This weekend, I was a little disturbed when the screen time alert popped up on my phone, telling me how much time I had spent on it over the last week. It said, “Your screen time was up 170% from last week.” A hundred and seventy percent!?! That seems a little extreme.
Last week, there were (gesturing broadly) things going on. So it makes sense that I was doomscrolling a little bit. But that number made me stop and think about what is happening when I’m obsessively looking at social media.
When the world is changing, when something is upsetting in the world, I start to feel threatened, and my brain starts searching for answers. It’s wondering, “What the F*@% is going on?!? How am I going to feel OK again?”
What is the threat that I am trying to mitigate?
Regardless of what week this is, it’s always something; some serious piece of legislation, or that thing some famous person said, or some international conflict or social movement that is causing change and disruption.
Whatever is happening. I have to stop for a minute and think. Is this actually a threat to me?
- Is my safety and security at risk?
- Does it threaten my relationships, my love, or my belonging?
- Are my agency and control being disrupted?
Is it actually a threat to me*? Or does it just scare me?
Challenge for you: If you’re picking up your phone over the next couple of days to look at social media or the news, or to check your portfolio, pause for a minute and ask yourself, “What am I looking for right now?”
On Thursday, we can talk about what your answers are.
*I’m not saying things should only upset us if they are a threat to us. We care about others too. But I find that when I’m obsessively checking the news, it’s not about compassion or empathy; it’s about me. About what I’m afraid of.