Modern media has taken over the world! it’s like our little escape from real life. But when does it start to become “too much”? In this article I want to explore the possible effects that different types of modern media may be having on your emotional well-being.
1. Social Media
Social media can be an amazing thing, I mean how else would you remember everyone’s birthday?! Social platforms offer some pretty handy features that can really brighten your day, such as:
•Reconnecting with lost loved ones
•Keeping contact with your friends and family
•Seeing photos of Betty Jo’s new baby or Billy Franks new puppy
•Memes, videos, recipes, and more!
Unfortunately the internet isn’t always paradise. The internet has the potential to put a damper on someone’s day, especially those who are dealing with strong emotions. If you’re looking to improve your mental state you may want to consider:
• unfollowing any page or person that radiates negativity. Drama pages are an absolute no go. And then there are those people who are constantly posting sad/controversial things all day long…we all have that one person who comes to mind haha! You don’t have to unfriend them but if it’s taking a toll on your mental well being you might want to consider the handy dandy unfollow button.
• quit comparing yourself to other people online! No one has a perfect life, not even your beloved favorite lifestyle vlogger on YouTube or Instagram. More times than not someone isn’t going to post the “bad parts” of their life online. The next time you feel yourself getting a little frustrated that you’re not where they are, remember: things are not always what they seem AND everyone’s journey is different! If you need to take a break it’s ok to unfollow them for a while, I had to do that temporarily to allow myself to see my own journey clearly.
• stop snooping! Yeah we all do it, don’t lie! If you’re secretly digging deep into people’s profiles it’s usually not for the best reasons. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, especially if they’re not your friend. It’s time to let the ex best friends, boyfriends, and high school bullies go.
• Limiting time on your phone, especially when you’re around your friends or family. And please for the love of GOD don’t be on your phone during family dinner. There is so much life to be lived outside of a phone screen.
2. Television & Video Games
TV and video games… people can spend HOURS, plopped down on the couch, starring at a TV screen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to watch the tube maybe an hour or two each day, but here is when it could become a problem:
• when the free time in your relationship is spent mainly in front of a screen. Watching tv together can be nice and relaxing especially after a long work week, however it’s not the best form of quality time. When you’re in tv land you’re not really talking or listening to the other person, it’s not the ideal way to really spend time with someone. My advice, dedicate some time out of each week to do something interactive and fun like taking a walk or playing a “non-digital” game together.
• Certain tv/movie genres can make an individual feel a certain type of way. If scary movies give you anxiety and make you lose sleep, stop watching them. If chick flicks make you cry and resent life, don’t watch them. Only take in what is going to make you feel good, I personally stick to comedies and action flicks.
Music is EXTREMELY powerful, it has the ability to change or enhance the mood in seconds. Lyrics can deeply impact the way we feel because they express strong emotions we experience but don’t know how to put into words. Music can also bring back memories, good and bad.
When you’re going through hard times music can either help you or hurt you, here are some of my personal tips on music vs. moods:
• When you are depressed do not listen to sad music, it’s only going to make you feel a million times worse. Instead try listening to upbeat motivational songs. It will lighten the mood and possibly empower you with the lyrics.
• If you’re feeling anxious try toning the tunes down a bit. Put on something soft and soothing, maybe even try searching “rain sounds” on YouTube (this is perfect for sleep as well).
• When you’re angry it’s probably best to stay away from songs containing negative lyrics. Listening to negativity is only going to fuel the fire. Instead maybe cut the music off for a little while, take a moment to breathe, and meditate.
To sum things up, modern media has the strong ability to shift a person’s mood. Be cautious of the things that you take in, especially if you suffer from mental illness. I believe if you surround yourself with positivity and good vibes it will bring you peace; if you take in negativity it will cause chaos in your mind.