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  • Writer's pictureTammy Arlene

Social Media and News Noise

Social media and a 24 hour noisy news cycle can cause both physical and emotional stress. We face many legitimate “unknowns” today. The Covid-19 pandemic, ongoing election turmoil, negative social media and news channels buzzing with nonstop controversy are hard to avoid.

Let’s take a deep breath together and decide what things we can control versus things we cannot. Something we can control is nonstop chiming from social media on our phones. Alerts from our “friends” on various platforms can interrupt focus and disturb our peace of mind. It can feel rewarding to know that people are talking about us, tagging us, and posting about their new hairstyle or lunch selection. They may also be posting things that can cause fear or stress. Don’t get me started on the outright ugly comments some people make! It is distracting and annoying. In times of stress, it’s best to keep in mind that these alerts do not need immediate attention, and much of the time, they don’t deserve our attention at all. The dinging can be easily disabled in settings. Perhaps scheduling an hour (or less) each day to scroll through social media will help ease tension if you feel the need to check in. It may help quiet negative chaos during the day and help you focus on what truly needs to get done. I am working on this myself. It’s so easy to pick up the phone the minute a notification comes in, I tap a quick response, and before long I am immersed in scrolling, commenting, and not getting important things done. This equals more stress!

With the current twenty-four hour news cycle, the same stories “break” all day long. This is good and bad. The bad is the alarms are designed to instantly catch our attention, promote fear, and startle us into a state of anxiety. The good part is that these same “urgent” stories cycle around all day, and sometimes for days on end so we aren’t missing much if we catch it later. Truth is, much of this stuff is not even urgent or important. Checking in on news headlines for five to ten minutes a day can relieve stress.

Take time for you. Let’s try it together.

God’s word assures us that we need not be afraid. Let’s read about this together:

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

“Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”

We’ll face stressful situations, however, as believers, we are never alone.

This last phrase is repeated as confirmation in Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold our right hand.

Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”

I don’t know about you, but it brings me comfort to know that God is holding my hand, especially in these trying times.

A question I've heard is: "What if I live with someone who has the news on all the time?"

May I suggest a set of noise canceling headphones? The ones I have are Bose and I've found them to be incredibly comfortable and helpful when there is background noise I can't control or avoid. There are plenty of other options in various price ranges.

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