We have all had this experience. The addiction, the pull of using social media and when you lift your head up you feel disconnected, blah and empty. I am writing to tell you this is not a character fault, but the natural function of your brain and the chemicals it produces.
To begin, it is your brain’s job to judge. A safety mechanism set up thousands of years ago which still plays out today, often subconsciously. Good, bad, safe, dangerous, like, dislike, friend or foe and so on and so on. These quick judgements once upon a time allowed for our survival and still play out today.
Unfortunately judgement in itself is more aligned with your fight or flight system versus curiosity which is much more chill/rest and digest friendly. (Why learning is fun and those those who approach goals with curiosity mindsets are having a blast.) Repeatedly judging in quick sequence alone can amp us up, and most of us already possess this in spades.
Unless you are a mindfulness guru, we all judge. We have perceptions, opinions, viewpoints and biases. Clusters of judgements we often see as facts which are efficient for life ( even if not helpful) and occur a lot of the time without our even noticing. Adding to this sticky wicket is the fact our brains love to confirm already held beliefs and dismiss those that counter.
A huge part of my work as a coach is to help clients tease out these perceptions with an open mind to rewire the ones no longer serving them…. but I digress as I am prone to do.
Now adding to the situation is that we, for the most part, are kind human beings, and after we spent an hour judging other people/things we tend to feel badly and then judge ourselves for being judgy! Jeeeessssh.
So back to the beginning. When we all first created those virgin social media posts and people interacted. We received huge hits of brain chemicals involved in connection and reward that made us feel oh so awesome. Memba?
But unfortunately what happens over time, is just like any other chemical addiction, we need more and more to get that same rush, so we end up leaving the virtual atmosphere let down somehow.
Returning to the platforms, craving, grasping, more likes, follows, and engagement. Knowing in the wisest parts of our soul it is not of any meaningful significance, but catch ourselves time and time again looking for it nonetheless.
So with my clients and myself ,we try our very best to counteract this phenomenon, once again using brain science and my other favorite tools, mindfulness and intentionality.
Our brains love to seek rewards. And we can make up the reward. As soon as I have a need or desire and it bubbles up to my conscious mind, my brain will stop filtering and ignoring all those before unseen opportunities to go and make it happen. It is akin to saying or even thinking “ I need a new desk “ and even in your mind wandering time in the shower, you will recall the consignment shop you haven’t thought of in years.
Boom. Seek a reward. Create a way to achieve and attain it. Yes that feels good. Like our ancestors catching fish all day long.
Using theses concepts and knowing that scrolling will definitely leave you feeling dirty…..
Design a list before logging on either written or in your mind.
5 people/organizations with whom you would really like to connect with today.
Go on their pages and comment, like, engage, in a authentic effort to offer value, insight or vital human connection.
I am betting you will produce a vastly different set of chemicals, which will leave you feeling uplifted.
Best of all though……..you may just lift another who really needs it today.
So the next time you sit down to engage, seek some real sustenance and share it with others.