HT Brunch Mental Health Cover Story: Two dozen tweets a day to zero, writes Gayatri Jayaraman
You can have a verified social media account with thousands of followers and become stuck in an endless cycle of reactivity. Or you can have a limited following and build an organic community of mutual support, sans trolling. Social media, overrun with the agenda armies much like the larger world, is about doggedly navigating your way through it. The trick is to prioritise your own purpose.
The problem with the things that need the most drastic fixing is that everyone expects everyone else to change. It’s like those guys driving to work who grumble about traffic forgetting they are traffic. Everyone else needs to tone it down, chill a little, get an offline life and be nicer to each other. The outward gaze is a pointed finger and it is always accusatory and self-righteous. Worse, when we give as good as we get, we not only mirror those we disagree with but we become puppets to their provocations and reactions.
We can change the way we participate in these artificially-constructed worlds that determine the tempos of our days by their algorithms. We aren’t completely at the mercy of external factors. We have an internal response that is in our control and by which we can cut short these cycles of reactivity. We can undistractedly improve the atmosphere around us, tweet by tweet, post by post, and interaction by interaction. God give us all the determination of a housing society aunty determined to make the world a better place with her good morning messages.
You have two beds in a garden. One has seeds you want to grow. The other has no seeds. The one you water, weed, fertilise and expose to sunlight i.e., shower your attention on, grows. You already know this. But the one most of us nurture is the one that has nothing we want. We don’t want negativity, outrage or brain fry. So, why we do we spend all our energy watering, weeding, and nurturing the bed of nothing we want?
Clarity of purpose is finding what you want more of in your life and giving it all your resources. If we have limited attention, one would imagine we would give it to that which enriches us. We aren’t obliged to reap harvests we don’t want because it is someone else’s agenda that we do so. Empowerment is setting your own agenda.
Gayatri Jamaraman is a mind body spirit therapist and author of Anitya: How to Make the Most of Change and Transform Your Life. She once had 25k followers but doesn’t anymore.
From HT Brunch, October 10, 2021
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