Your Facebook arguments are killing you (literally)

I was scrolling through my Facebook News Feed…📱

And I couldn't help but notice how the vast majority of what I saw was just people arguing. 🗣

Arguing about Protests…

Politics…

Global news…🌎

Racism…

The Media…

The list goes on and on. 

Vector of angry casual people men and women yelling at each other.

Make no mistake:

There are important conversations that need to be had in our country…🤔

Conversations about Systemic Racism…

Conversations about Government Policy…

Conversations about Public Health…

And so many more. 

But there is a difference between a conversation and an argument…

And as I took a few minutes to observe my news feed…

Kind of like an extraterrestrial peering into an alien world…

I couldn't help but feel like all of this arguing has got to be taking a huge psychological toll on us. 

So I started looking into the research about it, and here's what I saw: 

At this point, it's pretty well established that when children are exposed to frequent arguing – usually from their parents – it doesn't bode well. 

In fact, a 2005 study found that by just seven months of age…

A child's brain responds very differently to positivity and negativity…

With the latter physically altering a baby's brain chemistry. 

And it doesn't stop there…

A large 2016 study from the University of Sussex found that ongoing exposure to arguments as a child can lead to: 

Increased aggressiveness, low-self esteem, anxiety, depression, worst academic performance, suicidal tendencies, trouble forming healthy relationships, and more…

And that the consequences of this exposure can last for an entire lifetime. 

But it's not just kids…

In a 2014 long-term study that involved over 10,000 men and women…

Researchers found that adults who engage in frequent arguments between partners, relatives, friends, and neighbors have a 2-3x increased risk of death from any cause…

Which might sound crazy, but it's not…

Especially when you consider that arguments lead to stress, stress leads to increased cortisol levels, and increased cortisol levels over-time lead to fatigue, weight gain, sleep issues, cancer, and more. 

So the point is – frequent arguing is just really unhealthy…

And yet for too many of us…

One of the first things we do every morning is to get on social media…

Start scrolling through our news feed…

And subject ourselves to an unending flow of vicious, angry arguments. 

When we chime-in, it's even worst…

The adrenaline is pumping, the cortisol is flooding, our heart rates are increasing…

And while it may feel kind of exciting in the moment…

Within an hour or two, we find ourselves drained, foggy-brained, and unmotivated to do other basic tasks. 

And yet we still have trouble turning social media off…

Or at least limiting it…

And you just have to wonder what kind of toll this is taking on all of us as human beings, parents, friends, lovers, leaders, and more?

Mobile junk files from smartphone annoying man

So for me personally, this is why I try really hard to:

1) Limit my time scrolling through my news feed. I'd say I spend less than 5 minutes a day there. Many days it's zero minutes.

2) To not get involved in arguments, or comment on threads, no matter how tempting. Sometimes I start to, but I almost always end up deleting whatever I'm writing. The problem is not in my comment; it's in what will come next – the back-and-forth, the notifications, the digital shouting that will try and steal my attention. I'm trying to actually change the world – I can't do that if I'm stuck in some virtual shouting match with a distant uncle or friend from high school.  

And I don't think it's a coincidence that the vast majority of ultra-successful people I know don't spend their time arguing with others on social media either.

In fact…

I'd be willing to bet that there's a direct correlation between time spent arguing with others on social media and long-term happiness, effectiveness, and success. 

And finally, I want to point out that this doesn't mean we can't use social media effectively…

It's no secret I'm on Facebook (and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn) ALL DAY. 

I'm just not arguing…

Instead, I'm leveraging the power of communities and groups…

To put out messages of motivation, positivity, and change…

And to help teach and support others. 

I'm not trying to preach from some high horse…

But just imagine if everyone you knew was using Facebook and other social networks the same way… 

How different would this world be?

 

– SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link. 

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