Keeping up with strangers

Social media makes it really easy to keep up with everything going on in the world around us. From crises happening across the globe to personal details about people we’ve never met.

And on an average day for many, I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming that little thought goes into it.

How often do you find yourself questioning whether you need to know all this information you’re consuming?

I’m guilty of clicking on trending topics out of curiosity but on reflection I know that this information isn’t something I need to know.

The goings on of celebrities (and even just people we’ve never met) has always been a popular form of entertainment which is why gossip magazines were so popular. I guess those magazines have now changed to social media, something that is free and consumed by even more people.

And as much as you control who you follow, you can’t control what they post, tweet, re-tweet, like or share on their stories.

But what you do have control over is your active consumption. As much as knowing certain things might tickle your fancy, upon reflection would you really choose knowing details about a strangers personal life over reading a book, working on your craft, writing, planning ahead etc.

Of course you can make time for both (if you so wish) but this is more about being intentional with what you consume rather than getting swept up in it all.

If you leave the twitter thread, video or post feeling fine that’s great but if you feel like you’ve wasted time then maybe you need to start making some changes.

It might be easy but it’s not helping

Right now is a difficult time for a lot of people.

One of the easiest things you can do is read every article, keep up with live news updates online or on TV, scroll social media and panic.

But the chances are those things aren’t actually helping. Knowing the ever’changing stats of cases in countries across the globe is probably not going to bring you comfort or put your mind at ease.

Most people use social media in excess on a normal day but it’s likely that things have been ramped up even further recently.

Seeing people tell you what they think you should think or how they think you should feel might only add to your frustrations, not soothe them.

And so right now it’s worth being a little more intentional about what you’re consuming.

You don’t need to keep up with everything.

Consumption and influence

You might be under the impression that the media you consume has no influence over you.

But one day you might find yourself saying, doing or buying something that doesn’t quite feel like you.

For example, on a podcast a woman spoke about how she noticed that when watching a particular reality tv show she was more argumentative.

I think it’s impossible to not be influenced whatsoever and it’s important to be aware of how you’re influenced by the things you consume.

Some examples of the things we consume are: YouTube, blogs, TV, music and social media.

Consumption of those things can influence your career choice, how you spend your money, what you value, your self esteem, how you communicate, the way you view life and so on.

I can openly admit that I’m aware of how I’m influenced by things. An easy example is music because I have playlists for when I’m feeling blue and for when I need a pick me up.

Something I unconsciously started doing from a young age is thinking about the way I want to feel or the kind of person I want to be and consuming things that align with that.

If that’s not something you already do, I think it’s worth a try.