It's still dark out and your alarm breaks the silence announcing a new day.
You've had hours of peace and silence to recharge your mind, preparing you for this moment. You glance at your phone to check the time, only to see a barrage of push notifications.
Little did you know, things were looking up for that first 15seconds, but you're screwed, and so begins another day to battle the uphill struggle of the internet.
You're not alone, we all suffer from information overload. However, 2019 has trended in a direction we didn't all see coming... rage.
You check the news only to be distraught by the local messes you live in and around.
You peek at Twitter and can't understand why 4,000 tweets are debating whether a hot dog is a sandwich, only after seeing hundreds of angry GIFs about the latest political opposition to one more thing we'll all forget about in a few hours.
And of course, checking Facebook will make everything better. But after 30 minutes of feeling like 30 seconds, you instantly remember why you stopped hanging out with Karen in high school... and it takes everything in your power not to leave a comment because that's the point.
It's soul-crushing. And we do it to ourselves because it's just another day on the internet.
It's complicated, yet we're complicated beings by nature. We're humans, and it's natural to be drawn to conflict.
James Averill, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst tells us:
“Anger is a residue of our biological past, which under more civilized circumstances we can control only imperfectly.”
So add the growing number of social channels online + the overflowing amount of humans consuming them + growing comfort of sharing an opinion and you get an increase in conflict everywhere you look.
I've been thinking about this topic a lot for the past few years, however when the Webby Awards highlighted this exact topic for 2020, I truly believe it's time we pay attention.
When the research came out, it's clear [at least for Amercians] our divided political ideologies and ethnocentrism views push us over the edge.
What that does to us as humans are unfortunate. When asked about how we remove that from our lives also paints a picture of the growing divide.
However, when comparing expectations vs. needs, it's clear while we're all human and may have that attraction to conflict, what we're striving for is relationships and entertainment more than all the rest.
So let's do something about this.
First of all, let's remind ourselves we're in control of our life.
You have the power to show up as you want, speak as you please, and respond as you desire. If nothing else, let 2020 be the year you show up as YOU, and not live for anyone else. It's time to get on top of this trend and make 2020 a year you thrive!
1. Raise Your State. The most effective way to mute the negativity isn't actually in pressing the Mute/Block button. Rather, it's in changing your mental state and setting a boundary for what you're willing to accept. For years, I followed everyone, took it all in, some personal, and the let it all compound.
It drove me mad, and to a breaking point. I thought I was doing myself a favor by being well-informed. Rather it was overwhelming and depressing with each new tweet and push.
When you tell yourself you're in control of the information you receive, something magically happens. You create a firewall for what you need most. It's still ok to hear a horrible news story, but rather than internalizing it, you can accept it and not let it tear you down.
2. Reframe The Negative. It's so easy to see an angry tweet and get fired up, or read a hateful comment and react. However, I challenge you to take a moment, and breath and reframe it. Rather than letting it get to you, ask yourself what good will come from this? Like awareness of an important topic, and 'waking' up those who need to hear it so change can happen.
3. Lead by example. The strange thing about human dynamics is no one wants to feel alone, and we change our attitude when we lose our tribe/community. The moment you can overcome the need to add a comment or contribution which delivers no value you're helping the whole.
Think back to that last movie you watched with a pack of bullies picking on a kid who doesn't find the desire to change anything until the end. The reason the bullies calm down, re-consider their anger and see more clarity around their opposition is that the protagonist of the story overcomes the desire to fuel them.
It's not hard, it's actually easier than we make it out to be.
Change your state. Reframe the negative. Lead by example.
2020 doesn't only represent a new year, it's a new decade.
Join me in muting the negativity and focusing on a smarter, more intentional mindset for how you'll consume and contribute.
What's the one biggest mindset shift you're going to make for 2020 and beyond?
👉 Hit us up on social @causehack and let us know!
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