Art By Danni Lim
Art By Danni Lim.

Own your life: Don’t let your newsfeed define you

As you scroll down your newsfeed loaded with a myriad of thoughts and mindset of people you follow, your mind unintentionally patterns itself around it.

By Bea Mendoza | Friday, 30 April 2021

Technology has radically transformed the way people communicate. As it gave birth to the internet, it has become a source of news and information, and a medium for connecting people all over the world. But with the huge amount of exposure to it, the newsfeed of every individual has varying effects on one’s mindset, lifestyle, and outlook in life, thus, they tend to live in it.

With the world suffering from the threats of the global pandemic, non-essential operations were shut down and forced to convert into work-from-home mode, which the internet plays a huge part in. From entertainment to information distribution and work requirement, the internet has no doubt been a big part of people’s lives in the 21st Century.

Your newsfeed shapes your mindset

According to Psychologist Gary Klein Ph.D, mindset “is a belief that orients the way we handle situations—the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. Our mindsets help us spot opportunities, but they can also trap us in self-defeating cycles.”

Moreover, Lifestyle blogger Charles Mendoza emphasized in his blog how the usage of social media affects the way netizens view various circumstances. “The internet has made it easier for people to access enormous amounts of information and it can easily mislead you and the way you perceive things,” he said. 

Recently, several “motivational” quotes and articles are circulating on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, saying “Change your group of friends if they do not talk about business, wealth and new opportunities,” or “If your friends don’t talk about business [...] then it is time to find a new circle.” 

These viral quotes and articles have gained mixed reactions from netizens. Some agree, while others do not. Even Business and motivation blogger Hisham Sarwar expressed his stance and emphasized that “Friends who talk about wealth, money, business are better destined to reshape your future than those who put you down,” highlighting his accordance with these motivational quotes.  

However, it’s also important to note that one’s relationship with others is more than just business, money, and wealth. Do not get pressured if your circle of friends does not venture into business, and do not compare your circle to another’s. 

Best-selling author Joshua Becker reminds his readers to stop comparing one’s life to another but rather, start living it. 

“You can control one life–yours. When we consistently compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own,” Becker emphasized. 

Thus, if your friends spark joy in your life and help you grow, no wealth could compare to the real friends you have.

Furthermore, social media has set a stage for online debate. For instance, supporters of the current administration and the opposition have been using social media platforms to express opinions, in support or criticism of the actions of the government in combating the virus. However, some of these debates tend to be unhealthy discussions where oppositions personally attack and invalidate the sentiments of the other. These online debates not only affect the perspective of the opposing parties, but as well as their readers. 

“It’s always a good idea to challenge the information that you absorb with a simple fact check,” Mendoza said. 

When posting on social media, one must keep in mind they are not just posting for themselves, but for their followers are also affected. As cliche as it may sound, this still rings true: think before you click.

American Author Guy P. Harrison presented six ways “Your Brain Twists Your Social Media Feed to Reinforce Your Beliefs,” one of which is the “groupthink” effect and Harrison explained that “Humans love to go along to get along [...] but groupthink can be a problem when people fall in line and agree when we should know better.” Thus, viral posts just prove that the more exposure we have to others’ mindsets, the more they begin to influence our own. 

Nonetheless, netizens should keep in mind that these posts are not the absolute guidelines of life. While it may be helpful, one’s choices should not be invalidated by the internet, because you are in control of your life, not the people you are following online. 

Remember, you get to choose what to do with your life.

The article is also published in The Benildean Volume 6 Issue No. 3: Translate

Last updated: Friday, 30 April 2021
Tags: TB20, Columns