Living Red: Media Consumption In The Modern Era
I think we can all agree the world is changing profusely. The daily online political discourse in either direction seem to be biased and overwhelming. Every swipe across social media platforms are petrifying news we’ve all become wildly desensitized to. A plethora of on screen stigmas, that we often create ourselves, consume us. Even the availability of what seems like an infinite amount of the information on the web (credible and not) adds to all the madness as well. Not to mention there are older individuals, peers, politicians, and celebrities constantly on social media telling the other which position is “correct” and how their version of life will somehow be “rewarding”.
Sounds like a shit ton of stuff, right? Enough.
We are exposed to more information than ever before through our intense media consumption. A lot of that which is negative and simply too many outside influences in a more numerical sense. We are overly exposed to opinions, comparisons, and over simplification. Not to mention the desensitization of traumatizing events, hysteria, distorted portrayals on social platforms, and over all misrepresented communication. All of these things can negatively affect our mental health—especially young adults. This is so apparent. We can’t figure out the last thingbefore the next emerges and which one to even buy into. Our minds are so incredibly cluttered.
If a verified account posted it, is it automatically true? Why is there a stigma on how much, what, and when you post on social media? Have I stopped to think how that video of someone getting shot or violently beaten will affect me personally, even subconsciously? What do I believe socially, economically, politically after that post from a celebrity? Why do I look like this and them like that? Who am I and who do I want to be?
I’m certain that isn’t the first time you’ve considered those questions. We all have, as we scroll though the same overbearing sites that clog our minds.
We are moving towards a digital age, there’s no stopping that. However, if we’re going to spend this much time on the internet, we shouldn’t be hesitant to control how much of what we intake, reflect on how our online behaviors may alter our actual lives, and to in the least…truthfully portray ourselves on social media platforms.
I’ve made the decision to adjust my timelines to be more goal driven, positive, and to mirror the causes and things I truly care about. That includes plenty of follows and unfollows but it’s nothing personal though society has told us it is. I had to stop indulging in pointless stigmas like such that are so normalized. Unfollowing someone shouldn’t mean “I don’t like you”. More often than not, people are more enjoyable to be around in person rather than their “persona” on social media, in my opinion. No one seems to notice how exhausting being involved in so many people’s lives, including celebrities, can sometimes be. We often forget that they are people suffering from the same consequences of this digital age as well. They’re just as conditioned as we are, if not more.
We have become so immensely influenced by the word of literal perfect strangers from politicians, celebs, to random people we just choose to follow behind screens. It seems almost psychopathic when said aloud.
As the web becomes more increasingly stimulating it’s certainly getting easier for me to shamelessly remove factors from my life. I only have a limited amount of energy within me—and so do you. Choose where it is directed. How many likes we get, what and when we post, violence, political propaganda everywhere, whether to follow or not, reading discouraging articles about our generation going wrong, and conforming to another ridiculous standard simply aren’t deserving of us anymore. Declare that we are going to see what we choose to see. We know ourselves the most and need to move in support of that despite all of the outside noise from the media. What’s stopping us?
I’ve been living red lately. Strong. Energetic. Passionate. Vibrant. Loving. Bold. We are constantly growing into the people we are going to be every day no matter the age. Stop letting everyone else on the net influence that. It is impossible to please everyone so live for you. What we take in and post daily on the internet should reflect our true selves and the direction we’re headed in—who cares who sees? It only strengthens our own voices without the warped influence of media we don’t prefer. That, in fact, is free thinking.
As expected, these unapologetic actions online have trickled into my actual life, even attracting individuals who are like minded in the sense. There’s nothing wrong with being more selective with who and what I keep up with every day on the web. Inevitably, more decisions have become my own. I’ve sought out more credible sources for my news, I’ve made adjustments in my career path, and interact on and offline with way more confidence in general. I’m truly happier and see the world with more clarity and love as time progresses. You are in control the minute you simply decide to be. Unfollow that person if you want. Post that natural face selfie. Fact check that tweet. Find out for yourself. Just because a celebrity said it doesn’t give it any merit. They’re merely another human. Scroll past that negative article. Don’t make that comparison. So what if the picture you posted only got 20 likes, post two more of them. Sometimes just turn your phone off completely! WHO REALLY CARES? I don’t anymore.
It all starts with releasing the weight of hollow perceptions and simply clearing the clutter. Find a balance in this seemingly saturated life. It may be more of a need than a suggestion for most as this point.
Written by Hawa Camara