How much of your life do you spend reading up on low quality information?
We are living in an era where the very first thing a lot of us do when we wake up in the morning is scour through endless pages of social network feeds. People do this in fear of missing out on the latest information. Every viral image, comment, or video will act as a drip of dopamine for our brain. You’ll see this in public places, even while driving, a lot of us are on our phone. I’m not saying reading this information is bad, but if this insignificant “activity” has become a lifestyle for you, it may be time to make some changes.
Many celebrities use social networking as their number one outlet to advertise themselves. Because of their millions of followers, celebrities can rake in over a hundred thousand dollars for posting a comment on behalf of a company. Although their followers might see this as harmless entertainment, reading their constant comments portraying their opinions can slowly enter the readers brain, settling in their subconscious.
Even if you pride yourself in having little to no interest in celebrities, it’s hard to avoid completely. Taking part in the most mundane activities (IE grocery shopping) you can’t help but notice the same faces showing up at every check out aisle. While waiting in line this appears to be the number one source of entertainment so it takes a strong individual to stop their eyes from wandering to read those “scandalous” headlines. One could argue that gossip isn’t completely bad, a 2004 study shows that it actually helps humans learn by example. If you find that this is the case for you, I would do it sparingly and with a sense of awareness.
“News is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-colored candies for the mind.”
I bet you if you went 100 days without reading up on the news, your life wouldn’t be any different. If something happened that was important enough, a friend or family member will be sure to let you know.
What to Take Away
Most of what we read on Facebook and other social media sites are irrelevant. But by reading into something in great depth, (IE politics) can exercise your brain or even empower you to make great changes in society.
Ask yourself, will reading social media feeds effect the choices I make throughout the day? Am I living a better life because of it?
If it isn’t contributing to your life, consider eliminating it.