This time of the year is quite popular for crafting life, career, and health goals. Media is replete with ads catering to this annual ritual. One popular activity is to do a nutritional Detox or a Cleanse. I am not qualified to evaluate these but they do trigger a different kind of cleanse that is relatively new. I do it many times a year and recommend it you. I call it a Media Cleanse.
I heard a comic joke recently about the outrage some people have over the violence, nudity, and vulgarity that comes from the movies they pay to watch. It took a few seconds for the audience to appreciate the humor of complaining about things we inflict on ourselves. Today more than ever, we have the kind of access to information, people, and groups like never before. It is astoundingly easy to just click on something and follow it. Even easier to make ‘friends’ with strangers who can suddenly occupy your social media life. Since electronic communication is taking a larger role in relationships, it has become even more important to manage electronic media. I am not against this evolution as there are so many good uses of these new modalities of communication and information.
However, it is worth perusing your social media channels – all of them and clean them. What you see and read is no different than the movie goers in the comedian’s joke. Chose carefully who you want to see, follow, read, and vice versa. These interactions on social media is the new era of your social time and recall the sage adage “you’re only as good as the company you keep.” Engage with people and groups in the same way that you would as though they were asking to have dinner with you. Is it something you would enjoy, make you happy, make your smarter, make you laugh, make you more empathetic, or would they make you angry, sad, mad, hateful? Remember, the latter emotions are contagious and stay with you long after you have physically left the situation, especially negative ones. I’ve blogged on the neuroscience (EQ) of this before. Is it worth compromising the quality of your next interaction, whether with a person or where you might need your best thinking?
A social media cleanse to make absolutely sure that you are friends with people who are truly your friends, follow groups that truly encourage or inspire you, is something I strongly recommend as part of your mental diet for 2015. Just as you own what you put in your body nutritionally, you also own what you allow your mind to be occupied with.