We have a problem. Depending on how active your brain is, you have between 40,000 and 60,000 thoughts running through your mind on any given day. Over 70% of them are negative. This takes a massive toll on how you feel, how you love, how you act, and what you think. Trust me, I have first hand experience with these issues 🙂 . To that point, we need to be aware of the power Facebook and social media can have over us.
According to science, you need 3 positive thoughts or experiences to make up for 1 negative one. This is called “negative bias.” Facebook and other social media sites are often one of the biggest contributors to your negativity bias. It’s a fact.
According to one neuroscientist, these sites can wreck your attention span, mess up your identity, and leave you with the inability to empathise. Look, I don’t know about you, but I have enough challenges in my life without having to deal with the negative consequences of subjecting myself to too much social media. Susan Greenfield, a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, is also extremely concerned with the personal impact of what happens to children when many of their relationships are ‘through a screen,’ because it has a major affect on their brains and can be the reason for the rise in the diagnosis of A.D.H.D and autism. She raised the alarm bells when she said, “My fear is that these technologies are infantilizing the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span, and who live for the moment.”
One study done at the Happiness Research Center says that if you quit Facebook altogether, you will be a happier person. Time Magazine even says that Facebook can make you have feelings of envy, loneliness and overall misery. According to The Economist, German scientists studied the impact of people spending time on Facebook and discovered that as people compare themselves to friends pictures, stories and updates, 1 in 3 felt worse about themselves after being on the site.
Now, many of you will see this post because of Facebook, which has irony in and of itself. Facebook can be used as a positive tool in our lives and I want to be a part of reversing that trend and helping you think differently about your social media.
Most of us are simply not going to completely stop our social media intake. However, I hope you are beginning to understand the impact these sites are having on your brain and in your life. I’m suggesting you do 3 things to combat its affects:
- Make a clear decision to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. If you have children, it is VERY IMPORTANT you monitor their social media intake and limit it.
- Quit depending so much on the relationships you have on the internet. Close the computer and pick up the phone. Have a real conversation, voice to voice. Spend more time meeting your friends for lunch. Be proactive and decide you are going to have a positive and meaningful conversation with them. Look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to you and how thankful you are for them.
- When you get home, turn your phone off. No “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it! Disconnect your brain from social media and spend quality time with those you love and care about. The time with them is worth more than 100 Facebook sessions could ever give you.
No judgment in this post. I’m challenging myself and helping to impart more positivity in your life. Grace and peace to you!