“I noticed that Twitter, Facebook and other digital forms of communication fed and nurtured my very real anxiety until it consumed me. Whenever I turned to the internet for a distraction, and even a possible sense of reassurance, I was instead sent reeling to the worst corner of my psyche. Only when I consciously stepped away from the screen, did I regain some sense of calm and perspective.”
This is what I noticed too – the world of social media has turned awful.
Once more, as I have said repeatedly, social media acts as an amplifier of the anxiety inducing click bait of mass mainstream media. The MSM’s job is to sell advertisers to eyeballs. Emotional content engages readers and viewers for longer, and while emotionally connected, readers and viewers are also more susceptible to advertising messages.
Public relations staff, governments, politicians, activist groups, marketing organizations, non-profits, main stream news and fake news publishers – all know how the system works. Nearly everything we see or hear, every day, is a piece of propaganda often clothed as a “news report” (only some of which we label “fake news”).
They launch stories into the media. Then the story gets shared on social media where echo chambers amplify the message and share some more.
Then, commenters chime in. Soon, even nonsense turns into a politically correct “fact” that must not be questioned.
Anyone who disagrees or notes errors in logic is quickly branded with numerous nasty terms.
Many of us will sit quietly, not uttering a word, for fear of being tarnished, insulted and treated rudely.
This is social media today. It has become a chamber for the perpetually outraged, where many can shout at one another and some shout very loudly.
The solution, as the author above notes, is to take a break from social media. When social media is making you feel bad, walk away from it! Why subject yourself to a constant barrage of hurtful, often incorrect and incoherent propaganda designed specifically to target your emotions and rile you up?
This makes no sense! You do not need to subject yourself to online hurt! Drop out of those groups, and unlike those pages that lead you to feeling upset. Unfollow or unfriend those that spend much of their social media time promoting their agenda or ideology in ways that are hurtful to you.
Take care of yourself! Take care of your own mental health!
Develop new habits and activities to do, rather than, oh, I’ll just check my Facebook page again … Your mental health will appreciate this!
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has some interesting thoughts on propaganda and how it works in some areas, writing it depends on:
2. Unwarranted trust in experts
3. Pattern recognition
Social media, by experts and mostly non-experts, amplifies what ever the propaganda message and spin is in an attempt to (mostly) get us emotionally riled up. Eventually we wear out or emotional processing to the point we become emotional wrecks living a world of high anxiety and possibly depression.
Turn off social media for a bit – cut back gradually – and see how this likely improves your own emotional state! Identify other activities to occupy your time – this makes leaving social media much easier!