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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Friday, November 30, 2018

What if social media were bad for us?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How did we fill our time back in 2006, the year before many of us began adopting a new way of living?
What would we do if, suddenly, tomorrow, we woke up and discovered that social media was gone?
If we suddenly came face-to-face with who we are now and what we do with a lot of our time, what would the 2006 version of ourselves think? Would our twelve-year-younger self be bemused that we spend hours every day looking at a little screen?
Perhaps we cannot reach back that far; maybe we don’t care.
There’s a chance we don’t want to know. Everybody’s doing it. Safe in the crowd.
I’m not going to suggest one particular reason why social media might be bad for us, because I think there are so many reasons and, the depth, the variety, the manifestation of the problem, changes from one person to the next.
Do we need it? Would we survive without it? If it would be hard, that would be my point.
In giving ourselves away to comparative strangers, people we ordinarily wouldn’t be in an intimate relationship with, we’ve given some of our most private information. For nothing tangible but for the currency of approval.
There is coming a day for us all when we will come face-to-face with our eternal destiny. Death hovers ever-present in the background. How each of our perceptions is about to be shaken up!
Oh, and isn’t it a grand irony that
I use social media to deplore social media.
Social media gives us a power we never had before; it gets our voice ‘out there’. But our voice is monitored, and its audience is manipulated. We are being used. We will soon learn this. When life finally grabs our attention. Then we will note the thousands of moments we gave to a machine, and to a mirage of humanity, in favour of truly being present with ourselves and those precious others God has given us physically in this physical phenomenon called life.
Thousands of moments.
Twenty moments a day?
73,000 moments in ten years.
How many of those precious living moments are we on social media… at work (unless for work purposes), at family events, distracted from activities we more ought to be doing? Or, from keeping good health, as another for-instance.
We’re losing our humanity. We’re losing touch with our children, parents, friends, peers. We’re giving our attention to a thing that does not care about us; a thing that is using our ‘intel’ for its own benefit, and perhaps even for a dark purpose.
Sure, there is some relationship and connection shared electronically; we get to stay in touch. That is unquestionable. But, for what we get, is it worth what we may be losing? Each can only answer for themselves. Are there alternatives for staying in touch?
Could our social media world be depressing us, making us more anxious, keeping us from healing?
Could it be that the ‘inspirational’ content we’re imbibing is making us dependent on it?
And is what we’re imbibing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Are our ‘news feeds’ delivering the ‘content’ we need?
Will we regret later the things we care about now?
What is capturing my attention?
Just some things to ponder.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Don’t apologise for needing to feel safe

Just don’t do it. There is a reason you need to feel safe. A very good reason. An honourable and right and perfectly sensible reason. So, please don’t apologise.
Don’t make it a ‘thing’ for others to manipulate you. Don’t allow them to ‘guilt’ you into feeling awful.
Don’t legitimise poor conduct. Don’t succumb to behaviour that is just a different form of abuse.
Don’t submit to someone who is untrustworthy at best, and violent — and by violent I don’t just mean physically, but mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, verbally, spiritually as well — at worst.
So many don’ts!
Sometimes don’ts have more power to empower us.
But, if you do feel awful or guilty or wrong, please don’t judge yourself. You are not the one in the wrong in this situation. Yes, you are capable of being wrong; don’t get me wrong. But if you’re the only one who’s ever wrong, there’s something wrong with that.
Your desire for safety will quickly morph into a demand if your desire isn’t met, and you might meet abuse with abuse, just because you’re desperate to be safe. Unlike other ‘sins’, however, when this response is produced through a trauma-trigger, you’re not the bad guy. Unfortunately, others might be affected by what you feel, but that too isn’t really your fault, though you’re allowed to empathise with how they feel as a result of how you feel. Own how you feel and how you may have impacted them, unless they insist on manipulating this ‘wrong’. A safe person, though they may be hurt, will allow you the opportunity to repair the relationship.
Actually, that’s it. That’s all that makes sense. Empathy. For one and all. Ride out the moment. Get safe. Come back to the present. Stay safe. It’s all that matters. Safety for one, safety for all. And safety for all is the only peace that’s sustainable and worth striving for. We feel safe when we’ve made a home with empathy. Empathy is the environment of relational safety.