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Moderating Your Media Intake

Social media and the news has been particularly intense over the last few months. Of course, daily national or international news can be overwhelming in general, but since the pandemic and the recent Civil Rights movement, media has been quite consuming.

At the beginning of a series of global lockdowns, a British news channel advised viewers to be wary of how much time you spend watching the news and on social media, consuming the updates and narratives being shared around as it can have a negative impact on your mindest. But, in the current society, it can be quite hard to tear away from our technology and take a break.

I’m here to remind you, that sometimes, it is necessary.

“Quarantine fatigue” is a new term being used to describe the tiredness we’ll all be feeling by now. You can read more about it here.

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Over the duration of lockdown, conspiracy theories, political debate and certainly public reactions to the measures imposed by the government from across the ocean have been seen. (I don’t need to say any more about anti-lockdown protests across the pond…).

But over the last few weeks, following the Black Lives Matter movement and protests after Ahmaud Aubery’s, Breonna Taylor’s and George Floyd’s death, social media has been inundated with content of the global events. 

And it’s good. It’s good that the BLM movement is gaining so much traction, that change is being fought for all over the world. It’s good that injustices are being exposed, that there is coverage, and that discussions are being had. It’s incredible that all 50 states in the USA and 18 countries have banded together, and internationally through social media, we are helping educate each other on how to make a change. This is the largest Civil Rights movement in history.

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The other issue, however, is the battle between what is truth, and what is being exaggerated or manipulated. With national news, it’s hard to know what they’re showing us is an exact representation. With social media, there’s a history of clickbait, but it’s also exposing a lot of what the news might not be showing. With a barrage of information coming from your phone or computer, and your TV or family members, it’s won’t come as any surprise if you start to feel mentally exhausted.

Whilst it is absolutely vital you stay present and keep the conversation moving and flowing, to make sure change is happening even on the smallest scale, it absolutely okay to take a break.

After taking some time away, you will most likely sleep better, feel more awake, and start to see things with a fresher and clearer perspective. You will be able to debate and discuss the matter calmer, without inciting arguments. You will be able to educate and inform, rather than insult.

But please, check on your friends too. We need to be supportive. The environment we are in right now is emotionally charged, and the lockdown only adds to it.

Look after yourself, check on your friends and family. Step back and take a breath, but stay engaged and present when you return. This is an important movement that is demonstrating the gravity of the change that needs to be made.

2020, only halfway in, has been crazy. But perhaps, necessary. It’s a year of revelations and development. And it will be overwhelming, so remember to moderate how much you’re reading on current events, and take some time, no matter how small, to have a moment with yourself.

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

As an extra note, remember to be respectful when talking to others. Try to be understanding, and level-headed, and try not to dictate how others should feel. It will prevent more weight from being added to your mental load. Like I said, media is a blessing and a curse, and impacts us all.