These days most of us use social media like Facebook to keep in touch with friends & relatives and to see new material from our favorite sites/people. We like to check in on our commutes to/from work, at home, at work, probably several times a day, and depending on our schedules, can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, checking out all the stuff in our newsfeeds, chatting with friends etc.
Social media does take up a large chunk of the information superhighway now, influencing our everyday lives, affecting our moods. Depending on what you happen to see in your newsfeed, you might feel all kinds of emotions and think various thoughts you would not be thinking otherwise. Let’s discuss this aspect a little – why it matters and what your role is in it.
Let’s think of a typical newsfeed an average person might see when checking in to Facebook. New articles & posts from pages we like, events that happened to friends and random thoughts and pictures they post from their lives, and then there is all the shared stuff. Now what do I mean by shared stuff? It is the posts that someone or a page posted originally and then other users spread it by sharing it themselves, acting as repeaters. Yes, because when we do this, we are repeaters – even if we add our own thoughts – since originally it is not our creation but someone else’s and then we pass it on with our approval, basically agreeing with it. Yes, when you share something, you practically say “I agree with this/I like this/I think you should see this because I think it is important/funny/interesting”, so in any of these scenarios the point is that once you share it, your approval is added. In this sense you act as a kind of filter, passing on information that you approved for spreading yourself. This article is about your responsibility in what you decide to share.
By being a participating member of social media like Facebook, you have a bunch of friends and fans who see the things you post and share. So this way you also spread information yourself. Yes, you are an active part of the worldwide information network. Some of your friends and fans will see that information in their own feeds, coming from you, and they will react according to contents. Some will share it further.
Today there is just sooooo much information and disinformation out there, about most topics you can find pro and contra information ranging from condemning it to praising it. Honestly it has become rather difficult to figure out what the truth is about most stuff! How do you determine what is real? Who do you believe, this or that?
Again, when you have an army of friends on Facebook, they also serve as filters to figure out what is true/important/real. Or at least that would be the idea! Optimally you would have trusted people among your friends who you know you can trust when you see something coming from them or through them. At least that’s how it should work.
But it is a sad fact that people tend to share all kinds of stuff nowadays that they think is worth sharing, without really thinking about it or checking it out. Few use common sense and healthy judgment before reacting and sharing. As long as it comes from my friend, it should be fine, right? Well, optimally yes! Because optimally, each and every one of us should use our common sense, our inner compass and listen to our hearts, our instincts and filter out the trash. Optimally! In an ideal world! But just recently I happened to see a few slip ups from trusted friends and in fact that pushed me to write this article – really, not everything is what it seems. You better check things out! Otherwise you might spread something that is not even true and ruin your friends’ mood for nothing.
You see, with each and every post and share, you will create some kind of emotion or reaction in the person who sees it. They will think it’s nice/beautiful/cute, be excited about it, or they will think it’s boring, or annoying, or upsetting, etc. according to contents, there is a whole range of emotions and reactions that can happen after viewing items of a typical newsfeed. You just woke up, it’s a beautiful morning, you feel like you own the world, then you check in to Facebook to see if your friends also feel as awesome as you and ooops! There happens to be the random picture of a dead/tortured animal in your newsfeed. Talk about a beautiful morning! Of course we try to tuck these experiences into the back of our minds and never think of them again, but the unfortunate truth is that they tend to pop up in our thoughts and haunt us! Not that easy to just forget about it and go on with our lives, pretending that we’ve never seen it. So when you think of it this way, you are responsible for how that other person will feel when seeing the post you shared. Optimally these reactions should always be reasonable, even for contents that are not so pleasant, but the point here is that you should not ruin someone’s mood if there is no reason for it.
Emotions and moods do matter although the average person does not think much of that aspect. But, as everything is energy, emotions matter a great deal too. In fact they matter so much that even one negative emotion setting up camp in someone’s mind can cause health problems in the body, resulting in disease and even death. For how emotions work, here is a nifty chart with levels of consciousness from Dr. David Hawkins who is the author of the classic bestselling book Power vs. Force. On Dr. Hawkins’ scale emotions range from 1 to 1000 and depending on the level of that emotion, they can be divided into either positive, energy-giving levels, and negative, energy-taking levels.
Below 200 (Below the critical level of integrity):
(c) 1995 David R. Hawkins
Please do go to the article and read the detailed explanations for what each of these levels corresponds to and how emotions work, it will be quite eye-opening! It would also be recommended to read Dr. Hawkins’ book Power vs. Force as well, since then you will have an even fuller understanding on the whole emotions picture.
So now that we have an idea of how important emotions are and see that we really should not nurture any of the harmful low-level ones below 200, it would be pretty important to make sure not to generate these negative and harmful emotions in both ourselves and others, especially when totally unnecessary. And here is where you come in: by filtering the incoming information and only pass on and spread what is really worth sharing.
You do not want to ruin your friends’ mood and possibly have them being haunted by negative flashbacks by sharing some horrendous post that you don’t even know if it’s true, but well, it was in your newsfeed and on a quick glance it seemed important and upsetting enough that you felt your friends should see it too. For what exactly, you are not even sure, but again, it seemed dramatic/embarrassing/upsetting/shameful enough so you shared it. I wish people would think twice before sharing stuff. Optimally, if you had common sense and weren’t lazy or ignorant enough to use it, you’d think, “Wait a minute. For real? Is this really what it says it is?” Most of the time all it takes to check something out is to open the link to the actual article and read it, or do a quick search, in order to determine whether it is worth spreading. Other times just plain common sense will do! Just a few examples of posts you should definitely NOT share: fake petitions, pictures of something that is not what it says it is, pictures of abused animals and trying to find their alleged abusers etc., the real purpose of these is to ruin your mood and generate any of the emotions below 200 on the above scale, especially hate, fear, frustration, anger, sadness, and any combination of them. In addition particularly horrible pictures will repeatedly turn up in your mind and might even haunt you for good. Now if you do share something like this, then sorry but you ARE responsible for placing those who happen to see it into that negative state, and adding to this is that some of them will spread the post even further! So you pretty participated in and started an avalanche yourself.
To clarify, of course we should spread stuff about issues that are really important and in particular, about things we can actually do something about, even if they do generate some negative emotions, because there are many things that need to be improved and worked on in this world and we can always make a difference. But let’s only share those that are really worth it. Ok, just to give you a few examples I keep coming across, negative energy generators being shared all over the place, it’s really to just give you an idea, because I really would rather skip the example part altogether, I do not like to spread this stuff in the following examples whatsoever, but these are a few senseless topics that you definitely should not share and spread any further:
1. The fake petition: please see my other article about signing and sharing fake petitions but in this particular context the point is on those that will have some horrendous accompanying picture(s), the latest I happened to see was of an elephant without a head. No, I will definitely not link it here. Anyway, the “petition” was about how those who do this should be brought to law but at the same time there wasn’t any actual suggestion or plan for how exactly whoever made the petition wants to do this. So here the point is to shock you and give you a dose of horror/sadness/shock/anger. And, you don’t even know what you are signing! Another one I happened to see the other day was about trying to prosecute some kid who tortures cats. Yes, there were pictures of cats being tortured. But, again no explanation of the situation or any actual plan for what exactly the person starting the “petition” wants to do. So, same purpose as the first one.
2. Some kind of dramatic picture with accompanying text that says something different altogether than what is actually depicted on the picture. It helps even more if it is some controversial issue. Latest example for this was a picture where lots of chickens in a barn were in the process of being enveloped by some foam and people in masks and white body suits were standing by, watching the massacre from the outside. Now the accompanying text said that this new foam is now being used to kill chickens and then their meat will be sold to us people as free-range chicken meat and how outrageous this is. There was even a link for the maker of the foam that you could check out if you wanted to. The problem was that most people did NOT bother checking out the link, which is too bad because if they did, they could see that this foam technique is being used when there is some kind of disease outbreak and lots of animals (chickens in this case) need to be killed in the shortest time possible so that the infection is contained and not spread any further. Yes, folks, that’s what this foam was invented for and is used for and obviously the meat of such chickens will not be sold since the chickens were sick in the first place. But, most people will not even bother to check further info and just blindly share the post even more, providing a dose of shock to their friends who happen to see it and then some of them will again spread it further.
3. The “let’s find the scumbag who did this and that” kind of picture. Oh, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the hanged dogs picture with the two guys, asking who these guys are and let’s find them. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this one and since I have friends in various countries all over the globe, I couldn’t help but notice that in each country the scumbags have been presented as guys from that particular country, honestly some of these were pretty ridiculous! Typically if it comes in your newsfeed, most people will automatically think it is people from their own country. Now with pictures like these, and I just mentioned this most widely circulated one but there are lots along the same lines, it’s not like anyone will find those guys, and we don’t really know what is happening in the picture, where and how it was taken, who posted it first and put it into circulation, no, none of these common sense questions matter because what does matter is that it has to be shared! Yes we must find these scumbags! What a joke. Just think about it for a minute, for real. It can be many years old. It can be photoshopped. It can be a picture confiscated from guys who have already been prosecuted and are sitting in jail. It can be a joke played by some schoolmates. I mean, what do we know??? Nothing! There is zero reference! Oh, and have you seen typical comments under pictures like these? Everybody wants to do all kinds of horrible things to those guys, I sometimes wonder, if those commenters really mean what they write, all of them could be put in jail or into the mental ward as well! Again, the real purpose of pictures like these is to make you upset and put you in a state of anger/frustration/sadness/hate and the like.
The above are just a few examples. Please do keep your eyes open, do exercise some healthy judgment and use your common sense before you’d blindly share the next negative energy generator. Do it for your friends. You do work as a filter and you should only put out stuff that has your approval stamp on it, don’t just place that stamp on anything. You have that right and it is your responsibility.