The internet is a pretty wonderful thing.Chances are you’ll have spent most of your day so far using the wonders of the world wide web, heck, you’ll be reading this online. And social media is pretty great too. It brings everyone together, sparking conversations with people from different corners of the globe. You can never really feel alone, right?
Sometimes, being surrounded by images and clips and statuses of people with vibrant, fulfilled lives can leave you feeling less than vibrant and fulfilled.Internet isolation is real for us all, even for those who post what seems to be chunks of their brilliant lives every day.
When youre surrounded by social media, and truly stuck in the web, escaping from it is no easy feat. Wifi is a must have in this age, and when you’re career, or really, your life, is embedded in it, blocking out the internet can cause you more problems than being involved in it.
Studies across the pond from the American Psychological Association found that those who are either glued to social media, or checking their emails every few minutes – which stacks up to 86% of Americans – are far more stressed than their less techy contemporaries. With notifications buzzing away every few minutes, we are only ever a few taps from the discontent that can make the web quite so dangerous.
The science behind it all claims that due to the quote nature of tweets and Instagram comments, any communications go straight to our ‘fight or flight’ centre. The lack of body language and tone makes us as stressed as our ancestors did when being hunted down by predators. Sounding familiar?
But for tech-aholics, we just can’t press the lock button as much as we would like; we get a fresh kick of dopamine when we post, like, or comment. Yet, is the quick high worth the major anxiety? Here’s how you can remove those bad vibes from your twitter feed, and surf in safer water.
Finish with Facebook envy
They’re rich, and they’re beautiful. And we can’t find it within ourselves to hit unsubscribe. We love to compare ourselves to others, and when you see a slim snapshot of someone’s seemingly perfect life, self-doubt starts to seep between the seams. The University of Copenhagen even put a name to the feeling: ‘facebook envy’. So, don’t feel alone when you stalk the occasional relationship status or holiday photo album.
The key problem with ‘facebook envy’, is that we feel as if we have no control; our happiness, compared to theirs, is out of reach, and we can never live that life. When we are surrounded by sunny selfies, we can often lose sight of the good in our life, blinded by the brilliance of others. To regain control, and see past the Instagram illusion, write a list of the things you are grateful for.
Or, keep that positivity cutting through the negative by sending some on. Rather than sulking about our favourite bikini clad models, show them a little love. This should not only help cleanse your soul a bit, it should help clear up those comment sections which are festering with cyberbullies and trolls.
However, if you can’t help but feel the pangs of pain, use the hurt as some motivation to change your life, instead of stalking someone else’s.Above all, we have to realise that this is a moment played up for the cameras, picked from the rest to represent their lives. But that doesn’t mean it has any accuracy in its demonstration of the world they live in. A picture may be worth 1000 words, but they might not all be true.
Blocking it all out
Avoiding your problems probably isn’t the best advice to take, but when we are surrounded by images that are false and makes us feel worse for wear, maybe that’s the route we should be taking.
Blocking certain accounts is an easy tool to remove all traces of these posts from your feed. On twitter you can make a list of the accounts you want to see, whether its friends or family, or a few celebs you love to follow, and make that your main feed. An endless stream of content can be overwhelming, particularly if it isn’t too positive.
Alternatively, you can use a ‘mute’ option on certain hashtags, accounts, and words. You can keep out the groups and the themes you’d rather not see, and keep it tailored to you. You might not be able to control what people post, but you can control what you see.
Swapping out the subscribed
Your control over what you see doesn’t end with blocking certain slogans. After you’ve cut out the bad, bring on the baby animal videos! Anything that’s short, sweet, and makes you giggle fits the bill of bringing some positive vibes to what can seem a dreary world.
And your control doesn’t stop there: we all know we shouldn’t spend nearly as long on our phones, and that’s why tecchies have made apps that can monitor how much time you spend scrolling. Set your limits, and you won’t be buried under for hours on end.
We don’t have to let the negative vibes that litter our twitter control out lives; we can control them instead. And rather than just reflecting on what makes us feel jealous or less worthy, we can spread some positivity, and not feel powerless against the perfect.
See past the illusion, and look beyond the screen. And don’t let a notification rule your life. You are more than just a ping, or