Some years ago, way before the digital era, I intelligently incorporated one of my skills in efficiency to write to 20 friends. I drafted one letter with the latest update of my life, and made multiple copies. I intelligently modified recipients' names accordingly, licked the stamps, and off they went. As I am writing this, it just occurred to me I was already doing email marketing.
Three weeks later, I received a letter from these friends that had me laughing uncontrollably. It turns out they were excited to receive letters from me and decided to share...with each other! It took them less than a paragraph to realize they were getting the same content.
You can only imagine the thrill when Facebook came out. Instead of writing another 20 letters, I can share my life, thoughts, or even an epiphany—all in one place.
Friends and family who give a damn can post their comments. The introverts can simply show their support by hitting that thumb-up emoticon. One solution suits all.
That, however, was some years ago.
I cannot recall when, but social media started posing mental health risks. It began to bring the worst out of people. And most recently, it becomes a platform to publicly shaming others as a form of claiming their right to the free speech.
Introverts no longer rely on the thumbs up or down emoticons. After all, voicing their opinions through typing is lot easier and less intimidating. Respect each other's differences is out the window.
There are days I would find myself being upset over a comment posted by someone. And the comment would rule my entire day. I realized I needed to get on a special diet for my mental health.
The recipe is rather simple:
Instead of going through each text first thing in the morning, I disabled all notifications, except for my son's account, and moved the text messaging icon to page 4 on the phone.
Instead of going through emails first thing in the morning, I disabled email notifications and moved the email to page 4 on the phone.
When reading messages, I delete messages that appear to be negative, filled with hate.
I unfollowed all Facebook friends except for the ones who often offer good laughs and meaningful thoughts. Instead, I follow pages such as Tiny Buddha, Fort Worth Foodies, Fort Worth Foodies Home Chef, Chopstick Travels, Show me Something Funny.
Distant myself from people who are bitter, pessimistic, and bible bashers.
Decline social gatherings to do things I truly enjoy, such as reading and drawing.
On the days I feel down, deflated, or sad, I no longer tell myself these feelings are wrong and immoral. Instead, I acknowledge and embrace these feelings. Sometimes I'd intensify these feelings, so I understand how they are triggered.
Dance off (you'll have to be a Grey's Anatomy fan to get this.)
Just like all the other diets, a mental diet is a form of self-care and self-love. It is the most successful diet I have ever been on.