We’ve talked before about how important changing your routine and habits are for raising your vibration. A major area where I’ve been focusing my efforts has been social media. Two years ago I deleted my Facebook account. You also wont find me on Instagram, Twitter, Ticktock, or wherever else.
I have no idea what Facebook and Instagram are like these days, but around the time I left it was full of people posting angry political messages, conspiracy theory stuff, and random people getting into heated arguments. I had stayed as long as I had because it was a way of finding out about local events and made it easy to stay in touch with people that otherwise would be difficult to stay in touch with.
The thought of losing contact with people is what kept me on Facebook as long as I had, but it just got to a point where it was such a negative drain on my soul that I had to hit that delete button. It’s true that I did lose contact with the majority of people, but I was also surprised by how little I missed it all. I immediately got an hour or more back in my day, just from getting rid of Facebook! I realized how much of my life I was wasted on people and things that simply didn’t matter.
Around this same time I also looked at the subreddits I was subscribed to and did a major culling. I unsubscribed from everything that was based on negativity, controversy, or an “us vs them” mentality. A couple months ago I did this again and got rid of even more subreddits that have gotten more negative over the years. The interesting thing about doing this is that Reddit has completely lost it’s addictive quality. I like to scroll while I’m eating breakfast and then again while I’m having lunch, but I quickly find I run out of engaging content.
Isn’t it an interesting notion that as human beings we seem to be addicted to controversial or anger-inducing content? Essentially, the internet is like gossip on steroids. I was reading a psychology article that stated that the reason why we feel so addicted to gossip is because tribe cohesion is/was so important for human survival. People need to know whose in and whose out as well as to take mental notes to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes. Our survival depends on knowing what other people consider to be “bad behavior”.
You can make a case that gossip is useful information, but I think that where the internet gets tricky is that most of it is too fringe or too specific to ever be useful to you. A lot of it is rather petty as well. The information seems important at the time, but once you detox from all the negative content, you find that it’s really only harmful. I have family members that call me to complain about whatever conspiracy theory stuff they are currently into. They don’t believe it’s a conspiracy theory but a quick fact-check proves otherwise. Being on the other side of this, it’s shocking how easily I see otherwise intelligent people get sucked in. And in what way do they benefit from this content? They just get consumed with negativity, anger, and anxiety.
Around 2018 I had decided to stop watching or reading the news. It was too upsetting and I just didn’t see a point to hearing about upsetting stuff I was powerless to do anything about. I received a ton of criticism for doing this and was basically accused of not doing my civic duty by staying informed. Nowadays I do read a daily email that the New York Times puts out and I consider that to be enough. Obviously this is a personal choice and I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for feeling like they need to stay informed. But having minimal news-intake is something that I’ve found to be helpful.
If you’re finding yourself feeling addicted to social media and having difficulties staying productive or positive during the day, consider taking an anger detox. Really take a hard look at the stuff you are consuming and are subscribed to. Looking back, I cannot believe the kind of content I was consuming, but at the time I would have defended it as normal and harmless, even necessary. I wonder about the effects on the brain of being subjected to so much negativity for years and years. Not to mention the amount of time I got back in my life when I quit it all.
It may not be that you have an internet addiction. It may be an anger addiction.