Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through social media, just clicking and searching, only to break away and discover that 20 minutes (or much longer) has passed and you have no idea what just happened?
Social media software is designed to keep us engaged for as long as possible. It tracks our behaviors, likes & dislikes so that with each scroll it can show us something to further ensnare our attention.
Or have you caught yourself grabbing your phone at every opportunity, without any real purpose? Like at a stop light? Waiting in line? Walking?
Scrolling on social media can lead us to act like zombies; completely unaware of our own consciousness in any given moment.
Not only are we up against software whose sole purpose is to keep us scrolling; there are also bots created by third parties who want to create chaos and upset us just to get a reaction.
We are Vulnerable
As a species, we have a deeply rooted primitive need to be a part of a tribe and to fit in. Evolution tells us that if you were kicked out of a tribe, you were on your own navigating the wild. Separation from your tribe was, in effect, a death sentence. So it was highly necessary to fit in, to be socially connected, to be liked and to align with the tribal values.
Any simple search for the evolution of the human brain will show you how it literally took millions of years to adapt to our current version. But technology has moved so fast that for the first time ever, we are constantly faced with technological forces that agitate our primitive needs 24/7.
We simply have not evolved fast enough to handle these levels of disturbance and chaos to our consciousness.
It’s so easy to get sucked into the vortex of social media that accumulating followers and likes, and constantly comparing ourselves to others can ruin your self esteem without you even being consciously aware.
From political party affiliation all the way down to being a member of a group in high school: the polarization and chaos is such that by simply aligning yourself with one side, you become an enemy of the other side. If you try not to take sides, there is disapproval for not choosing a side both publicly (from the competing parties) as well as internally (from the old part of your brain that leads you to believe there is something wrong with you because you don’t fit in either side).
It’s Not Just a Generational Thing
There’s a lot of talk about how younger generations are lazier. I think it goes much deeper than spending so much time in front of a screen. If you are 40 years old or older, you didn’t grow up with the ease of technology that youths have now. With every generation going back, they had to put in a big level of effort to learn. Older generations had to put in significant time and effort going to the library and researching to figure something out. Today we just Google and get the answer in seconds, watch a YouTube tutorial, or ‘find an app or service for that.’
With knowledge of the world at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that we have lost a sense of ownership in our daily lives. We are programmed to get what we want when we want it, and believe that is how it should be.
Even worse, we have allowed our identity and attention to get sucked into the media platforms and other third parties who are all fighting to get our attention.
It’s not just our younger generations who have these issues. Every one of us is guilty of playing the victiim any time something doesn’t go the way we want.
All of this has created this incredible dichotomy.
On one hand, it’s never been a better time to live. You can literally do just about anything or have anything done, connect with anyone you want all over the world.
Yet on the other hand, it can be argued that the world has never been so divisive. This is not a new problem, though. Just read about any period in history; humans have been battling over the same internal and external issues since the beginning of time. The difference now is we are so connected that all of the problems are magnified. We are far more susceptible to manipulation than ever before.
The Silver Lining to the Chaos
As powerful as technology is, there is no greater force in the world than YOUR BRAIN. You have a tremendous ability to choose how you want to think and act. It all boils down to self awareness.
First you must be aware that you have this power. Then you must constantly practice to tap into your higher Self.
You have the ability to…
- WAKE UP…
- Consciously question your beliefs and the beliefs and motives of people who share your beliefs.
- Allow the curiosity to look deeper into those who do not share your beliefs.
- Stop victimizing yourself everytime you don’t get what you want and people don’t do what you want.
- Accept all of your imperfections, as we all have them.
- Eliminate your expectations for how you want things to go. The less attached you are to your preferences, the better you can deal with what IS vs. what you WISH.
- Exercise your self discipline to not get sucked into the chaos of social media or fast food.
A side note to discipline: why is our country so out of shape? Think about this, for millions of years our ancestors had to literally fight, hunt and gather just to eat enough for fuel to survive, and often went days without eating. Now, you can’t go a block without seeing a fast food restaurant OR convenience store where you can buy genetically modified foods designed to create cravings. From a primitive standpoint, we eat when there’s food—and there is food EVERYWHERE!
I am not standing on a soapbox preaching by the way. I struggle daily with all of these things, whether it’s giving too much time & attention to likes/followers, to my expectations/preferences or to my phone. But I’m happy to report that I get sucked into the chaos far less these days. As a result I’ve never felt better.
While I have a long way to go, I’ve learned that we ALL do. Perhaps that is the meaning of life: to be able to become aware of the Self and constantly work on becoming more loving & accepting.
These are things that have helped me reduce the chaos–and I know they can help you, too.
- Journal daily…
- Question your strong beliefs…
- Be curious about what triggers you…
- EXERCISE to release tension…
- Spend less time on the phone and more time outside…
Joe Carabase is an Entrepreneur, Coach and Author. Check out his latest book here. You can follow @joecarabase on Instagram and Facebook for more inspiring content!
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