Monday, April 27, 2015

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

I've always been a fan of social media, specifically Facebook, as anyone who is my connection knows. I like to keep up with friends, their babies, graduations, etc. Facebook began around the time I was in college, and although we weren't 100% sure what to do with it, my roommates and I joined happily. It always seemed a lot more interesting than MySpace, mainly because it was exclusive to college kids. Over the years, I have used it to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as follow pages dedicated to specific interests i.e. yoga, sports, motherhood. There are a few communities that I truly appreciate, especially the ones dedicated to attachment parenting, as I know very few moms in my area that parent in that style. I don't feel like such an outcast when I read the articles and comments. It's also helped me make some decisions when the people around me were pressuring me to do something different. Lastly, I've used it to spread the message about my yoga classes, just as I am using this as an outlet for my thoughts and experiences in life. It's a useful tool and I do appreciate all of it's benefits.

Yet lately, I've been feeling the very negative effects of Facebook, in particular. Instagram and Snapchat seem to be the easy way to enjoy other peoples' posts without having the drama and hyped up information to get you to click clamoring for your attention. I have been reading yoga books recently and almost every single one of them talk about shutting out the negativity of media. Max Strom, Marianne Williamson, and Michael Singer are just a few who mention reducing the amount of stimulus we receive from those sources as they are meant to incite fear and disturb our souls. I know that this is true and I've known it for a while, but how does one ignore the temptation to be informed of everything going on in the world? I've come to a place in my life where I seriously question every single thing that I read and challenge almost every idea presented to me. That can be good, but it sends my mind into a whirlwind of thought and makes me kind of cynical. So I've decided to limit my Facebook interaction to times when I'm actually at my computer. I've deleted the app on my phone, and am trying to limit how much I go there. I don't want to ignore it completely because I do get a lot of useful information about the yoga community and of course, it's how a lot of people read this blog :). 

What are your thoughts on social media? What about following the news? How do you find a balance between the information given and reality? Here are some recent topics that have sent me into a tailspin:

*ticks - deadly tick diseases are everywhere so BEWARE and set yourself on fire at night when you come home or you'll die from a deadly tick disease
*babies die in car seats, swings, bouncy seats, and anything other than a crib. Oh yeah, and your baby can also die in the crib. 
*Nutella can kill you. All GMO's will kill you
*You're not getting enough Vitamin D... or K... 
*Vitamin supplements will kill you
*Top 10 reasons you should not ___________
*Top 10 reasons you should __________
*You're doing everything wrong in your life. Stop it and follow the advice of this blogger because this person is an expert. 

Ok, I might've exaggerated a bit but that's what I feel like my newsfeed says always. It's exhausting.