Remember reading all of those history books and learning about how “the plague came through” and wiped just about everybody out? I had a thought recently when I overheard someone discussing whether or not the Zika disease was going to be the first modern day plague that we already ARE experiencing a plague through our society.
We are currently in the midst of a plague. A devastating, crushing, and heartbreaking plague. It is typically passed through social media but can be vanquished through physical conversation.
This modern day, 21st Century plague, is none other than “negativity.”
Yes, I don’t want to ignore the fact that there are plagues and disease outbreaks in countries all across the world but this is a plague that anyone who can log on to a computer and read this, probably recognizes as something very true.
What is the heart of negativity? What is it’s ticker? What makes it work?
Negativity, I believe, stems from comparison. Did you know that the United States leads all other nations in reality television? There is nothing that us, as Americans, love to do more than anything else is to compare ourselves to others and reality television is making that REALLY easy. When we compare ourselves to others it is always in a negative light. We decide what attributes or what characteristics we have that are better than or worse than the original. Neither one is going to make YOU feel good, nor will the person that is being judged feel good.
My mother constantly faults me for being extremely judgmental of those that I am closest too. I care about them, that’s why I judge. Or so I tell myself. If I truly cared about someone, wouldn’t I just take them as they are? Wouldn’t I just accept who God made them to be and that I would be fine with that?
Think on it.
Negativity is spread, I believe, solely through social media. In fact, most of the in-person verbal and physical bullying that I have heard of, has festered and grown through social media until it’s manifested and reared its ugly head in front of everyone in person. It seems that we go to social media first and foremost to receive support, to see if ANYONE out there is also thinking the thoughts that we said.
We seem to not be able to function in today’s society without someone elses approval. Social media gives us the ability to gain “quick” approval. “What do you think of going to the beach?” Ten likes?! Heck yes, I’m going! See how easy that is? It could have been ONE LIKE but if it was something you wanted to do, then that’s all the affirmation you would need.
Life is easy when we can hide behind our computer screen. How many people would say the detrimental and nasty negative things to someones face that they have seemingly no problem typing into a comments section? Not that many I bet!
Let’s get something straight though, I’m not challenging people to go say nasty things to someone face-to-face because, in the end, that’s still negativity being spread LIKE THE PLAGUE. What I’m saying is that it’s time we grew up. It’s time, as a society of social media users, we make the DECISION to CHOOSE not to be negative. As Thumper in Bambi taught us as small children, “If you don’t have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
No one is perfect. We all slip, we all make mistakes. Surround yourself with others who have made the goal of being positive as well, and they will help keep you accountable. They don’t have to be mean about it. Just a simple change of the subject, an obvious ignore to your statement or even a candid, “That doesn’t sound very nice and that makes me uncomfortable.” That statement alone will make the individual saying the negative statements feel uncomfortable as well and no one likes to be uncomfortable when it’s their own guilt putting pressure on them.
The negativity that runs through social media sites has been extensively researched in recent years; this is a serious problem and we need to find a cure. Unfortunately we can’t rely on the brains of some extraordinary medicinal creation, this is going to be a personal act from every individual in the country. That’s seemingly impossible. Awareness is going to be the key. Awareness is going to be the preventative drug that’s going to protect the future of our society as a whole.
This plague of negativity is leaving individuals of ALL ages sad, feeling as if they are all alone, lowered self esteem that can lead to dropping out of school or getting involved with drugs or alcohol. In the 1990’s alone 12 of the 15 school shootings were at the fault of cyberbullying. The number of shootings has increased tenfold and the reasons are still the same.
If social media was to blame for the cause of this plague, than it’s the cars fault for drunk driving and the guns fault for any murder. Social media is quite simply a tool, a tool that EVERY person has access too. It is our decision to create awareness, to educate, and to support those around us. Bring attention to the positives. Educate others on what the implications of their actions mean. Support those who are struggling and support those who are trying to do what’s right.
What can you do to combat this plague?
You can first and foremost stop posting about negative statements on social media. Then train your brain to stop talking about them with you closest friends. The next step in your marathon positivity training? Simple, start eradicating the thoughts that are of evil intent. Start eradicating all of your judgmental and comparing thoughts.
How can you be proactive in saving our future generations?
Start commenting one positive comment on any social media site today. Even if it’s just a heart eyed emoji, it’s something. It makes someone feel good about themselves. Start a gratitude journal; write down everyday something that you are happy for, something that is just absolutely amazing… like running water! It’s quite easy! There are so many positive things around you, you just have to open your eyes to see!