Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

“All of the biggest technological inventions created by man – the airplane, the automobile, the computer – says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.” – Mark Kennedy

 

Technolgy affects happiness

Life is Different Than it Used to Be

We live in an online world more often than not. We have so much technology now that’s supposed to streamline our lives and make it easier to connect with the people that we care about.

It’s supposed to make it easier to do business and make good things happen for our careers. But strangely, the technology that was supposed to be the key to our happiness, comfort and success has the potential to backfire.

Instead of helping, in many cases, the use of technology has led people to deeper levels of stress, feelings of discontentment and lives so busy that they’re hardly living at all.

Related: Kissing Frogs – 27 things everyone should know about online dating

It’s Not JUST the Internet – Take Responsibility for Your Choices

Studies performed on the link between stress and time spend on the Internet or social media sites can be misleading when they claim that spending time online can lower stress.

The factors involved in the studies don’t take into consideration the offline lifestyles of those involved in the studies. Technology in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s how it’s used that can make it something that can negatively impact your life.

That’s it – the key to using technology and staying happy at the same time. 

The key is to use technology with mindfulness. You can incorporate what’s good and positive about being online and the various use of technology to connect with other people in a meaningful way.

For example, if you have family members that live a good distance away from you, it can make you feel happier when you connect with them instantly through a text message or through an online chat.

You can share updates about your life or send relatives photos of your kids instantly. When you use social media with mindfulness, it can help you to be able to better manage stress.

It can also lead to feelings of contentment and leave you with a more positive outlook. The dark side of being online is that there’s a great deal of negativity floating around in cyberspace.

The Trolls Online

We’ve all heard about online trolls, and some of us are even privileged enough to know one. There are numerous stories about people being hateful to each other, calling names, bullying, threatening or harassing. There are people who keep drama heightened through online fighting.

8374037-77549111_23-s1-v1Even if you’re just an online bystander to someone else’s drama, if you experience that, your mind will register the same type of anxious response as if you had been involved and your feelings will follow the lead of your thoughts.

When you see how wonderful someone else’s life appears to be online, it can lead you to become discontent and irritable. It can make you focus on the negative instead of looking at the positive.

Awareness of Your Thoughts is Key

Online interaction can also make you feed yourself negative self talk – especially when you see others who are better looking, richer, have nicer homes, easier looking lives and appear to be having more fun.

Not only will you feel bad about yourself, but your stress level will go up. When you practice mindfulness in associating with your technology use, you’ll discover that your happiness level will increase.

You can do this by setting limits on when you’ll be online and how much time you’ll spend online. Refuse to keep your cellphone with you 24/7. When you are on social media or online, find ways to use it to do something positive such as encourage someone else.

Let go of the things online that are irrelevant to your life or that make your negativity or stress level rise. When you do go online, make sure that you have a defined purpose and a time limit and stick to that.

What do you think? How does living “online” affect your “real life” these days? Could you benefit from being more mindful about your technology use? 

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3 Responses to Tune In: How to Deal When Online Drama Affects Your ‘Real Life’

  1. With the exceptions of my two husbands, my own sister was my biggest bully as I grew up and Mom made us share a room. She was the athletic sort who always had tons of friends who came over, grabbed food from the fridge and called our mom “Mom”. I was the “brainiac” who enjoyed sports to some degree, as in for fun, cus I admit to being athletically unco-ordinated, who had 1 really best friend I did things with out of class and a few classmate colleagues. My sis and I had very different interests too as you may guess, with her being the jockette and me the geek *way* before it was ‘chic.’ She and I used to get into flat out fist fights. I ran away from home the day her then-boyfriend and now 2nd husband offered to hold me still so she could punch (I’d done a fair job of winning, you see, despite being a foot shorter.) Fast forward to a few years ago and there we both are on Facebook. Me, willing to live and let live in terms of our disparity, and her, not so much. I thought over the years we had made some sort of peace, but the online social media brought it all back around again. She had 1000’s of “friends” and I had less than 100. She got into it one day with one of my online friends. Over a very petty issue, I have to add. She couldn’t win the argument with my friend cus my friend is very smart (tho also as opionated as my sister). My friend messaged me apologies over the online drama;my sister messaged me threats I should be taking her side! I asked my sister to just stop and let it go since she had never ever even known my friend before and this was basically like starting a fihgt with a guest in my home. She accused me of siding with “an imoginary friend” over family and blood was thicker than water! This from someone who while I grew always reminded me I was NOT really a member of the family cus I was adopted. It escalated when her son, who knew even less about the fight and even more keen to get into one, joined in and used profanity at my friend. At this point they were both lucky to live across the nation from my friend cus her hubby is devoted to her and tho my nephew might be big, friend’s hubby would have cleaned his clock but good. Luckily, my sister reached her end point with all of us and did me the favor of blocking me before I had to do the same to her. and the issue my sister felt was sooo worth the online rampage? Dog training spray: bitter apple to be precise. :/

    • Not glad you went through this with your sister just glad to see I am not alone. I spent 15 years not in contact with my sister and we reconnected on fb last year; she couldn’t even last a month before the online shunning, mocking, lying about me and full-force bullying began. Every time I would interact with family and friends within our fb circle she would attack ruining it for everybody. I am now back to no contact with her including fb. I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t even let us have a sisterly fb relationship!

  2. I got into a big one a few years ago. I was complaining that my brothers did not help with the care of my elderly mother and left it all to me. My brother’s wife lambasted me and said they did not have time as they were still raising a teenager. I had not mentioned any names and some of my online friends would have never known who my brothers were until the sis in law complained of my post. An ex sis in law also got into the discussion and took up for me and said how it was not fair that I had all the care of mom. Then my brother took up for his wife and sent me a scathing message. This was years ago and my family has not recovered fully yet. Ugh.

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