Always "on"? How can we be mindful about how we consume?
Do you struggle to manage social media?
It´s such a gift to find community in spaces that defy distance, the tools offer so much possibility and i´m so grateful for connections. Yet sometimes, it can feel overwhelming, especially when we lose sight of the importance of our real lives, right now.
I've always been an information monster, excited by it, and the possibility to grow, learn, discover. it started with books, consuming multiple reads at a time (likely you will still find i share my bed with one or two). and then, the internet!
I love a good information rabbit hole, spending hours researching something about something and somehow along the way i discover a rare NKOTB video version of something i´ve never seen before and it's oh-so-much like magic and there are people to share that with and it´s like- it´s like- family, the feelings are abundant and sweet and...
...then there are other rabbit holes, the dark and dingy horrid feeling ones. the ones that give me nightmares or rage for days. the injustices. the hate and rabid troll like vermin that lurks and hooks me in to want to CHANGE that. to do something. anything. and then, that´s it, i´m engulfed. unproductive because it´s not making a difference to anyone. just crushing.
i certainly went through periods of feeling low and negative each time i went online, often i was really annoyed (yep, i´m calling myself out!) Consumed by the annoyance of copycats and lurkers and in the next breath comparing myself to some other unrealistic representations of success that made me lethargic and lousy, wanting to hide in a hole far away from it all.
This emotional roller coaster of information feeds can, on good days, invigorate me. i'm inspired. able to dodge the murky curveballs. ignore negativity and hate. celebrate and cheer on the good stuff. on dark days, well, that´s not a pretty cake.
How can we be mindful about how we consume?
Do you find that some days, you can start in the best mood, enthusiastic and raring to chomp at the bit of life. Then somehow, end up in a state of despair, forgetting what it is you wanted to do, and worse, have this awful feeling like when you eat too many custard creams? (sidenote: perhaps the wrong analogy, for i don´t think one could ever really have too many custard cremes….)
The stuff/inspiration we expose ourselves to, whether in the physical or online world, has a currency to it. It´s energy, and it´s unsurprising with the access that most of us have to so many feeds and timelines, we are dragged around into all kinds of stories and moods. Unless we are simply incapable of feeling, we are likely to experience an effect.
Here´s some stuff that helps me out on the journey to being more mindful with the online world
I'm more selective with what to put in and out
I'm interested in state shifting, what influences us to feel or react to things in positive or negative ways.
I've been experimenting over the last few months, clearing up what i want to subscribe to, where possible (despite my ever present concerns on the gatekeeping of information in the media), I removed facebook from my phone a couple of years ago, and to be honest, other than the Dionne.space + Lick Yoga pages, rarely spend any time on there at all. I also limit the amount of time i spend on particular social networks. And email too (really sorry if you´re waiting for a mail from me, i´m getting there!).
It has helped me (despite the worry i was upsetting people by not always being "on"). Choosing to take a different lane from what feels like the norm initially brought up fears of isolating myself, but it has in fact been liberating and improved my relationships (i'll call that too!) and made me even more conscious of what i want to share with the world.
I take walks.
Every day. Resisting the urge to wait for someone´s retort or be glued to the plonk of a notification.
I get into nature
Yay, nature! Luckily with the sea on the doorstep it is the ultimate vast open space to just plonk some perspective in your face. A lot of sunshine helps too. And of course, breathing. Wherever you are, nature has a wonderful ability to give us perspective and teach us so much about the important stuff.
I try to keep the first part of my day social media free
- This can be tricky with the temptation of instagram so i allow it, but i stay clear of facebook and mails until after i've had time to take a practice - yoga, breathing, meditation, have a bathroom disco (not a euphemism) then a shower. Is that tmi? That´s possibly tmi...
The point here is to say, even if some of your work is on these social media channels, it is possible to step back and modulate how we manage these mediums. We are busy. all busy. But i am convinced we can function better when we make time and space for ourselves to have a break.
*Important to mention, i don´t believe social media is to blame, but i think we have a responsibility to check in and take care of ourselves - seek help or make changes to feel better.
-reminder- no one really knows what they are doing, so experiment on what works for you. take that into every situation!
I do appreciate every single on of you on here. Feel free to share any tips on how you manage the online world - always hungry to learn! :)
p.s thanks to social media and Ben for this video and for Finemann for the ever-constant exploration of this topic plus this amazing clip below!