Trying to be Kind in an era of Anti-Social Media

Trying to be Kind in an era of Anti-Social MediaAntiSocial Mediea

If you’re thinking I’m avoiding talking about my diet because I’m not doing so well at the moment … you’d be right! 🙂

For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to blame my current, & hopefully temporary, lack of dietary success on the stresses of social media. Some folk are posting & sharing thoughts & beliefs that I could never have imagined coming out of their mouths. These are nice, kind, feeling, thinking people. I’ve spent time with them, eaten dinner with them, had a beer with them, & I can absolutely say that they are nice people. So why would such nice people flip out every now & again, to spread unkind thoughts, memes & tropes?

We seem to be pretty tribal by nature. We prioritize our family, our friends, our neighborhood, our city, state & country, over those of others. Maybe that’s okay up to a point. But it’s not so okay when we start belittling or taking action to lower the “others” position. If, without changing our own position or circumstance, we somehow feel elevated when we take down another, we are in a bad place.

Today’s social media platforms are an amazing way to stay in touch with family & friends around the world. They can be used to spread fun, joy & happiness. They can also be used as tools to denigrate each other, with the safety of that digital distance & anonymity between us. I have been so surprised by some of the posts & comments in recent times, that I renamed my social media app folder “AntiSocial”. Each time I open a social media app, it’s a quick reminder for me to think before I post.

Remember that old saying: if you don’t have something good to say, say nothing. It’s probably still sound advice, isn’t it? Now, I wish I could claim the high moral ground here & say that I am that kind of person. I wasn’t always & indeed, I’m sometimes not. But I think it’s worth trying to be that guy. And I am occasionally reminded of that, most often when someone has higher expectations of me, than I have of myself. We all have the capability of being good people.

This is a great day to remember all this because today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness. And spring arrives today!

Now that sounds like a great day to share a little of the good stuff on social media, doesn’t it!

Peace, love, happiness & all that sloppy, mushy stuff (Cut me some slack, I have to preserve some of my bad boy image here! ) to all of you. I hope each & every one of you finds an extra ration of happiness today, tomorrow, & beyond.

PS … I will get back to the diet talk, please bear with me while I battle my demons! 🙂

The Chicken or the Egg?

SunriseWhen it come to what to eat, the short answer is both. But leave the skin on the chicken! That, however, isn’t the topic. Stress eating is. Do we eat because we’re stressed or depressed? Or does bad eating cause the stress & depression? That may be as difficult to answer as to whether the chicken or the egg came first.

One thing my wife knows for sure is that I’m a far nicer guy when I’m eating well. Now my own opinion is that I’m a nice guy regardless of my diet! But I have to admit … I do feel better when I’m eating well. I don’t mean that when I’m eating less, just when I’m eating real, whole, good food. The association between depression & diet is one that has long been made. Very often, studies are done on the basis of who’s funding what. Or which dietary program is trying to prove it’s the best. But long before diets were a marketable commodity, people realised that there was a dietary influence on mood.

I’ve been eating better for a month & a half now. Is it just coincidence that I’m getting up early, and far more often, to catch more sunrises? The therapeutic benefits of those early mornings by the water give me a shot of calm that endures for the greater part of most of those days. Feeling less stressed can help with weight loss too. Which of those came first? Did I have to be less stressed & depressed in order to jump out of bed early? Or did I overcome the “stuff” to get down to the water a time or two before the stress reduction cut in?

It’s all a bit circular, isn’t it? But it probably doesn’t really matter. Because the two things I am sure of are these …

I am better for eating better.

And I am better for the water & sunrise therapy.

I can highly recommend both. And if you didn’t make it up early today, here’s a pic of my morning sunrise for you. Don’t fret if you missed it, there’s always tomorrow.

And please … take a little time to enjoy your day.