In a recent conversation, a friend and I reflected on our social media reality and how important it is to manage our incoming message flow.
In one scroll, we’re hit by a whirlwind of birthday wishes, happy kittens, battered dogs, soulful poems and gut-wrenching images of the latest terrorist attack. Where does our eye stop; where does our heart wander?
The rollercoaster of emotion that follows can, ultimately, make us become passive and numb witnesses of the reality that unfolds in front of us. In the fast-moving feed, small, inconsequential events and world-shifting news take up the same space.
My friend and I equated the Social Media newsfeed with the old practice of channel surfing, where we would parade, in front of our eyes, diapers, killers, weather reports and delicious recipes, all in a blink of an eye.
Sometimes, I wonder: what does all this mixed exposure do to our brain, to our ability to feel emotions and, even more so, what does it do to our children who do not know a different world than this one in which they are growing up?
I have come across friends who didn’t know that you could stay “friends” with someone on Facebook even if you don’t “follow” them; even if their news do not show up on your newsfeed. If you are finding that your surfing is unproductive, upsetting, or simply not enjoyable, just click on the little arrow on the upper right corner of any Facebook post and “unfollow” the author of the comment you don’t care to read.