Years ago I felt the pressure to join Facebook, not so much by family and friends, but by my professional affiliations. I felt resistance to joining this social media site but thought at the time that my resistance might be due to overwhelm caused by learning new technology. At the time, I was teaching at a community college while developing my practice as an emotional wellness coach and so was spending a considerable amount of my time on the computer. Because of work pressure, I gave in and joined. After participating in this inconceivably huge social medium for a little while, I felt my resistance to the platform increasing. While it would take me a couple of years to understand my resistance thoroughly, eventually I came to the conclusion that my porous boundaries and sensitivities to others’ energies made it an unhealthy place for me to exchange ideas and information.
Before I joined, I had seen the film The Social Network, and while I didn’t believe the film was without bias, I did feel that it accurately portrayed the contentious birth of Facebook, with lawsuits, acrimony, and adolescent reactions to opposition. Now, more than a year after I closed my account, I feel my decision was a protective one: first, from frustration at the overly stimulating energies the site carries; second, from distress over what people were actually putting out into the world (as opposed to what they thought they were posting); and, third, from our collective lack of awareness regarding how some users were intentionally using the platform to spread hate and disinformation.
We live in shoot-from-the-hip times that include playing for an audience. My work in the world is diametrically opposed to this reactive, retaliatory energy. In my community college classrooms and in my coaching sessions, I do what I can to support self-awareness, reflection, contemplation, and strong boundaries. Asking questions has always been my path into deeper understanding, of literature texts, and, of the emotional challenges we face when we have been traumatized. After a couple of years of experience on the site, I saw Facebook’s advantages, but I felt its potential for traumatizing its participants as well.
Now, as the social media giant struggles with boycotts over hate-groups and political messaging, my resistance to the site feels prescient. Some part of me that is always attuned to peace, understanding, and respect, resisted becoming involved in the collective energies of what is often the worst of our human behaviours. Researching other forms of social media connection has been revelatory. So far, I am in social media infancy, but my self care activities require that I move slowly into the online world of global connectivity.
I am fine about this slow, steady progress. Just as I choose to eat local and regional foods whenever I can, I choose to communicate directly with people. This means that I put myself out there as an EFT coach on reputable websites whose purpose and practice aligns with my own values. Because of this choice, I hear from people who want what I have to offer, not because of random marketing on a site that has no curating principles, but because these people have chosen to look for someone with my skills, education, and approach.
Living with the energy of violence, racism, hate speech, and rampant commercialism takes its toll, even when this influence is subliminal. Anxiety, critical self talk, and false comparisons are but a few of the side-effects of social media dependence. The 2019 Forbe’s article (see link below) is but one of many exploring the potential dangers of Facebook and social-media dependency. Because Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioners are in the business of raising our and our clients’ energy vibrations, it is especially important to choose our social media platforms thoughtfully.
Energy work is highly gratifying, and at the same time raises our levels of sensitivity to reactive behaviours such as fear-driven bullying, false representation, and cynical marketing. We have an opportunity to create more coherent, supportive, and positive platforms that are sensitive to the harm we can do in the world simply by going along with something we believe will benefit us monetarily. These are highly volatile times. Choosing to support peace and justice in the world is always good for self respect, and self respect is an essential aspect of self care.
Be Safe. Be Informed. Be Just. Be Love.
Until next time, Jane