Through social media we essentially do the same thing Narcissus did. Instead of being obsessed with ourselves as we are, we become enraptured by the idea of who we could be. With each post, we create an identity for ourselves like a world of avatars. Each person spends delicate, dedicated amounts of time a day carefully curating their lives through social media. So obsessed with ourselves, we look to other people. How is their life put on displayed? Does it attract more attention through likes and comments? Now, Facebook doesn’t just offer likes, it offers love. Love is an option for reacting to the content someone posts online. Exposing ourselves to the masses, we develop a self-consciousnesses. Truly, though, self-consciousness is an extension of self-obsession. Ego is wildly driven by comparison. Our brain feeds off the reward from knowing we are just as good or better than someone else.
Getting lost in the current of social media is easy to do. No matter what you, your friends, or the pages you like are posting, the influx of content is overwhelming. One can just endlessly, mindlessly scroll through the billions of posts per day- feeding the ego, separating from other people and escaping from reality.
Social media doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Research shows that social media influences more isolation than it does connection; however, social media has been used to create a lot of good amongst human beings. Bringing a practice of mindfulness into using social media can inspire even more.
Before diving into a sea of selfies, take a few deep breaths. Focus on why it is you’ve chosen to engage with this particular social media app. As you notice your intentions, consider what information is presented. Are you distracting yourself from something? Is connecting truly what you’re looking to do? Will you be looking at one person in particular in order to feel better or badly about yourself? Continue breathing, mindful of your experiences. What sensations are arising in your brain and your body? Do you feel a craving to start using the site? Stay present with the breath, alert in your current state. Slowly returning, examine if you still feel a desire to participate in social media, or if your intention has changed. Mindfulness based practice when applied to social media helps to center, ground, and relieve stress.
We believe that everything can be approached mindfully, including treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism. Rooted in radical acceptance, we embrace all forms of suffering here at the Refuge. Our treatment programs comprehensively combine Buddhist philosophy with evidence based treatment for addiction. For more information call 323-207-0276 today.