When it comes to the modern-day world, there are numerous sources that are trying to gain people’s attention. And, thanks to the invention of the Smartphone, it is perhaps easier than ever before for them to do this.
As a result, it is no longer necessary to have someone sit down to watch television or to turn the radio on in order to receive their attention. No, the only thing that needs to take place is for them to look down at their device and to click on an app.
This is something that someone can do every now and then, without needing to be encouraged to do so. Alternatively, this is something that they can do after their device has made a noise and/or flashed.
The reason why someone can do this without needing a reason can be due to the fact that their brain has become hooked on the high (a dopamine hit) that it receives when a new notification appears. When this happens, it can be as if just about everything in their life will fade into the background and their device will be the only thing that matters.
At this point, it would be easy to say that someone will behave in this way because they lack “self-control” and/or need “constant attention”. However, the apps that pull them in won't have been designed willy-nilly.
These will be apps that have been designed with the help of behavioural experts, so it wouldn’t be accurate to say that someone would need to have something inherently wrong with them or a weak character to be hooked in by them. Like every being on this earth, human beings have their weaknesses, and ultimately, these weaknesses are exploited by these apps.
A Number of platforms
Now, if they were to click on a social media app, for instance, this can be a time when they will be able to see what their “friends” have been doing, to be informed about what is taking place in the world via the mainstream media, and to become aware of what different businesses have to offer, for instance. In a way, it is like a buffet; there is something for just about everyone.
Therefore, one won’t need to click on a news app to be exposed to what is going on in the world. Thanks to this, one can have a rough idea about what is going on around them without going out of their way to find out.
One Step Further
This might not be enough for them, though, and they may want this source to notify them directly. If this is so, they can make sure that this source constantly lets them know about what is going on.
One way of looking at this would be to say that this is a wonderful idea; one can be completely plugged in and never miss out. Then again, it is also possible to have ‘too much of a good thing’.
A Similar Experience
What this comes down to is that in the same way that someone can allow their value to be defined by how other people respond to the images that they share online, they can also allow their emotional self to be controlled by what is taking place in the world. Or to be more accurate, what the mainstream media says is taking place in the world.
Furthermore, this is a source that primarily focuses on what is going wrong. Consequently, through paying attention to this source, one can unknowingly have very little idea about what is actually going on and have a very lopsided view of reality.
A Reactive Existence
By giving this source so much of their attention, irrespective of if they believe everything that it comes out with, they won’t have much control over how they feel. Like a puppet, their emotional strings will be pulled by this source.
It can then be normal for them to be anxious and fearful, thanks to the endless stream of drama and misery that this source will provide them. Quite simply, they won’t be in control of how they feel, the mainstream media will be.
A Mixed Message
What will be ironic about this is that this source is also likely to talk about the importance of “mental health”. Undoubtedly, this source is not good for someone’s mental health; what it is good for is undermining their wellbeing.
Not only this, with all the misery and drama that is being drip-fed into them from morning to night, their immune system can also be weakened. Being plugged in is then going to do more harm than good.
The trouble is that as destructive as this source can be, someone can be hooked into it in the same way that they can be hooked into receiving notifications. It has been said that human beings are wired to seek out what is negative as opposed to what is positive, due to their early origins.
Assuming that this is so, this can be seen as to why someone would end up being addicted to something that is probably undermining them. Another way of looking at this would be to say that this is due to them being in a traumatised state that has caused them to be disembodied, which is why they can’t see how destructive this source is, and thereby, don’t feel the need to cut back on how often they are exposed to this kind of material.
If someone is generally allowing this source to define how they feel and they want this to change, the first step will be for them to observe when this takes place. Through being aware of when it happens, they can decide to do something else.
What they can also reflect on is that if they want to make a difference on this earth, they need to be at their best. The version of them that has been worn down and wreaked by the media is not going to be the version that can truly make a difference.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.