Social Media and Relationships

Disconnect to Reconnect

Social media has become a very prevalent part of society. 98% of all people in the world, or at least the United States of America are on some form of social media. If used correctly, the internet can be a wonderful tool. It can keep us in touch with friends and loved ones. It can keep us in the know on current event and what is trending (what is popular). It can also entertain us. Sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and the internet in general, puts the entire world at our finger tips. The problem comes into place when social media becomes all consuming. It is very difficult to be intimate when your partner is on the phone all the time. How can you possibly get a teenager to complete their homework or have family dinner when everyone is texting? When it comes to relationship, whether romantic or platonic we have to learn to monitor the use of social media. Just like the TV did in its earlier days, social media has just crept into our homes and is ruining our bonds/relationships.
Another con of social media/the internet is the easy access to adult material. Pornography is and has been running marriages forever. The only difference now is it has become a hot button topic thanks to social media. This is a common crossroad with social media. On one hand, the internet can be used as an outlet about the perils of pornography and the effects that it can have on relationships and marriages. On the other hand, though, the internet a can make it just that much more accessible perpetuating the problem. The internet can make the world a much smaller place so things such as cheating or communication that would have been impossible 10 years ago are no longer an adversary. Although cheating has never been a positive it may have been a bit more difficult 10 years ago when the girl on film was as easy to contact or meet as she would be today. We must make a conscious effort to use social media for what is for a that is to connect with people and be careful not to fall into some of the traps that may be presented when using it

Laughter

Laughter

More and more research has proven what we already instinctively know – “laughter is the best medicine.”   A study was conducted with volunteers who watch a 10-minute, humorous video clip while connected to an EEG monitor (to measure the brain wave frequencies).  The results showed an association between laughter and  increased gamma wave activity.  This is significant because gamma waves, the fastest of all brain waves, help the brain perform at peak performance.  These brain waves help different parts of the brain function together more efficiently.  So laughter helps the brain get a total-brain workout!  Indeed more research needs to be conducted, but laughter can be a powerful antidote for increased mental health because it is free, convenient, and easy to implement.

Try to create daily opportunities for laughter in your life – watch a funny comedy show or movie, watch funny YouTube videos, hit the comedy club, read the newspaper funny section, ask someone about the funniest thing that happened this week, laugh at yourself,  or take time out for fun activities with friends and family.

Cheers to more laughter!

Living With Grief

Living With Grief

I’m sure many of you have heard of the five stages of grief which was discovered and researched by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
1 – Denial.
2 – Anger.
3 – Bargaining.
4 – Depression.
5 – Acceptance.

Well this research was originally done on dying patients dealing wit their own impending death.  These are actually stages of dying but some similar emotions are experienced when someone copes with the loss of a loved one.

Lots have been written about this over the years.  But another topic that I would add to the discussion is additional things to be aware of when you are coping with a loss.

Coping with death is vital to you mental health and to the significant relationships in your life. The best way to work through your grief is allow yourself feel the feelings and be aware of attempts to numb feelings.

Most of us engage in behaviors (consciously or not) that help us numb our feelings to take the edge off of pointy and sharp feelings like pain, vulnerability and discomfort. We do this by eating (too much or unhealthy foods), drinking, spending sprees, gambling, saving the world, incessant gossiping, perfectionism and 60-hour work weeks.   To grief well we need to learn to lean into the discomfort of hard emotions.   -Adapted from Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection

Here’s a nice short list of some ways to help yourself cope with a loss.

  • Take care of your health.  Maintain regular medical check ups with your family doctor and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest.  Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.  Or for that respect doing anything excessively even if it appears to be a “good” thing can escalate into a problem in your life.
  • Seek out caring people.  Find relatives and close friends who can understand your feelings of loss.  Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.

       Online Support : dailystrength.org

onlinegriefsupport.com

       To find a local support group:

griefshare.org

  • Express your feelings.  Tell others that you can trust how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.  Often time once you express your feelings you will find you are not alone and being alone in any negative feeling is what makes dealing with that feeling difficult.
  • Accept that life is for the living.  It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell in the past.
  • Postpone major life changes.  Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, marrying, or remarrying, changing jobs or having another child.   You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.
  • Be patient.  It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept you are changed as a result of that loss.
  • Seek outside help when necessary.  If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief.   It’s a sign of strength to seek help not weakness.

 

Is Social Media the New Drug???

Has social media become so addicting that it is the new drug destroying lives? The answer seems to be yes. I was listening to the radio last week and a listener had wrote in with a question/problem regarding his current relationship. The story went something like this……the guy has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for approximately 5 months. The guy reports that every time they go out to do anything dinner, movies, dancing etc…… that his girlfriend is always taking pictures and posting things on social media about their dates. He goes on to say this is not the worst part…..after posting she spends an enormous amount of time constantly checking her phone to see who has responded so she can respond in return.  The boyfriend reports that he has asked her on more than one occasion why can’t she just enjoy the moment? Take time to enjoy one another’s company? He reports that her answer is always the same, “I am so proud to be with you and love the amazing man that you are…….that I want my friends to be able to share in our love.” His response, “How am I supposed to argue with that?” Well, that is a tough one. One radio personality suggested having her post at the very beginning or the very end of the date and put the phone away for the rest of the date. It’s social media….what are you going to do?  I have heard several individuals say, that social media is destroying their family. Last week a friend read to me an argument taking place between two women on a social media site. They were going at it….”b” bombs after every other word. I was speechless. What a complete waste of time. You call her names….she calls you names and what exactly gets resolved? Oh now I remember….someone got called a “b” one time more than the other. Yes, I do use social media and I post things to share with family and friends…….But it is not a daily task for me…..I am not so involved that if I don’t post something the whole day is ruined. Ask yourself this question….is social media preventing me from enjoying life? If the answer is yes…….run do not walk to the nearest outlet and yank that sucker out. With everything moderation is the key. If at anytime something consumes so much of your time that you cannot enjoy life especially because you are to busy posting about what you should be enjoying…..it is your new drug!   Just say NO!!!

Distractions

Battle Between Good and EvilAs I’ve just been looking around and I’ve noticed that we as Americans are easily distracted. We are usually interest in something as long as it’s hot or trending. Because we focus on hot button issues, distractions are easy to sneak in the media. For instance just the other day I was watching those two for two commercials that McDonald’s is airing and advertising. I asked myself what is so special about 2 for 2. Everything on the 2 for 2 menu is already on the $1 menu and if that is the case, then buying two of them would naturally be $2… Correct? Then a recalled an article I read awhile aback about McDonalds trying to get rid of the $1 menu. What better way to ease that menu out then to implement the next gimmick. We are so mesmerized by the show that we forget the common sense.

Another distraction is the whole Bill Cosby case. Now whether or not I believe the allegations against Mr. Cosby is irrelevant, but what I do know is that his case is being used as a distraction. A distraction from Flint, a distraction from Florida, a distraction from Chicago, and a distraction from Ferguson. These are the relevant issues. Young African American boys are dying daily at the hand of senseless violence mostly in the hands of those who are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ but they would rather we focus on a 70 something year old blind am who may have had sex with people over 40 and 50 years ago. Believe we should stay relevant and pay attention because American is out for money and not for citizens. Be aware.

Stop Saying and Asking Your Single Friends….

Stop Saying or Asking Your Single Friends...

 

I have compiled a SHORT list of questions and statements that you should stop saying and asking your single friends.  I know you mean well, and you are only trying to be supportive but sometimes your words and questions make being single seem like a disease.

Why Are You Still Single?

Ok, so you really mean (I hope!) “you’re such a great person!  I can’t think of a reason why you are still single,” but trust me it’s not a compliment.  They don’t know why they are still single (unless of course it’s a personal choice), just like you probably can’t really pinpoint why you are in a relationship.  It almost implies that there is something wrong with them because they aren’t in a relationship.  Imagine if they are already struggling and wondering themselves why they are still single, awkward…

How’s your love life?  Are you seeing anyone?

You’ve already asked about school, work, kids, friends, and family and the inevitable topic of love life comes up.  Maybe they have a love life, maybe they don’t.  I imagine that if there was somebody special worth mentioning, they probably would have already shared — Now they have the opportunity to respond and be reminded of “what love life?”

You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

Because everyone who is in a relationship loves themselves?  We can all agree this statement is very, very true but just because I am single doesn’t mean I don’t love myself.

When you are married, you’ll wish you were single.

This may very well be true.  We realize  you are only trying to remind us of the joys of singlehood, but don’t try to make it seem like there aren’t any joys of companionship.  Last I checked, wanting to get married makes us human.  After all, God gave us a desire to connect with others.

I dated _____ and it didn’t work out but I could introduce you.

If you two didn’t click, then great.  But if he/she is really not worth dating, please don’t set me up with a sympathy date.  I may be single but this is not synonymous with desperate.

Are you worried you won’t be able to have kids?

Does being in a relationship mean you won’t have to worry about being able to have kids?  If a woman is suffering from infertility, she really doesn’t want to be asked “when are you going to start having kids?” or “why aren’t you having kids?”  Just rude and insensitive.  Enough said.

Being in a relationship or married, doesn’t give you the right to be insensitive.  These statements can trigger loneliness, shame, blame and guilt.  Be available and attentive when they are open to talking about the joys and pains of being single.  Be mindful of your words and questions, and always encourage and pray for your single brother and sisters. End of rant….