The other night I was sharing about my new art journal project with a friend at the NWARK Blogger meet up about how prior to the internet I did so much more. Real, actual tangible things. The daily art project is meant to get me back to that and to allow me to take back my emotional life on my own terms. What? Yep. Read on.
Facebook Twisting Your Emotions
What I didn’t talk about though is my concern about an overuse of social media on our emotional states. There is a lot of talk about taking days off of social, setting down your phones to actually enjoy your life, being in the moment, but now there may be more reason to do that from data coming out of a social experiment that Facebook conducted.
Their thesis was that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to have other people contaminating my emotional state. It is hard enough in real life not to be effected by all the whirlwind around us with family, coworkers, the crazy guy behind us in the grocery line. Now we need to know that Facebook is able to force you to feel a certain way.
Their experiment basically took 600,000 users and showed them either positive or negative statuses and then looked at what they started to post. Ding ding ding… if they were shown happy happy things they were posting positive rainbows and if they were shown negative things they were starting to feel the need to see a therapist of take a really long nap.
My concern is that with the relentless scrolling through our feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. we are more effected then we realize and actually have very little control of what we are feeding our emotional states.
Get offline and start doing something. Anything. Take walks. Get a hobby that you love. Learn something new. Cook real meals. Dance badly in your living room. Really, anything would work to allow you to experience life in the way that you want to and not transfer all of the millions of emotions that you are experiencing from other online.
Me? I’m doodling in a day planner each night, taking walks, meeting with friends and writing everyday. What about you? How are you taking back your emotional life?