We all have our limits.
Some of us can only workout for half an hour each day; some of us can only binge-watch three episodes of a series before getting bored; some of us can only have three bottles of beer before we get blackout drunk, and some of us can only give out four(teen) chances before we draw the line (you know what I’m talking about, tama na ‘yan).
In this case, however, we’re going to talk about the limits of our Media Consumption.
We are all aware of the tragedies happening in our country today, and while staying informed is the best way to check our privilege and educate ourselves on the realities of our state, not everybody might be able to absorb all these negativities in a day the way other people can. So how do we constantly absorb news in order to stay aware, and yet maintain a healthy mental state simultaneously?
My personal recommendation is simple: bookmarks.
Turning a blind eye to the ugly realities other people face today is not an option. Using our privilege for the good of other people is a train ride that everybody needs to get onboard with, however, at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with storing all the those news articles you are anticipating to read in one folder, and coming back to those that are pending your attention when you’re having a better day than usual. Keep yourself informed, but keep in touch with yourself as well.
If you can’t read another article without bursting into tears from anger, bookmark it. And come back to it later.
There is a newly coined term that I’m pretty sure our generation has come up with, and that is the practice of “Social Media Detox” or “Social Media Break.”
Social media has become such a big part of everybody’s lives, that it’s actually become weird, creepy, or even sketchy for somebody not to exist on social media. It’s also become such a norm, that when people go quiet or go on a social media detox, people get concerned, and somehow just know that that person is quite possibly going through something heavy.
I, for one, love going on social media breaks. It helps me focus on myself, and most importantly, recharge my mental health (that’s my favourite bit). When I’m off social media, I get to make art for myself without having to take a picture of it for my Instagram story; I get to stay in bed and binge-watch on Netflix while devouring a tub of ice cream without the guilt from seeing my friends’ workout videos online, and most importantly, it gives me back my sense of identity without the unconscious craving for validation from other people.
Social media, news media, and everything else we absorb from the Internet are not necessarily bad. In fact, they’re part of today’s norm–we are in the age of technology after all. However, unplugging every once in a while isn’t a bad thing either–in fact, it could be the very thing you need in order to feel better after feeling down for quite some time.
Log out of your accounts, stream your favourite movie on Netflix or your favourite album on Spotify, open that bag of chips from the pantry, and just do you.
Relax. It’s okay to unplug.