Maybe it’s not about giving up the internet or social media. Maybe it’s not even about doing a digital detox. Maybe it’s as simple as making sure you’re in the proper headspace to receive all the information that will be thrown at you when you log in.
Maybe if you’re having a horrible day, you shouldn’t go on Twitter. Perhaps jumping down that rabbit hole after a crappy day at work is not the best idea. Twitter doesn’t have a filter for words that wound and hurt – no matter how many settings you may apply, they always seem to find a way onto your screen. And they sting when they land. So why torture yourself? What’s the point?
Maybe if you’re feeling stressed out about the current mess or chaos of your home, gazing at pictures of a perfectly curated living room on Instagram isn’t going to help alleviate the strain that you feel. Maybe if you’re itching to buy clothing that you cannot afford, you shouldn’t be looking at fashion bloggers, whose purpose is to get you to buy things. Maybe if you’re upset that you cannot go on that vacation that you were hoping to take, consuming photographs of the cities you’ve never been isn’t the best way to cheer you up. It’s one thing to seek out photos for inspiration – it’s another thing to play the comparison game.
Maybe if you’re just feeling blah about life – whether it be personal or professional, or dare I say even political, a casual Facebook scroll is not the way to boost your mood. Do you really care what Karen from high school is doing? Or where her political affiliations lie? Is it important to know that Steven got married? Or that Tiffany has six kids? Does this information serve you in a positive way? Probably not. (Perhaps reading the comments section is not the best idea, either. I’d venture to say that reading the comments section is never a good idea. Bad things happen in the comments section. Stay away from the comments section.)
Social media isn’t going anywhere – it’s here to stay. It’s part of our society, it’s part of businesses, and government, and schools.
We all know this.
But maybe, just maybe, the key to social media is making sure that you’re in the right headspace to consume it. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not about never using these websites or tools, but it’s about recognizing your own mood before you log on.
The words of the internet can wound you as easily as they can lift you – so remember it’s ok to protect your own heart.