So, I had a little meltdown on Facebook last night. The panic and negativity had reached a fever pitch on the toxic conveyor belt that is our Facebook newsfeed these days. Between the angry bipartisan bashing of the powers that be (useless energy), and the random senseless messages like, “Governor Cuomo! Not good news!” screaming on a field of red with zero explanation (irresponsible), I just exploded:
Ok kids, I’ve had enough of rumor-mongering, fake cures, and panicked messages. You are now officially addicted to the adrenalin rush of crying doomsday, and I call bullsh*t.
I did not use an asterisk.
The worst offenders, I said, would be silenced from my newsfeed immediately, “social media distanced where you cannot infect my brain.” It’s a matter of keeping sane.
The only thing worse than this virus is the way we are behaving: hysteria, mania, panic, negativity. Shut. It. Down.
Dear people of the world, get ahold of yourselves. It’s not okay to spew every thought in your head the moment you have it. Think about others before you post: your friends in the epicenter in Europe, your children, your community. What ideas are you putting out into the shared psyche? We’re taking measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, but what are we doing to stop the spread of fear and despair—of chaos?
Remember these guidelines for posting on social media:
- Does this post pertain to my immediate community/country?
- Is it useful or helpful?
- Is it truthful, factual? (Big one!)
- Does it change anything?
- Can I do something about this?
We have become addicted to the adrenalin rush of drama. We’ve been in this state of elevated hysteria for the last few years; everything is a big deal, an “OMG!” The headlines are more and more sensationalized, designed to get you to click and share. Don’t. Click-through rates are one way advertisers measure return on investment (ROI). Get it? You’re being manipulated for money. Waves of rumor, of emotion, sweep over us en masse as the puppet masters play to our weaknesses.
“Sheeple,” my friend Brion calls us. We are acting without thinking, feeling without understanding, speaking without facts. We are sheeple. And I call bullsh*t.
We must take charge of our minds. Now.
This is hard enough on us as it is, why would we willingly pile on the pain? Let’s take responsibility for what we can control, and stop gorging ourselves on fear. We need to treat ourselves and others with loving kindness and respect—now more than ever. We’re already in the middle of this—it’s here—all we can do now is fasten our seat belts and ride it out with whatever human dignity we have left.
Can I get an amen?
Tip for the day:
Just like the confinement and shutdowns being enacted around the world, we need to enact similar measures to control the spread of Fear-2020. I propose the following, starting today:
- Only 30 minutes a day of social media is permitted, and not during the first hour after waking.
- If you feel an emotional outburst coming on, self-isolate until you are mentally clear. Get help if you need to.
- If someone in your circle is radiating negativity on social media, do not engage if you are feeling fragile. Distance yourself until their mental malady passes.
- Monitor all conversations verbal or digital. If the conversation spirals downward into fear- and rumor-mongering, and you begin to feel panicked, abort the conversation.
- Be respectful of others in your community. Before you blurt out death tolls, or send messages about the infection rates, ask the other person if they are alright talking about this topic. Don’t send out bad news first thing in the morning, unless it is personal.