share' things with me. Well I couldn't say no to them. I can say no to just about anyone or anything but not them. So, I joined. Both. What a HUGE mistake.
I joined Facebook in 2009 and as I am sitting here writing this I just hit me that, I have LET NINE YEARS OF MY LIFE FLASH PAST ME DOWN A SOCIAL MEDIA BLACK HOLE!! CRIPES! (yes I yelled that out loud as I was typing it!) I never really thought about how many years it's been. Sheeeeeweee.. Okay, let me get my brain back in my skull...dang! Nine years...
I have been trying to back away from Facebook and Twitter for the past couple of months. I could seriously sit down at my laptop and 6PM and before I knew it, it was 11pm. FIVE hours had slipped past me and I didn't even know what I had read or seen. Lately I have been trying to pay close attention to what I am consuming on Facebook, especially in the early mornings. That's usually my heaviest Facebook usage. After I wake up. I grab my phone and start scrolling. As I did this, this morning I realized in the span of 15 minutes I read and saw something that made me angry and I had watched a small video clip that had me crying fifteen minutes after I had woken up!... Right at that exact point I said to myself, "whoa!" are you kidding? You're not awake an half an hour yet and already you're feeling all these kinds of emotions not because of something you created but because of something someone else did.. That's when I dropped my phone and shut it off..
I don't know what took me so long to wake up to all this. Eh, some of us are slow learners (raising hand) but, I am glad I did because today I am able to see just how much we have our emotions played with and manipulated by social media, news outlets, TV shows, commercials, etc. I figure none of this can be good for ones emotional health. It just can't be. Now that it's nine years later and I now see how all this social media consumption has manipulated my emotional health my decision today is to back away. Far away. I've also decided that I will use Social media to my advantage not the other way around. Only using it for my blog, checking in on friends I really do want to keep in touch with and pages or groups I do enjoy all the while staying away from the newsfeed.
And wouldn't you know it, my sweet nephews and niece who nine years ago begged me to join for them, are now all grown up, one has children of his own, the other two have careers and lives of their own and they haven't been on social media in more than a year!!!