Blogust 2018: The Series, Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: News Culture Could Be Playing a Role with Your Anxiety. (8/4/18)


Hey, guys, welcome back to TNTH.

I wanted to write this post because I believe this affects a lot of people in our generation; not just those who suffer from anxiety disorders. I’ve recently been watching a lot of people online and in my neighborhood discuss various things that have happened within the last month, and these things have been happening since the year started, to be honest. We could all pretty much admit that the first major thing in the year that had everyone’s eyes wide open was the mass shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida at Stoneman Douglas High School back in February. Since then, things have piled on top of each other since then. The latest event that has everyone in complete shock is the fact that a four-year-old girl got ran over by a car who didn’t even think twice to turning back to see what they had hit, while the mother of the child was simply tieing her shoe. Also, it’s been said that the person who ran over the kid has a family member who is in authority, and threatened the mother to call ICE on her if she pressed charges. Whether it is true or not, it’s still a goddamn scenario that could easily be played out.

One thing that hit close to home was of the incident that happened in The Bronx on June 15th. Fifteen-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was brutally murdered in front of a bodega by a group of guys with a machete and left him on the sidewalk to die. This 15-year-old kid got himself up, ran down the back where the hospital was, and died inched away from the hospital. On top of that, the entire thing was recorded on cameras outside of the bodega with people passing by, looking at these guys drag this boy outside on the sidewalk. It’s disgusting, and extremely triggering to anyone. 

What sickens me the most about these type of news events is that there is always a video of the violence happening on camera. There are two videos of two different children getting killed all over the internet, and nobody is looking away. 

The news culture has become a place of the grotesque; it’s now a game of “who can report the most gruesome events of the day faster“. We see people getting shot and murdered in videos, we see people getting stabbed to death in videos, and I guess we reached a new low: watching children get killed.

As a person who constantly thinks of the “what-if” scenarios on a day-to-day basis, these type of things are extremely triggering to my well-being. Those kids in that high-school shooting didn’t know their Valentine’s Day was going to end up the way it did. Junior did not think he wasn’t going to see the next day when dropping off bus fare to a friend down the block from where he lives. That mother did not know she was going to lose her child when she put the laundry together and took her to do laundry with her. These people did not know their last days would be like the way they ended up being, and I know I am not any different. Events like this make people not want to send their children to public schools because they’re afraid that their child isn’t going to return home from school at 3pm and instead receive a phone call from the police asking to identify a child they found dead. In all honesty, people are more afraid to go out to fun events (especially after the Manchester shooting in England after Ariana Grande’s concert) because these fun events could come with a price of your life. I’m not saying things like this haven’t happened in the past, I honestly believe it’s the way news outlets report these type of things.

Let’s take the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013 for instance:

After reporting the Boston Marathon news for almost a week, most news outlets interrupted their regular programming to report live at a literal hide and seek game between the bombers and the SWAT team. They tracked the guys down and followed them, found them, surrounded them, and killed one of them in an entire day. It was literally like watching a scene from an action movie. To this day, I never understood why it was necessary to report minute by minute on a tragedy that affected hundreds and their families. Yeah, it’s news (and important news) at that, but showing such triggering an unsettling footage isn’t “letting the news be known”. It’s (to an extent) glorifying the event. It’s why so many recent mass shooters who stay alive after the incidents claim they are inspired by past mass shooters who had their name known for weeks on end and now for the rest of everyone’s lives.

Our news culture is extremely unhealthy for everyone, especially those who suffer from constant thoughts of these worst-case scenarios actually happening.

I’ve been terrified to go to certain places in my life because of the stories I hear and see on a day-to-day basis. I avoid certain areas in my own borough in NYC because of all the crazy and violent things that I hear happening there. While there are people who are able to watch these kinds of things and still live on with their lives, there are people who live in fear because of them, and it causes us to develop conditions that you wouldn’t even think of happening a couple of years ago.

I mean, I was told that I could be a possible agoraphobic. 

Now, I’m not saying that you should be oblivious to the outside world and not care what goes on; that just shows your ignorance and avoidance to some really serious issues going on in the world. Plus, it’s impossible to avoid the news in this day and age where the news is on every platform and screen you interact with. Sadly, it’s something you can’t just avoid and to all intensive purposes, you shouldn’t.

What I’m saying is that if you deal with constant thoughts of worst-case scenarios and you function the way you do because of these scenarios, take some time to breathe and recollect yourself. You don’t have to read pages and pages of breaking news. You don’t need to watch these videos of the violence on every social platform. You don’t need to know, hear, and see everything about a very triggering event, and that’s completely okay. Knowing every little detail and having knowledge about an event are two different things. Inform yourself, don’t harm yourself.

As to those who still get very affected by these events and don’t live with these “what-if” scenarios constantly on your mind, just turning away from the media once in awhile is good for your mental health. Take time for yourself during these moments of negativity. Also, know that you can’t live your life completely avoiding the world, and we as people can only hope that we are able to live on to see our dreams and futures potentially playing out in reality.

As for those like me, we’ll be alright.

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: What Social Media Detox Taught Me. (7/13/17)

We live in a world of technology, and it’s simultaneously a blessing and a curse.

Technology makes things a lot easier to do; we can contact people within seconds, we can look something up in seconds, you could find out current events faster than most TV news outlets, and you can stay connected with people within these different social media platforms. Of course, over the years phones became more advanced and sadly more people use their phones more than they do their computers. I’ve known people who wrote final papers in their Notepad app on their phones. While yes, having a phone and these social media platforms may seem like the essentials to your life, you realize just how much you’re missing out on the world when you’re constantly worried about missing out on your timelines and news feeds. Like any addiction, quitting social media cold turkey will have anyone feel insane; you have to find some other way to keep your mind and hands busy that isn’t phone or social media related. Sometimes, the first step into getting social media detoxed is honestly to get a reality check. Realize that most of your time online isn’t necessary. No, you don’t need to constantly write Facebook statuses on what you’re doing. No, you don’t have to be “woke” online to be liked; you can simply be “woke” without stating how “woke” you are online. My point to all of this is that we think we need social media to be liked and accepted into society, and when you spend all of your time checking your feed and becoming so concentrated on that aspect of your life, you forget to interact with the rest of the world. You forget how to talk to people without typing “LOL” after every sentence. You miss some really good moments of your life when you’re too busy trying to get a dope selfie to put on Instagram. The fact of the matter is social media can be taken away from your life as fast as it came in. 

I decided to go on a social media detox because it was starting to negatively affect me. I started seeing other people lose weight and get fit, I started seeing people get their dream jobs after college, and I started to get intimidated by those people because I was not there yet. I haven’t lost weight in a while and I haven’t found my dream job, yet alone my dream career. I began trying to mirror that “success”, not realizing that social media statuses and pictures are simply just a fraud. Decoys. Something that hides the problems and insecurities people really have in their lives. I mean, it makes sense – who wants to show everyone on social media their problems and insecurities? We don’t. So we post things like “I got the job!” or “I lost my first 15 pounds!” to make it seem like we are happy in life; like there aren’t any worries in our world. But that builds up a facade. That tells us that the bad and the ugly in our lives shouldn’t be shared or told to anyone else. Of course, there’s a distinct line of privacy people want on social media, but when you constantly put on this “positive persona” online, it shows in real life. You’re left just being a person with a surface. There’s no depth in you because you hide that about yourself all the time. That’s exactly what I did prior to going into detox.

Going on a social media detox wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be this time around. I simply just logged off everything and deleted all of my apps off my phone. To take place of those phone apps, I downloaded games like Flow and Episode to keep my hands and mind busy whenever I just wanted to sit back and relax for a few. Once the weeks began to pass, I started to learn more about myself and the people around me. I started to be more aware and started to listen. I started to handle my problems and issues face-on without having any social media distraction. I had more time to get things done and enjoy doing the things I normally didn’t have time to do like write or do arts and crafts. As I started to find and do things that weren’t on my phone, I realized that I started using my phone less often. For something that I planned to do because I was on this self-love journey, became something that I want to begin doing as a lifestyle change.

Anyway, if you’re looking to step back from social media, here are some tips that I found helpful in my own detox journey:

  • Be in the right mind space. This is something you can’t be indecisive about. Compromise what apps and social platforms are causing you to feel a certain way about yourself. Those apps for me were Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Find a new hobby. The reality is that a lot of your time is going to be free once it’s not spent on your phone and social media. Join a class, go to the gym, write, explore your neighborhood; do something that benefits you and makes you happy. In the time of my detox, I started to sing in a choir and we had rehearsals every Saturday following up to our show. Singing has always been my way to escape life for a few hours, so I’m happy to have it back in my life.
  • Make sure you’re logged off on every device you use. The beauty about most apps (like Instagram) is that once you delete them off of your phone, there’s no way to check your feed without going online and doing it the most annoying way possible. The same goes for a lot of other social media apps. Deleting them off your phone makes it easier to not check them, in my opinion. Delete the saved tabs of these networks off your computer as well.
  • Out-beat your bad case of FOMO. Honestly, our fear of missing out is the reason why social media disorder is now a thing that’s discussed in psychology. It’s a real thing and it’s a reason why most social media detoxes fail after a day or two. Like I said, your head has to be in the right mindset to successfully beat FOMO. Your mind has to be focused on the bigger picture: the reason why you decided to detox in the first place.
  • Use your phone as a phone, not a computer. Text, call. That’s it.
  • Don’t feel pressured to go back full-time. As I begin to get TNTH back up and running, I know I’m going to have to sign onto these social media platforms to share posts and get them out there. A lot of people use social media to get out there as well. Because of this, people feel like they got to get back into old habits when really you don’t. Which brings me to my next point:
  • If you run a business through social media or your brand, keep your time on social media part-time. I might be posting on my social media accounts now that TNTH is running again, but it doesn’t mean I’m posting on social media again. What I mean by that is simply my social media is now running solely for TNTH. Occasionally I’ll post something, but my life isn’t going to be on social media. My blog is.

Life just feels a lot better without seeing things that negatively affect you and the way you perceive yourself. Again, technology is great to have in your life, but you shouldn’t allow it to become your life. Make sure you have control of your life, not a manufactured piece of metal.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (1/28/17)

We are in the year 2017. The 2010 decade will probably be forever known as the era that technology literally took over. We have smartphones, tablets, smart watches, smart eye gear, and smart pretty much everything. As a person who grew up into technology, it’s easy to feel like we’ve been sucked into this lifestyle. I mean, think about it: We grew up in an era where technology was big, heavy, and programmed to do one thing. A VHS was used for just VHS tapes, CD players only played CD’s, and cellphones were just devices that you use to call people outside of your home. It wasn’t advanced to be taken seriously.

Technology nowadays does more bad than good in society in my opinion. You have elementary school kids who were born into advanced technology, having iPhones has their first official phone (Mine was literally the equivalent to the Nokia phone). Where technology is more addictive than ever, it’s hard as a young adult to try to focus on things that aren’t technology based or social media based.

I’ve tried to quit multiple social media platforms over the years and I always ended up going back because that’s just how my mind is programmed. As a young adult, my free time is spent scrolling through Instagram and Snapchat seeing what everyone else is posting because that’s the routine we are all used to.

As a person in their 20’s, it feels like I don’t have a sense of identity outside my social media persona. That’s where we all go wrong. It’s normal to be a teenager obsessed with all these different social media platforms because you don’t have many worries in the world as a teenager yet. Most teenagers don’t even know where they’re going in life yet, and most of them haven’t officially identify themselves yet. In other words, they follow the trends and what their friends are doing.

That’s not acceptable being in college trying to get your future together.

So, how do you gain some sense of identity in a world where your identity is hidden behind a pixel profile picture?

  • If you have multiple social media accounts like me, try to cut some out of your life. For awhile, I was mainly a Facebook and Instagram type of girl. I posted about 10 different things a day on there, and I constantly checked it to see what my friends were up to. As the years passed by, I gravitated towards Twitter and Snapchat, and I rarely go on my other two social media accounts unless it’s a TNTH related post. Cutting one or two accounts on your life is beneficial; the keep-up of all profiles will be cut in half, you don’t waste your time checking every single social media platform one-by-one everyday, and in some way you help the dreaded “FOMO” that comes with these platforms.
  • Only follow the people who you want to see. Back in high-school, having 1,000+ friends on Facebook or Instagram was normal because everyone thought that the amount of people who followed you declared you as one of the popular kids. At one point, my Facebook had 400 friends, and to this day it’s now 94. If you don’t speak to a person or they don’t show any type of love to you, then why do you still have them in your friends list? Just because you’ve known someone from elementary school or just because you know your boyfriend’s sister’s friend doesn’t mean that you have to see what they are up to 24/7 on social media. Keep the people who are willing to reach out to you or support you in the things that you post. Keep the people you personally want to see make it.
  • Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true. People love to investigate on other people through social media. What people don’t realize when investigating people is that some people don’t take social media seriously, and post whatever they want to post. With the new sharing craze, everyone pretty much uses Facebook or Instagram to share memes and things that are funny or things people can relate to. Never judge a person from the memes they share, they just like memes.
  • Just because it’s NOT on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. My partner is a rather quiet and private person. He never really posts anything personally related to him on social media; as a matter of fact, he never really posts anything. He never does those “couple posts” with a picture of me on his Instagram or whatever, which in all honesty, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m the opposite of him; I literally put my life out their for people to see and don’t care who’s looking at it or not. That’s just the person I am. At the end of the day, I know how he feels about me and I know our connection pretty well. Just because he doesn’t post intimate posts like that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel the way he feels or he doesn’t want to show me off. People have this assumption that “if it’s not on the internet, it didn’t happen” and I think that’s a load of bullshit. Don’t let anyone fool you by saying that his social media account says a lot about him. If that was the case, his would say that he’s MIA for most of the time and probably too ugly to post selfies so he replaces them with memes. Listen, his mighty fine, has an amazing job for his career path, and he’s always around. Never judge a book by its Instagram page.
  • Enough talking, more doing. I tend to write Facebook statuses on my goals and dreams, and I’ve learned that some things are better left unsaid. I know for a fact that if you’re an open book like me, it’s hard to not want to share your goals and dreams to inspire other people, but sometimes people are the internet are there just to see you fail. Nobody wants to know that you have a full-time job and getting a promotion; they’re just there to hate on you and make you feel like you’re a pompous asshole. Like me, I’ve had people tell me that on my statuses. If you put your goals and dreams in action rather than just talking about them, they’re more likely to happen.
  • Don’t take social media too seriously. The reality of the internet is that there are a lot of dumb people who do stupid things and say stupid things. It’s easy to get sucked into it; maybe someone said something about you and you’re feeling a bit insecure about it. Listen, social media can literally be anything that the person wants it to be, and that’s how you view it too. People are behind a keyboard pretty much talking out their asses most of the time. I mean, look at the garbage Tomi Lahren posts. Just remember that the internet people are thirsty people who try to be “social media thugs” for attention. You’re so much better than that.
  • Don’t try to read every news article you find/your friend shares on social media. As tempting it is to click and read an article entitled “You won’t believe what Trump is doing!” , try to prevent yourself from reading every single thing someone shares. Yes, it is wise to keep up with current events and what’s going on with the world, sometimes reading too much of it does a negative affect on your mind. You start thinking that life is always this bad place with no expectation of it being better, and sometimes social media makes you feel a sense of hopelessness, especially now during this scary time of “Trump’s America”. Where yes, you should know things going on in your community and in your world, but when you’re constantly reading negative news articles over and over again, you’re only going to create unnecessary stress that your mind doesn’t need. That shouldn’t be a way someone should live. Give your mind a break and head on over to the side of the internet where fart jokes and cat videos are still a thing.
  • Don’t compare yourself to people who you personally know on social media platforms. It’s very easy to scroll down your news feed and see that one girl you know 10 years lost a lot of weight and has a boyfriend who is her *now* fiancé . (This is just an example, but I’m slowly seeing just how specific that example was…) Anyway! Just because someone you knew is doing good, doesn’t mean your accomplishments and milestones don’t matter. Personally, I tend to compare myself to the girls who were once overweight that are now thinner and healthier because I know I can do it too, but it’s so hard to kick old habits. Despite feeling insecure about myself, I think about the little personal milestones that I recently hit: I wrote my first ever MA Thesis for grad school, I just recently celebrated a birthday, and I started this blog! If you can’t see it in that aspect, then use the people on social media as inspiration to help you get to where you personally want to be.
  • On that note, also don’t compare yourself to celebrities on social media. In a world where Kylie Jenner rules Instagram and Snapchat, it’s hard to not want her various hair styles, fashion style, and lifestyle. I know I’ve found myself wanting to change my hair color a lot whenever she debuts another color wig from the rainbow of wigs she owns. The difference between her and you is that she’s a celebrity. Her photos on Instagram are meant to look like a professional photo-shoot every time she posts something. If anything, being “Insta-famous” is pretty much in her job description; yours doesn’t. Like I said previously, never doubt your own beauty and stop comparing yourself to other people. Be accepting of yourself and what you have to offer. You’re you for a reason, and not the person you’re comparing yourself to. Because you are unique.

I can go on for days on the things you can help your social media addiction or prevent you from making it worse. I can admit I have a problem; my iPhone is constantly glued to my hand from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. It’s hard to detox from it, but if you moderate what you’re doing and feeling while on your social media accounts, I believe that being on your phone 24/7 is just a normal thing, especially as a young adult.

But no matter what, always take care of your well-being before anything else. If you need to gather your thoughts and self, then take the time away from social media. Be by yourself. Take in your surroundings. Reinvent and find yourself in a world of personas on social media. Live your 20’s like you’re turning 30 tomorrow!

-Liz (: