Social media envy, childhood chronic stress, walking in public, and more
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
Here are seven links to bits of the world I have been exploring this week, shared with the hope that you will find them to be an inspiring springboard for deeper thinking.
Reacting to suffering: laugh it off? Catching up on my prof’s writing and missing my school days. [Lol], anyone else in this boat of nostalgia for youth?
An excellent piece on envy and social media, and a few parts I highlighted:
“How much worse would it have been for Shakespeare’s Iago, who says of Cassio: “He hath a daily beauty in his life / That makes me ugly,” if he had been following his lieutenant on Instagram?”
“Perhaps, though, each of us also needs to think more carefully when we do use social media actively, about what we are trying to say and why – and how the curation of our online personas can contribute to this age of envy in which we live. When I was about to post on Facebook about some good career-related news recently, my husband asked me why I wanted to do that. I did not feel comfortable answering him, because the truth is it was out of vanity. Because I wanted the likes, the messages of congratulations, and perhaps, if I am brutally honest, I wanted others to know that I was doing well. I felt ashamed. There is nothing like an overly perceptive spouse to prick one’s ego. It is easy to justify publicising a promotion on Twitter as necessary for work, as a quick way of spreading the news to colleagues and peers. But as we type the words “Some personal news”, we could pause to ask ourselves, why are we doing this, really? Friends, family, colleagues – anyone who needs to know will find out soon enough; with news that is quite personal, do we need to make it so public? Honing your personal brand on social media may seem good for business, but it does have a price. It all creates an atmosphere where showing off – whether unapologetically or deceptively – is not just normalised but expected, and that is a space where envy can flourish. I do not think the answer necessarily always lies in being more honest about our lives – it might sometimes lie in simply shutting up. Of course, raising awareness about previously hushed-up, devastating experiences of miscarriage or abuse or harassment can have the power to challenge stigma and change society. But ostensibly authentic posts about mindfulness, or sadness, or no makeup selfies are always designed to portray their poster in the best light.”
A cool Saxophone playlist on Spotify. I’m building up my own playlist—‘summer mornings 2021’ and ‘writing sessions’—and will share once I accumulate a decent number of tunes on there. I’m a newbie at this, but goodness how lovely it is for music to set the tone in one’s environment, especially at home on a weekend or during weekday dinner prep in the kitchen or on a random car ride to the ocean.
Childhood chronic stress and adult disease: “Something that happened to you when you were five or 15 can land you in the hospital 30 years later.”
Youtube book review: Marcus Aurelius + Meditations + Stoicism.
Until next week!
PS—if you have been exposed to any interesting and share-worthy articles, books, films, or music, please do share by way of comments below! :-)