I Challenge You
I challenge you, before you click “share” on anything, to ask yourself these questions:
How does reading this headline make me feel?
How does the content of this article make me feel?
What emotion is driving me to want to share this?
What am I feeling in my heart when I read this?
What am I feeling in my stomach when I read this?
If the answer to any of those questions is fear, anxiety, panic, worry, concern, anger, outrage, or some other negative emotion that is rooted in fear, I challenge you to pause and re-think sharing that information.
I would bet that, if a headline incites any of those emotions from you, that’s exactly what it was meant to do, because the person who wrote it knew that you would be more likely to share it.
There are two sides to every story, even the stories playing out right now. People can and do latch onto the most fearful aspects of that story in order to push their own beliefs and agendas–whether or not it’s well meaning!
Some people want to sound an alarm because they are worried that something bad will happen, so they write an article, or record a YouTube video, and tell you all of the bad things that COULD happen because of X,Y, Z. And then people who read that article become worried that very thing could happen, and they share that article or video. The operative word there is “could.” Because it has not happened, and in many instances, there are measures being taken to ensure that it doesn’t, which were conveniently left out of the video or the post, because the purpose of the post wasn’t to actually inform you in a balanced, rational way, it was meant to incite you to action out of fear for the future, and presenting solutions does not help that cause.
We all have a choice in what kind of energy we lend to the situation at hand, and I challenge you to examine yours each and every time you make a Facebook post.
Look back at the things you’ve shared so far and ask yourself the same questions. Then look to see if there is a common theme in the answers. This will give you a very good idea of what type of energy you are living in and operating from right now.
I’ve written before about how the media uses your emotional triggers to further political agendas. This is exactly how people are being manipulated right now. And no, I’m not necessarily or only talking about the media making coronavirus sound scarier than it is, I’m also talking about wide-spread conspiracy theories that are telling you that we’re going to end up in a totalitarian society after this. This is also a fear-based message, it’s just on the other side of the coin. Fear is fear, no matter what color dress you choose to put on it. And reacting from fear is a choice.
This pandemic is real. This pandemic should be taken seriously and not dismissed. But instead of bickering about what we are afraid will happen next, we should see this as an opportunity to evaluate all of the broken systems that have been unveiled through it. We should also be working together and asking ourselves what we can do to help one another while we strive to weather this storm. Spreading fear–however well-intended–is not helpful when it’s all we are surrounded with.
I challenge you to be a light of hope in a time of uncertainty instead of a harbinger of doom.
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