All across my social media accounts, people are upset, and there’s plenty to be upset about. There was the shooting in Orlando, the alligator attack on the boy at Disney World, an elderly couple washed right off the beach and out to sea in Mexico, and this death march of a Presidential election. The emotions are running high, and it seems to be constantly climbing. We’re all feeding each others’ anxieties and fears in an emotional nuclear arms race certain to end only when we all melt down. I’m as guilty as anyone.
These are emotional topics, and the gut-wrenching memes and touching posts shares make us feel somehow connected to each other and give us an outlet for our emotional responses. But as I scroll through my feeds and fight my own rising anxiety, I keep thinking that this isn’t really helping anyone. We’re all just making this worse
Isn’t it time that we all stop?
The people I love are walking away from Facebook and Twitter in droves, citing their own anxiety, and a need to turn to what it good, true, and beautiful. They are looking for peace in these troubled times, and they are absolutely right to do so.
But there are some of us for whom walking away a turning it off doesn’t work for us. Whether it’s because we use social media for work, or keep track of our friends and family on there, these platforms help us to connect with the people we want to reach. So what can we do to help deflate the mass hand-wringing and bring a little calm back into these troubled waters?
It starts with what we share, and why we share those things. What if we decided to not post the things which are upsetting, but to share only positive things for the next week? How would that change our outlooks? Would it have an impact on our small communites of followers and friends?
Yes, things are likely to happen this week which are unpleasant. That’s how life works, but why not look for the positive stories around tragedies instead of the anxiety inducing? What if instead of talking about the shooter in Orlando, we posted about the people on the Jet Blue flight with a victim’s grandmother, the outpouring of help from the community, and how Orthodox Jews went to a gay club to mourn with the people there?
As Mr Rogers was famous for saying once “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.””
Can we all agree to spend the next week making those people, the helpers, a little easier to find? Not forever, just a week. Monday to Monday. A week of speaking kindness, joy, humor, and positivity to those we “meet” in our electronic world. Will you join me in my mission to help calm the nerves frayed to the breaking point by the last week? Blessed are the Peacemakers after all. Maybe it’s time we stop inflaming tensions, and begin sowing calm.
Why not give it a whirl? You can grab this button/meme for your social media page, and let people know that for the next seven days you’re only looking for the good in the world, because we know that it’s out there.
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