I believe there are no more than 3 ways (ahem) to feel better from the internet.
And no less than 74,000 ways to feel worse.
So step right up, get on in here,
I have tonics, salves, liniments, ointments and remedies for your ails.
Internet related ailment, that is.
I have relief.
See, over last five years
The scale and velocity of story sharing
image sharing and
sharing sharing has increased in a way in our brains and emotions have not.
We humans need to step back and see how fundamentally different human interaction has become since the internet’s adaptation by billions. This onslaught of pictures and stories and potential and the fact made visual that we are all connected to every body
It’s affecting our brains.
We have no choice but to evolve.
In fact, our brains are evolving…
We’re in transition.
Most transitions are marked with pain.
When we don’t recognize that transition for evolution, we feel terrible.
We’re transitioning right now.
And a little painfully.
And it hurts.
Thankfully, I bring you
No less than
three tools for feeling better.
Let’s soothe those internet pains.
We’re going to
Protect your neck
Show you a Jealousy Map
Then use our imaginations to think of tiny scientists.
Protect your neck
When I sit with the internet during my normal surfing,
I pay close attention to my body’s reaction to the words I consume.
I feel the burning in my throat when someone I consider my peer gets that accolade.
I feel my eyes fill with tears as I take in your pain.
I feel my stomach tense as I share your outrage.
Oh, that outrage.
Becoming aware of these physical reactions is the first step to controlling them.
The second step? Control my feed of information.
What’s coming in that might be poisoning me?
What toxic hate,
Constant complaining am I consuming?
You have my permission to unfollow that which makes you feel bad.
I don’t care how good friends you are.
If their stream takes away your precious energy, you have a right to protect yourself.
Another way to protect your neck is by remembering these three words, “It’s not about me.”
Your mom broke her hip and had a stroke and your Dad died, but you weren’t close, because you had a bad childhood and I totally understand – and then your kid died and I’m so sorry and every time I read that post I imagine it happening to me because it’s always about me.
Your pain is now about me.
Your pain becomes me.
But on reflection, I realize that I consume this media in isolation so SEEMS LIKE IT’S about me.
Unless I write it, it’s not about me.
We see it when authors announce book tours, pregnancies, philanthropic efforts
Why wasn’t *I* picked for this?
Instead of, “Good Job.”
Why aren’t you coming to Poughkeepsie?
Instead of, “Congrats on the book tour.”
Well at least you HAVE a baby…
Instead of, “That must be hard for you.”
On the internet it seems like it’s about me, but it’s not.
Pay attention to your body,
control your feed and remember,
it’s not about you.
I’m feeling better already!
The Jealousy Map
An epidemic of less than on the internet.
It’s impossible to avoid comparison.
When I’m jealous, instead of acting out, I don’t take your opinion seriously because, well, obviously you have it so much easier.
You’re already well-off.
You have a stay at home wife.
You got there first.
You have it so much better than me.
Thanks to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I now use jealousy as a tool.
I make a Jealousy Map.
Make a grid with three columns. Labeled, WHO, WHY and Now WHAT?,
Start filling it the WHO with the folks you’re jealous of.
Fill in WHY with the reason you’re jealous and fill in the
NOW WHAT? part with the first thing that jumps to your brain.
Some of the “So NOW what’s” come off as so simple they may sound silly.
Don’t let that fool you.
It’s how this tool works.
Oh that familiar jealous sinking in my stomach when I think it means I can’t ever measure up, I take it as a call to action.
Not as the end
Protect your neck
We’re on to Tiny Scientists
Our internet is barely ten years old. Its current mobile-visual-branded version – less than five years old.
When I get all judgey and mean about online authors, I stop it cold by thinking of other authors as five year old scientists.
Would you be as judgemental and mean to a five year old in a tiny lab coat.
(Like one with a little twitter handle embroidered on it…)
As you are (inside your head, of course) to some other bloggers?
I didn’t think so.
Think of all of us as little experimenters.
Sharing news through a personal lens, this experiment is barely five years old yet we consistently judge people as if they should know better.
We’re all just bumbling along in our labs, trying things out publicly.
Let’s use our imagination to appreciate the internet for the experiment it IS.
Since you’re amazing, I’ve decided to share one more bonus tip with you.
We ladies have a unique emotional skill.
We can of add guilt to an already bad feeling.
We slather it on in a thick layer.
It’s like a sad feeling club sandwich with bacon of regret, turkey of self-loathing, lettuce of sadness.
It’s bad enough.
And THEN we try to add this, some peanut butter of guilt.
Don’t put the peanut butter on a club sandwich.
Don’t put guilt on an already bad feeling.
Feeling bad for feeling bad is something our gender that we can stop.
To sum up:
Our brains are evolving.
Protect your neck and remember: it’s not about me.
Use Jealousy as a tool with a Jealousy Map.
Imagine us as tiny scientists.
Don’t put the peanut butter guilt on a sad club sandwich.
You can find for all your internet ailment relief at helenjane.com and @helenjane.