The world has become something strange and unusual. Taking a step back from the being in the moment has brought several perspectives to light, as well as questions that need answers. Influence being one of them.
Let's take a look at the year 2020 so far. We began the year with perhaps a toast and a silent prayer for prosperity. "This year will be our year," or "New year, new me," is often the motto when that ball drops in NY Times Square. None of us could predict that the brewing situation in another country would reach home and rock our daily lives as much as it did when crossed over to the United States.
The first source of influence that was primarily seen and shocked about 90% of the population here in the states was the behavior of those who panicked as if the apocalypse was upon us. Most of us laughed and posted some ill humored memes, photos, and jokes on our social media accounts... However, it would be a lie to say that feelings of panic did not reach us, that we were made of steel once realized we were one of the homes without toilet paper, or when our children were switched to online education to ensure public health safety.
The second source of influence seen during the time of COVID-19 was how our social media circle thought of the ongoing pandemic. Some took the opportunity to make light of the situation, while others promoted their jobs in healthcare to gain sympathy from their fellow peers. Make no mistake- social media has helped greatly in shaping the world and has promoted narcissistic tendencies. With the display of others wealth and good news- the emotional reaction named envy has gripped us to the core. It has dictated how we proceed with certain aspects of our daily lives. We have become less tolerant of those who do not share our views or agree with us because it is extremely easy to find someone that does.
What social media has done is subtly influence how we shop, act, and promote ourselves in a very big way. We don't think it has- the thought of someone having some type of unconscious hand in how we live our lives is unsettling. However, if we look closely we will find that we have bought an item such as a shirt or a piece of jewelry due to our favorite "influencers" having such items promoted on their social media accounts.
Then again, who is on our social media accounts? Who do we often friend or follow? Friends, family, and co-workers are often seen displaying their good fortune to others for various reasons. Such reasons include a slight admiration, or to gain the attention of a formidable opponent or love interest. We follow those that have a higher fan base, or appeal to our self interest. In doing so, we validate our own sense of worth and why we perform or behave the way we do...
So what is the point to this article then?
Good question... that is to make you aware.
Be aware of how you are being influenced. Even though you are more apt to be like "PFFFFF Yari you crazy," take a minute, sit back, and marinate in what is written.
Be concious of how you are being influenced, because not every influence is a bad thing. Take this website you happened to stumble upon.... In some way, the words hit your eyes, the comprehension began, and your brain started to spark with ideas, and your very own concept of what was in front of you. You began to formulate thoughts or counter arguments to what was presented.... YOU WERE INFLUENCED. Not in a bad way of course. This sort of influence encourages you to come to your OWN conclusions, inspires unique thought and behavior from within. This is a good thing.
Negative influence has it's own symptoms. These involve self loathing, envy (of course), anger and feelings of aggression, depression, anxiety, etc. A good general rule to live by is if it makes you feel negatively, or if it causes financial loss in some long term way, then it is not worth giving a deep thought about.
So be influenced people. Just make sure it's the right kind of influence that you are seeking.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.