This cartoon by David Sipress reflects the mood that many have felt, at one time or another, about the overload of information that social media bombards onto users. There is a constant flow of information, everything from pictures of your friends, to breaking news from China, to new diet trends.
“My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to stay sane.” Speaking from personal experience, I have definitely felt this. As an active Twitter user, I see an incredible array of opinions on a multitude of topics – particularly politics. Especially around the time of the elections, I found myself withdrawing from Twitter and Facebook because these were the two social media outlets that showcased the most opinions. I had to step away because I felt that I was seeing too many biased posts. My misery quotient was increasing with each negative and cynical tweet I saw.
The news media responds to consumers by increasing the emotional appeal of the posts, which means that negativity is emphasized to keep users hooked. And just as it is considered extremely unhealthy to eat too much and to eat too fast, it is unhealthy to consume too much information as well.
The question is then, how is the best way to cope with the quantity and the velocity of news?
Positive News is a website and print magazine that highlights reports that focus on possibility and progress. Since the election, visitors to the website have increased by 93%. Looking into positive news and positive articles have tremendous constructive effects on the mind. Additionally, not looking at the news or Facebook right before bed will prevent “worrisome thoughts” from disrupting a good night sleep.
There are always ways to find positivity on the web: cat videos, cute puppy pictures, funny vines. Investing more time in the positive posts, rather than the negative news, is good for the soul.