Reduce Inundation For Peace And Happiness

I almost quit social media last week.

This won’t surprise anyone who knows me, but I was floored last week by the election results. Actually, the Spidey senses went off Tuesday morning and, unfortunately, they’re never wrong.

peace and happiness

I barely ate anything on Tuesday. I forgot to take medication. when I went to bed Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I never fell asleep… I knew what was coming and I was so worked up about it that sleep never came.

Around 4:30 in the morning my wife awoke and realized I was still awake. She started talking to me, trying to get me to relax, and it took maybe 3 hours or so before any of it started to take.

During her calming words to me she uttered something that I finally decided she was correct on. She said that I should eliminate or drastically reduce those things that are bringing me turmoil and to start concentrating on doing things that might make me feel better and bring me a bit more peace and happiness.

I knew that she was correct, since this is something I actually started back in January when I talked about sculpting my Facebook feed and I did the same on LinkedIn. I knew that I had to take a second look at both and some of the other places I’m hanging out online.

I decided to start with news… almost all of it. The one account I was following on Twitter that wasn’t following me back was one of our local TV news stations. I decided to remove that from my Twitter following, as I had it in my Syracuse group column. That turned out to be amazing because it never occurred to me how dominating that was in that column. The number of accounts I have there is way more manageable since I removed it.

I’d been removing a number of people from my Twitter account for nearly the past calendar year, and not just people I disagreed with. You sometimes find that in the case of something like politics, too much can be a bad thing even if it’s a good thing… if you know what I mean. lol I really don’t like politics to begin with, just like religion, so if there’s a lot of either coming from someone I really don’t need to see it. I probably need to do more but for now I’m feeling pretty content with my efforts.

more happiness

Next I decided to remove the general news column from my Flipboard account as well. Before last week I had already been removing many news sources from there, mainly those large news sites that only let you see so many articles before you have to pay to see them. What this has done is eliminated a lot of national and world news that I not only was allowing to get me upset but the stuff I really didn’t care much about.

This one hasn’t worked as well as on Twitter but it’s easy enough to see when other news sources pop up so I can delete them. The one thing I still have to think about is whether or not I want to remove Huffington Post, since it’s not really news and it’s only a small part of what they do, but right now a lot of political stuff is popping up and frankly that’s irking me.

I mentioned above about Facebook sculpting. I decided I needed to define it further. I first went into the F.B. Purity app and added more words and phrases I didn’t want to see anymore. I then went and looked at every single person I didn’t know “uber” well, changed most of them to “stop following”, and even moved a lot of them into the Acquaintances area. I didn’t unfriend anyone, since I’d done that earlier in the year, but I set it up so that it’ll take a fluke for me to see anything they put on Facebook and a fluke for them to see anything coming from me.

This still leaves LinkedIn and Google Plus for me to get to. Google Plus will definitely be last because, frankly, I’ve only seen maybe a couple of political things on there since Wednesday morning, and things move so fast there that it’s possible I might never see anything political in the coming week. I think that’s one reason why it’s a tough platform for people to warm up to, but it’s probably weathering last week’s issues better than all other platforms.

perfect life

LinkedIn… that’s a much different animal. As an independent business it’s good to have the number of people connected to me that I have, but I’m thinking that probably 95% of those people I’ve never spoken to and aren’t even in a field I deal with, so maybe it’s time to cull that list a bit more… we’ll see how well that one goes.

I will say this though. Strangely enough, I was ready to totally disappear from social media. I did change my avatar on Twitter and Facebook, and I mentioned why on Facebook. A lot of people reached out to be on that article and through private messages saying some of the nicest things and offering me support. That helped me work through a lot of my negative feelings and depression faster, as it was something I really didn’t see coming. That showed me the true power of social media; it can make some people depressed but it can also offer a way of uplifting others when they need it.

It also helped me to start thinking about writing again. I wasn’t feeling it except for a sentence or two, but I knew I had to break out of that, so this is the first thing I’ve written since last Tuesday… and I wrote this Sunday morning. Since I usually write every day, that’s saying something.

If you feel like you’re being inundated with a lot of things that are making you feel bad, maybe instead of just leaving you eliminate the parts of it that are making you feel worse than you want to feel. I know that my buddy Donna said she was doing just that very thing on Facebook because she didn’t want to deal with all the negativity. Like minds, even if we headed in different directions (she’s a New Yorker who moved to Maine while I lived in Maine and moved to New York lol). 🙂

What kinds of things do you do to reduce being bombarded with a lot of outside negativity. Do you up and leave or do you modify things so that you have more control over what you’re seeing? Let me know; I wish you peace and happiness.
 

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32 comments on “Reduce Inundation For Peace And Happiness

  • Hi Mitch,

    I’m glad you didn’t leave social media and that Mrs. Mitchell calmed your spirit. I felt your absence and wondered about you. You took time away, and that’s what you needed. You also did a few things to make your social media experience better and that is the key.

    I’ve left social media in the past, but I decided I’m in it for the long haul. I am making connections, and I want to keep those relationships.

    This time I did not leave, I trimmed down my friend’s list on Facebook before the presidential election. After the election, I stopped following a few FB pages and unfollowed certain friends, but I did not unfriend them. I use FB Purity too.

    These days, I’m enjoying Twitter; it’s my new hangout. I’m learning that this social media stuff is what we make it (I learned that from you). 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Evelyn. Actually, right now I’m enjoying Twitter less because I’m still seeing a lot of anger from the people I’m connected to, reacting to everything being said and done and, strangely enough, still holding out hope that some will violate the Constitution in some way that’s unprecedented. I just don’t want to know, but at this point I recognize I can’t totally shut everyone does, especially since some of those voices are good friends of mine.

      Overall I’m on social media for the long haul like you. But I was so close… lol

      Reply
  • I left social media a long time ago – so the only overwhelm I face comes from signing up to email newsletters. That’s easily corrected, so I’m very happy, feeling much peace and–clearly–not missing anything.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    Reply
    • Well, we lead different lives and our business goals are different, and my shutting down social media probably would have killed the long term career and goals I’m shooting for. Still, in the moment I was ready to bolt. Luckily I’m feeling better, to the extent that today has been one of my most productive days in a month. Less distractions to take my mind away from the things I want to do; I might get used to this. 🙂

      Reply
  • I call those things in your turmoil category, tolerations. This is anything that zaps your energy.

    One area I like to begin with my coaching clients is to have them strive for a toleration free zone. Taking inventory of what’s not serving them and simply removing them from their life.

    Mitch, good job in pruning your social media feeds.

    Reply
  • I have learnt to be like the lotus leaf which does not allow water to stick on it and don’t allow negativity to stick on me.

    I hope that with this resolution, you will increase your writing to old levels.

    Reply
  • Mitch, I’m very familiar with this list of “tolerations.” That’s a CoachU document created by the founder of coaching, Thomas Leonard. He also created CoachU.

    In addition, I’m a faculty leader for CoachU. I use this doc with students and clients.

    Reply
  • This entire election campaign was so long and tiresome that I think it wore down a lot of people including myself. I’ve been kind of depressed for the past few months and have been considering discontinuing my blogging activity. I don’t spend too much time on other media other than my occasional outbursts on Twitter. But the day after the election was a real shock to me.

    There was a lot of meanness on Facebook and that was my biggest shock since that’s where I like to go to just check out what family and friends are up to and see pictures of my grandkids. Last Wednesday and Thursday was nuts with name calling and finger pointing and all. I mostly have been avoiding FB since then.

    There seems to be a lot of turmoil all around with many people on the various sites. I think maybe it goes beyond the election, but I don’t really know what’s going on. I’ve started a series on my blog in hopes of discussing the problems at hand and just venting some to work things out in my own mind. Yesterday began some good exchanges so I’ll see how it goes in upcoming posts to see how far I want to take the discussion.

    People need to talk about their differences as well as their commonalities so we can stop some of this divide that is putting the country in such a bad state. I’m not sure how this will be done if at all, but I think it can be done and needs to be done.

    I’ve gotten better this week. Maybe the blog conversation is helping. Or maybe it’s just the distancing from the actual election. We’ll see what happens in the next term of the presidency.

    Reply
    • Thanks for expressing your thoughts Arlee. Truthfully, I knew it was all coming about 3 weeks in advance, just after the last debate, which I didn’t watch. That’s when I announced on Facebook and Twitter that I wasn’t going to be sharing anything related to the election until after it was all over. The way I saw things, I knew that it didn’t matter who won because things were only going to get uglier… and even trying to block as much as I can now I certainly can’t miss any of that.

      I’ve written over all these years on at least two of my blogs that people need to talk to each other to start breaking down these divisions we have. I’ve also said it’s never going to happen until some people get forced into doing it. I have a lot more at stake than you do, but right now I just don’t care. I’ve got the shields up and I’m ready for a fight if I need to be in one. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that though, recognizing I’m older now, so I’m keeping my head low and my hoped-for ignorance at bay and working towards some peaceful feelings for the next 4 years.

      Reply
  • Mitch, that was more than likely Coachville, a coaching group site created also by Thomas Leonard, the father of coaching.

    CoachU is a coaching school. Tuition starts at $3.2K.

    Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    I haven’t been on Facebook…only on my business page and to visit some groups I’m in. I refuse to look at my feed. The negativity just hits the pit of my stomach.
    As my blood pressure went high and I was getting anxiety attacks, I walked away…
    Why the heck do I need all this negativity and people hating other people all around me. Shoot…I moved to the calm beaches of Maine to get away from it all.
    I create a peaceful life….And I am too darn busy loving my business and my family to have my being turned into knots lol.
    Thanks for the mention and I’ll see you around.
    -Donna
    P.S. I love your sense of humor and will catch you on other social platforms….until this craziness ends hopefully

    Reply
    • Thanks Donna. I know the pain, but luckily because I use F.B. Purity as a plugin it’s eliminated most of the bad stuff. That and the things I’ve mentioned above allows me to stay on Facebook and not have to deal with all the ugliness I expected to come.

      Of course I put out a video today talking about an aspect of it all after the fact, then got back on message in saying that I want more peace in my life. And I’m gonna get it! 😀

      Reply
  • Hello Mitch,
    I just come across this point!!
    All points are really worth. I always use social medias to builds a good relationship with my readers. These social media links help to know their need and besides it contributes to gain some new ideas of posting new, different posts.It shows the real feel of the people whether they are angry or they are enjoying the post.
    All the listed tips are interesting and helpful
    Thanks a ton for this valuable sharing!
    – Sathish Arumugam

    Reply
  • I am so with you on this. Up until late in the elections I kept to my personal boundaries of a mental “lalalala” to all dissent and disturb. I want to live my life peacefully and positively in every way I can control. A couple of days after the election I made my decision to start thinking of good things I can do. i.e. serving on an Ad Hoc committee to protect guide the city in ways to protect a local mosque. I am still finding my way and am just writing about it today. Wear a safety pin. Study ways in which I can increase my IQ about my own white privilege and how I can share that turn that toward All-Privilege. My own tiny steps will have to do. Politics has never been my mission and it still is not. My mission is to do the best I can do for myself and others in my little space. To tolerate others’ paths and not feel forced to join them on their journey. And to not burden myself with things I cannot impact. I do, however, believe in ripples in a pond. I believe I can make a difference.

    Reply
    • This is great stuff; you’re doing way more in your community than I am, though truthfully I’ve never been much for doing things like this where I don’t have even a modicum of control over my situation. Of course, control is kind of a myth isn’t it? As much as I’m shooting for happy and peacefulness, it seems there’s no way to totally insulate yourself and that’s probably a good thing, even if it’s not what I want at the present time.

      We can only do what we can do, right? So I’ll keep writing and hoping that I can make more of a positive impact, at least through this blog, and see if the message is shared or not. I certainly hope so; I already know the next 4 years are going to be ugly but I’m hoping more of us can find some peaceful coexistence.

      Reply
  • I reckon I must be lucky being an Aussie in that apart from you and a couple of others I don’t have many American friends so I haven’t been inundated with all the negativity of your election.

    I can’t believe Trump won. I wonder if it’s because the majority of American don’t vote. Probably too many people thought Hilary had it in the bag and not liking either of them they didn’t bother to vote. Their bad. No point bitching about it after the horse has bolted and all.

    The thing to do now is to stand unified as Americans and do the best you can with what your stuck with. Heck, with any luck the 4 years will fly past and out will all look like a bad dream.

    Reply
    • Peter, you don’t have our issues to deal with but you certainly have your own. I think you wrote often about how much you hated your PM, and you weren’t alone in expressing those thoughts. Matter of fact, I think I’m connected to at least 7 Australians, and y’all are proving that you don’t always agree on your candidates either. So, your situation isn’t all that much different than ours… other than the folks in your country and in other countries around the world know a lot more about our two candidates than we do any of yours.

      I’m going to survive by pulling away for 4 years. I don’t care what happens; I know what’s coming and I know a lot of people are going to feel letdown… and I just don’t care. I want peace… and I’m gonna have peace… and that’s that! 🙂

      Reply
  • Brian Hawkins says:

    I believe your wife is right, but probably for a slightly different reason.

    I read your post about sculpting your social media feed and at first glance that sounded very practical to me.

    Now I believe that is one of the problems we’re facing as a nation when it comes to what seems to be an ever-widening divide – culturally, politically, socially.

    Sculpting our “news intake” takes our perspectives and amplifies it to the degree we can no longer relate to those with opposing views.

    Social media makes many people feel safe enough to go on the offensive far beyond they would in person.

    It’s not only that our human nature tends to gravitate to common opinions – Social media sites, as we all know, are doing it for us.

    Facebook, probably the largest offender, “decides” for us what content we’re going to see. Since they want us to fell good while on their website and return within the hour for more of the same, the algorithm learns what we like, and spoon feeds us what we want to see and hear.

    That’s dangerous.

    We get to the point where we cannot believe or understand how others think and feel. It’s a surprising blow as for how others are so ignorant and insensitive.

    I tweeted you a link that explains much of this, although there have been many other articles saying this for years.

    I’ll bring it around to this topic of social media and politics now.

    Election day I watched two friends almost come to blows because they could not understand why the other would vote for the other candidate.

    The friend that said we would vote for Trump called the other a “baby killer.” I could hardly believe the conversation had gotten so heated so fast.

    The friend that decided to vote for Clinton called the Trump supporter a racist.

    Why?

    Perspectives – pure and simple.

    The Trump supporter was super passionate on abortion. The Clinton supporter was concentrating more on personal morals and equality.

    Who’s right?

    It has been said that Trump wants to tear apart this Country by undoing decades of race relations and understanding. It has been said Clinton wants to tear apart the Constitution by taking away our Second Amendment and deepening everyone’s reliance on the government.

    For the sake of argument, let us assume both are correct. Which is worse?

    See? Perspective.

    The person that feels so strongly about abortion is wading in supporting content – amplifying their resolve.

    The person that feels so strongly about race is living that reality.

    The person that feels so strongly about the Consitution surrounds them self with others of similar views.

    I believe the continuous bombardment of curated content, whether intentional or not, is killing our ability to relate with others of differing opinions and views.

    A smart man once said,

    “You sometimes find that in the case of something like politics, too much can be a bad thing even if it’s a good thing…” ~ Mitch Mitchell

    We are so divided as a country, on so many issues, that we ended up with two choices – Trump or Clinton. Seriously? Those are the two best candidates this nation could muster.

    Division makes us dumber as a nation, and that is exactly what this election has proven.

    I agree with Peter; it’s time to come together and start fixing things. We need to stop allowing our differences to divide us further and celebrate our diversity. Our diversity should make us stronger, not tear us apart.

    I know that sounds like a “feel good” thing people just say but it certainly doesn’t help to push others with differing beliefs, opinions, and life experiences away.

    That’s my two-cents – reduced to just 620+ words. 😉

    Reply
    • Now this is a seriously great comment! lol

      I agree with you for the most part. I don’t think social media is to blame overall for all the things people are feeling and what gets them juiced. As I mentioned on Twitter to you, this is a long time thing that people seem to always forget when they can… that is, because the issues don’t affect them on an almost daily basis. What social media does is crystallizes them for us and brings them into our home instead of keeping it outdoors… it’s hard to close the door on the stuff that bothers you because it’s being delivered via your computer.

      However… online is just like offline, with a slight difference. Offline, we hang with people we know and like in our personal lives. The difference is that, once online, you’re never really talking to just your friends, but some of their friends also. At the same time, online we tend to connect with people we identify with on one thing without realizing we might not be compatible once we leave those specific confines.

      Work is always a different animal, which is why I made both religion and politics discussions we weren’t allowed to have in my office; I wasn’t going to be a part of it and I couldn’t afford to have my team not getting along because of these two things.

      You know me; I’ve always thought that social media was supposed to be mainly about taking in things that make you feel better. Sure, sometimes you have to address some nasty stuff if you’ve got either a soul or a stake in the outcome, but for the most part none of us want to see that stuff… at least we don’t want to constantly see it. So I’ve sculpted my feed to work on making me happier… it certainly hasn’t eliminated everything, but I’m more at peace than I was a month ago. I can live with that.

      Reply
  • Having been able to ‘know’ what’s going around to influencing and promoting a flow of a trend is something which has changed in last few months.
    I think a small break is all that is needed right now.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Shekhar

    Reply
  • Actually Mitch, I never hated him, I just though he was an absolute nincompoop. I struggled to find a ‘safe’ word so that I wouldn’t swear on your blog 😉

    Reply
  • Hey Mitch, I think I kind of quit social media too for the reasons mentioned above. I just realized it after reading this post. I only check my FB page every other day. I don’t even check my Twitter feed as often as I used to. The only site I frequent is LinkedIn, and that’s because I’m looking for a job and writing clients.

    Reply
    • Marcie, I didn’t quite pull away, just started sculpting things so I don’t see as much hate as I’d been seeing before. Unfortunately, that seems to be leading me towards seeing even more hate than ever on LinkedIn, of all places, than anywhere else. Now I’m going to have to figure out what to do about that mess.

      Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    Oh Man, yes, I get it.
    Sometimes I need a break from social media. In fact, sometimes I also think of shutting it all down permanently.

    I do enjoy a quiet life. As much as I love interacting with people and I use it for my writing, disconnecting is such a beautiful thing.

    It’s been a harsh year in general for a lot of people. There’s an overall feeling of despair for many reasons, and it spills over and affects how we all interact with one another.
    And yes, this has been going on for very a long time. The effects have a lot of momentum behind them.

    A lot of what I’ve seen being said (and published) has provided some interesting observations into the human condition in general.

    Sometimes I (like you) take a step back from writing. Nothing wrong with it. We take a break and come back feeling refreshed and recharged.

    Your blog, your voice.

    As you so eloquently said on my recent post:
    “I’m a be me, you be you, and whatever comes from it, we can deal with it.”

    I wish you peace and happiness too, Mitch.
    Dana recently posted…Should We Censor Ourselves to Gain a Following?My Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks Dana. Truthfully, sometimes I vacillate between leaving it all and disappearing and sticking around because… well, if I disappear, I’m also going to disappear locally. Course my wife might not like that second part, and I don’t think I want to be gone from everything like that.

      I can cut back though, which I have. Someone said I couldn’t just up and disappear, that I couldn’t give up the fight. I said of course I can, but I still have my main cause and if anything comes up about it that I hear about I’ll make myself clear and loud. However, I still have my writing, and I can hear things on the periphery without chasing it and bringing it upon myself, right? That alone brings me peace… it’s been so quiet since I removed all news from my life with alerts and such. Sure, I’m missing a lot… but I still don’t care! lol

      Reply

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