In my last post, I looked at how the negative part of politics and the Internet and social media have actually teamed up to help make me a better person.
Yes, they have helped me grow, but I’m choosing not to dive headfirst anymore into the negativity that can permeate social media (and politics).
The negativity taught me a powerful lesson.
And another, perhaps more powerful, part of the lesson is that I need to protect positive energy.
I doubt that I’m the only one who feels a psychic punch when I read something mean, something that attacks a person or position, something behind which the intent has nothing positive.
It’s a striking out in anger, usually, and it can land on whoever reads the words or sees the image.
By psychic punch, I mean that I actually feel something interior – something inside my body – contract.
I feel . . . well, punched, for lack of a better word.
I guess some posts or comments can feel like a slap, but most often lately, I’ve felt punches.
I think somehow the energy behind the post or words gets conveyed, and people like me can literally FEEL that energy.
That’s why I have unfollowed so many people on Facebook.
It’s also why I’ve almost stopped commenting on friends’ posts. Sometimes their friends attack anyone whose comment disagrees with their thoughts. Even when they have never met the other person. They feel entitled to attack just because they read some words with which they think they disagree. I say “think,” because I’ve had some of my comments be completely misread – by someone who doesn’t know me at all.
One good thing about social media is that you can choose when to engage. And you can choose not to engage at all. You can even control much of what you read there.
I choose not to subject myself to blindside psychic punches on social media.
When I gave myself permission to unfollow the people who post mean or negative comments and memes, I noticed that I felt better, more positive.
I was much less often feeling those psychic punches.
And I wonder about those psychic punches. What actually happens when we share negative thoughts and feelings?
Do we literally put out negative energy that others can feel?
I think the answer is YES.
And if we are, how then can we avoid sharing that negativity with whoever crosses our paths, electronically or in person?
I don’t think we can.
I know lots of people are honestly unaware of how negative they are and how much negativity they spew out. They likely live in a household in which this calibration is “normal.” It’s all they know. And so they even seek it out in social media and in other media.
But I know something else, too.
I know I have a choice not to seek out negativity, not to subject myself to it through social media or other media outlets.
And so I choose – more and more – to avoid that negativity.
I find it painful. Literally.
I know it’s not possible to live in a totally positive world.
Nor would I want to. The negative has helped me to grow. Many times.
But I no longer need very much of it.
Negativity with the intent to spew out anger, hatred, animosity . . . I don’t need that.
So I choose less and less negativity on social media, on television, in movies, my my reading.
I choose fewer and fewer friends who have that negativity.
I choose energy that uplifts, that heals, that is compassionate.
Because that’s what I need to handle the psychic punches that catch me unaware.
Compassion, positive energy.
Because we can’t change darkness without Light.