On drowning out the noise of Social Media and wrapping it up in Joy

Nora Baarts

We are so incredibly surrounded by noise.

Like an ambient noise that is always just within ear shot, but we can’t quite put our finger on where it’s coming from.

The type of noise that is at such a low volume that it isn’t so much heard as it is felt, buzzing, vibrating somewhere within the space our bodies and minds occupy. The type of noise that leaves us both exhausted without a concrete explanation as to why, and with a feeling of needing more in hopes of drowning it in some way.

Welcome to life in the digital age.

We spend a lot of our time talking about our space. Sharing pictures of our physical space online, loving our space, needing more space, being mindful of who we allow to occupy our space, having enough space, not having enough space, giving others space… and the list goes on.

Yet we don’t often give the same amount of thought and careful planning and consideration to whom we allow into our digital or “virtual” space.

Whether we are aware of it or not, those we allow into our virtual, or online space, have more than a “virtual” impact on us.

Every interaction we have, whether in real or virtual space, is a form of energetic exchange. We take a little of the other person’s energy, and leave a little of our own behind.

So, why is it then, that we are so careful of the physical persons we allow into our space, yet we seemingly will allow anyone to occupy our virtual space? Is there a reason to be just as mindful of those we let into our virtual space as we are of the physical persons we allow into our homes and around our families? And If so, where do we draw the lines?

This question rushed at me with the feeling of a brick in the pit of my stomach a few weeks ago. I was feeling run down and couldn’t remember the last time the constant noise in my head had been fully quiet. We were in the middle of moving for the second time this year, with another move planned just weeks after. All in the middle of the busiest time of year for both mine and my husbands businesses. It was then that my iPhone alerted me that I had spent an average of 7 hours and 4 minutes on it, daily, for the past week. 

For some that may be an unimaginable amount of time holding and looking at a device. For others that may be a slow day. For me, it was a life changing realization, propping open the door for a new adventure into being mindful and intentional about the energies I allow into my virtual space.

The thing about spending 7 hours a day doing something, is that you really have to ask yourself “what am I getting from it?”, “how is it impacting my life?” And after doing so, I realized that, especially with this being such a different time than we have been a part of before, it’s bringing to the surface a lot of insecurities and negative emotions for a lot of people. People who in turn share those negative emotions and insecurities with those watching. Chaos attracts chaos, and in the rush of it all, I became so very sucked in. I realized that the constant noise I was feeling in and around my body was all the negative noise I had been consuming over the last few months.   

It was at that point that I picked up my phone (shocker!) but for a completely different reason than I usually would have. We are told so often that if an account online makes us feel negativity we should unfollow it. Yet I decided to take that a step further, going through the accounts I was following and decided to unfollow every. single. one. That not only provoked a negative reaction, but any that did not bring me JOY.

Rather than placing a restriction on the amount of time I was on my phone (which I had tried in the past, but somehow seemed to always forget about) I decided to better control the type of content I was consuming. To guard my virtual space as I would my physical space. If I wouldn’t invite them into my home, I would not invite them into my virtual space either.

I soon realized that the thing about consuming joyful content is that it doesn’t suck you in the same way the negative type does. A little goes a really, really, long way! And then something magical happens… you are reminded of all the joy you have in your own life and are internally prompted to put your phone DOWN and return to it! 

This change has been monumental in the way I run my businesses as well, as joy trickles down into all areas of our lives. Every message and email is now answered from a place of joy and gratitude for the love and support for my business, and any negativity is easily overlooked when wrapped in the surrounding joy.

I know for some this may sound la di da. But if you’ve been feeling the noise and negativity in your space, I encourage you to clean up your virtual space the same way you would your physical space. You wouldn’t continue to invite someone to your house who makes a mess and leaves you feeling sad, worn out or depressed. If the content you are consuming doesn’t bring you joy and help you see the good there is in the world (yes, there IS plenty of good out there!). If it doesn’t encourage you to be the very best version of yourself, then why are you allowing it into your space? What is its purpose in being a part of your life and having a say in forming the you, that you will be tomorrow?

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