I realized this morning that I haven’t been watching the news. I checked my Wall Street Journal app and saw yet another story about George H. W. Bush in a couple of days, and I thought, “Did he die???” I did a Google search and saw that he had passed away two days ago.
I actively avoid the news, only paying attention to things that I am curious about and only in outlets that I know will not expose me to things that I don’t want to give my energy to.
I am an emotional sponge. I have to be careful about what my eyes and ears consume. About three years ago I realized how manipulative social media had become. I could see how a Facebook, for example, had figured out my triggers and posts would constantly show up on my feed to incite an emotional response that I would react to. So in my own life I could see the manipulation that was going on and understood that it was fundamental to the business model there. Not only was I fatigued by the constant bickering particularly on certain pages that I am convinced were conceived by some department at the company to keep users engaged to sell more to, but the things I was going through with my health were already dragging me down emotionally and psychologically. I gradually backed away.
Now studies are being published proving what I experienced, and of course it is especially pronounced and dangerous with children who don’t have that level of awareness.
Digital media has been transformative in this world, helping us to get closer and shed light on the dark corners of this world but it has also increased ills such as anxiety, depression and confusion that we should all be vigilant in protecting ourselves from.