Image Credit: Viktoria Slowikowska
Entering your Mind, Controlling your habits
Image Credit: geralt
I recently watched a segment on a news program reporting how some parents are suing social media companies for negligence. The effects of legal challenges on the future of social media are a hot topic these days, raising ethical questions regarding the responsibility of the applications of algorithms. An algorithm is a procedure designed for problem-solving or performing a computation. These lawsuits come after the death, disorders, or suicidal tendencies many kids experience after clicking on suggested links based on their browsing history. While these parents sharing their stories were heartbroken and angry, they are on a mission to make social media companies own up to their accountability to make safe changes and put protective measures in place.
When I joined social media, I remember it began as a seemingly harmless and inviting channel to connect with family and friends. But back in the day, I remember a different type of persuasion coming from subliminal psychology, a unique, top-secret science that explores how to enter someone’s subconscious mind. You can plant ideas that the person will start acting on without knowing why. We saw a lot of this in visual advertisements, primarily found on TV but also in magazines and newspapers.
So the question arises about responsibility. Who? There are a lot of moving parts here. Should it be parents? Initially, yes. Yet kids must be taught how to be responsible when operating these high-tech devices that leave a lasting and sometimes haunting digital footprint. Still, the influence and pressure of their peers seem to penetrate every part of their being and challenge common sense. So as careful as some parents try to be when kids are at school, a different dynamic comes into play.
Better safety protocols must be in place, but truthfully, kids are not the only ones caught in this algorithm trap. This travesty is not only found on social media. It is across the world wide web. Scores of adults are just as hooked and get duped just as badly. Many people are engaging in Tech Fasts, but they are in so deep that fasting seems futile. How can we step from the keyboards, joysticks, or VR devices to break the spell of mind control from the injection and invasion of digitally controlled substances? How can we sensibly wean ourselves from these digital addictions? How can we operate on social media and the Internet without succumbing to the lethal injection of mind control and abuse? Let me step away from the computer and think about that. 🤔
Image Credit: Matryx
Is it Time to Shake Things Up?
Image Credit: blondapst
You know, let’s face it, there are days when you feel blah! 😝 You can relate to the type of days when you don’t know if you’re going or coming, or just plain ole stuck. There are days when you feel exhausted or depressed because it seems like you can’t get your gear shifted in drive so you can see and make some progress.
Then it seems like everyone else is going somewhere and you are stuck in nowhere. I think all of us can identify with that feeling at some given point or points in our life. Sometimes we find ourselves in the same old position feeling like we are on the same conveyor belt going in circles with the lack of motivation to make colossal improvements.
Sometimes we don’t know what to do or how to do it, but find ourselves bearing a moody, crappy disposition because we’re stuck. So if you feel like you are that residue in the bottom of the cup, add a little something to that residue, shake it up and make something new. I’ve mentioned this before, when you’re tired of being sick and tired, you have no choice but to do something positively grand. If not, you’ll still be sitting in the same spot, singing the same old sad tune, when the only thing that changes is the time of the day. Take a grand leap of faith! Now, shake some things up!
Alone? You Are Not Meant to Be Permanently Secluded
I was thinking about my high school biology class the other day, and for some reason, I have been thinking a lot about high school, but don’t even ask me why. Yet, I remembered how we discussed the amoeba and paramecium, unicellular and microscopic which sort of fascinated me in a weird kind of way.
Isolation can be good, sometimes, when you need a break but it is not a way of life where we remain self-alienated, a hermit, and a recluse. I think about those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, where it seems like they are in a foreign land, in their own secluded world. Those of us who have witnessed family members suffering from this dreaded disease know what I’m talking about.
We rely on each other. No one is self-sufficient. When the 17th Century English poet John Donne wrote in a sermon comparing people to countries, his point argued for the interconnectedness of all people with God.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Being alone is not the same as loneliness. We are not unicellular or microscopic, like the amoeba or paramecium. We are communal beings and we are designed to be involved in humankind, not castrated from it like an animal.
Shut Up Already! I’m Trying to Get Some Sleep! 🥱
Have you ever had mental dialogues continuing to chat away while you’re trying to fall asleep? What’s up with that? I don’t know of too many people who have not experienced this voice still trying to talk in your head that just never seems to shut up. Yet how much of this chitchat are we responsible for? 🤔
I have a fitness tracker that logs my sleep stages (awake, REM, light, and deep sleep), the length of hours and minutes I sleep, and then it delivers a sleep score that is supposed to give me better insight into my sleep quality. It’s sad to say that my sleep score usually ranks as fair, and only a few times has it ever ranked good. 🥱 I’m about ready to retire my tracker!
So, since my awakening consciousness is on high alert anyway, I sat down to ask it why. You know, we are so tuned in to what our culture dictates to us about the way we are to continue evolving, turning our dreams into realities, that when the experts advise us on how to rest and relax, it’s usually far from that. Oh, I take my respites outdoors, indulge myself in relaxing baths, and do some type of activity to take my mind off of something else. But then I realize that my leisure pursuits aren’t really leisure at all. My thinking is like a runaway train gaining momentum.
The never-ending deluge of things to do seems to promote our selfish and selfless devotion to the pain and price of freedom. As a result, there are more negative implications on the health and wellness of our mind, body, and spirit. We just never seem to stop processing and reprocessing our experiences of reality which continuously culminates into something ongoing and even bigger! Geez!
So what do we do about this type of sleep deprivation when our body says rest, but our minds will not wind down? I have stopped looking at my smartphone that on some days seems to be smarter than me just before going to bed. I don’t eat or drink a lot of fluids before jumping in bed. I refuse to take any sleeping aids, but that’s just my personal preference. Sometimes I find that reading helps. But what happens during the day, the activities I am involved in, the projects I am working on, and my non-stop grind to hurry and get some things accomplished are working against me. They follow me into the night. They follow me to bed.
So now, I purposely stop working non-stop on my creative pursuits during the day because I am the one putting the pressure on me. I am still learning to let go because I tend to default back to busyness due to my fear of procrastination. But I am doing this to myself. I keep pushing and pushing and pushing because I have been conditioned to do that all of my life. Now, I’m conditioning my life to push back and not fall for the ongoing trap of this broken “on” button that my mind is taking advantage of to keep me awake when I should be asleep. Well now, what works for you?
Pause for the Cause
That’s what I told myself.
Take a step back for a moment, and just breathe.
I laid my pen down
and allowed my fingers to take a break from the keyboard.
Breathe girl, just breathe.
I needed to do a self-evaluation to analyze
and make sure my messages would work as a positive,
encouraging, and realistic stimulant for the mind and spirit.
At the same time, I needed to be mindful of my mindfulness.
Be conscious and aware girl.
I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my calling.
I must ignite a light, a flame that will glow and grow
with hope, compassion, understanding, joy, curiosity,
imagination, encouragement and above all, a sense of love.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. I am filled with hope.
In an environment that is volatile and toxic
I must slow down my heart rate, and lower my blood pressure
I need not engage in bitter name calling
or other divisive tactics and attacks
that could maim, defame, and destroy. Be peaceful I said to me.
I ponder the complexity of reality.
I don’t understand why people make the choices they choose.
I know I can learn more by listening with intent
allowing my passions to lead me to understanding that unites.
Just listen girl, and you’ll get more answers than you asked for.
All of us are accountable for our actions that put a spotlight on our character. I find it necessary to pause and do a self-evaluation every now and then, to make sure I am going in the right direction and doing what God needs for me to do. I want to be sensitive to the things going on around me so that I can respond in a just way, for I do not want to have regrets for misbehaving badly or treating people horribly. For my cause, at this very moment, I must pause. I must pause!
The Current Condition of Your Mind is Exactly What?
What is the condition of your current state of mind?