Mindful Sharing

One week of social distancing down… however many more to go.

In all reality, it’s not so bad here in the UK. We are allowed to go out and walk in nature, some stores are still open, with limits in place, and we can still get food from restaurants as take out. And as I’ve said before, I feel really blessed because life on the farm is actually pretty gorgeous.

But as well adjusted as I’m trying to be, something as really been bothering me for the past week and kind of came to a head last night. In this time, I believe that the goodness is coming out in a lot of people. People are buying gift certificates from small businesses that have to be closed right now, they are connecting with each other digitally, offering free online work out classes and a plethora of other things that are so so so positive. But unfortunately, I think there is also a dark side of all this digital connection.With nothing else to do but sit at their keyboards or on their phones, people aren’t thinking critically when they connect. And while I think, sadly, this is the perpetual state of social media (fake news is everywhere), it’s gotten worse with this VWSNBN crisis.

I can’t look ANYWHERE online without being hit in the face by the VWSNBN. I can’t even turn on spotify without it telling me to tune in to some podcast about it. But honestly, I don’t want to know! I don’t need to consistently think of this insanity and I don’t think you should either. Whether we’re quarantined or told to socially distance ourselves, it’s pretty much a guarantee you’re constantly aware that the world as we know it has changed, at least temporarily. So amping yourself up, reading headline after headline, listening to news story after news story isn’t going to make things better for you. In fact, it’ll likely make things worse. Much worse. Even for those of you who DON’T have mental health issues.

But what I care about most, it making sure that people who DO have mental health issues are heard and recognized in this time. This time is scary for everyone but if you’re already plagued with anxiety and depression, this can be daunting and overwhelming. Some days it’s almost hard to breath because of it all.

Like I stated previously, I’ve taken myself off facebook and limited my intake of what I consume in an effort to maintain my mental health. But what I’ve found now is that people are SENDING ME PRIVATE MESSAGES about the VWSNBN! Advice on not touching gas pumps, some lengthy voice message from some last who knows some doctor who knows something somewhere. You guys! STOP! Not just sending things to me, but to ANYONE. You’re perpetuating this endless cycle of fear mongering and panic. We might not be able to stop the news organizations from covering it every single day, but we can be cautious about what we choose to discuss and share.

IF you REALLY need to share something that you think is useful, I ask you to consider these steps before sending that message.

  1. Is this information useful? Does it apply to the recipient? (I.E. sending people information about a military base they aren’t stationed at).
  2. What is the benefit of sharing this information?
  3. Does this information incite panic and fear?
  4. Has this information already been covered ad nauseam?
  5. Is this information from a reputable source (i.e. the WHO, CDC, a .gov website)
  6. And most importantly, does the person you’re sending it do need or want to hear this information?

It may sound harsh, but seriously guys, we need to STOP perpetuating the fear! We’re all scared enough as it is. Constant discussion of the VWSNBN isn’t going to help any of us get through this happier or healthier.

If you really want to reach out to people you haven’t talked to in forever, reach out to them personally. Ask them what they’ve been doing to pass the time, as them if they’ve read any good books or send any good shows on Netflix. Have a conversations about something else other than the insanity in this world. It’s be a much better outcome for everyone, I promise.

As the wise Ellen says, “Be kind to one another.” Onward and Upward my friends. Love from the farm.

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