I went to an early morning rave yesterday. MorningGloryVille is really good fun. Highly recommended.
What that meant was, for the first time in a long time, I got an early train with commuters to Waterloo, before continuing onward to Bank and then Bethnal Green, before the short walk from there to Oval Space. This meant lots of people in suits reading, scrolling or sleeping. And it also meant 4 minutes of Waterloo & City-line bliss (I’m being sarcastic, obviously).
Trains are a funny place in the morning. Aside from the snoozers inevitably catching up on sleep, perhaps still catching up on sleep-debt from the busy bank holiday weekend, the vast majority of people are either reading the Metro Newspaper or scrolling on their phones – most of the time reading news or on Facebook.
Now I’m not going to judge – partly because I used to do exactly the same thing. On my morning commute, I used to devour the Metro cover-to-cover (especially looking forward to what Justin Bieber et all had been up to in the “Guilty Pleasures” section), or used to read BBC news or social-media-scroll.
In the last few months I’ve made some changes. Firstly, I’ve decided to consciously decide upon what I put into my brain – especially so at the start of the day. Is reading about the ills of the world really the best idea? Will it really make that miserable commute better – or more miserable? Don’t get me wrong – ignorance is not the answer, and it’s a good idea to generally be aware of what’s happening in the world – but do we really need to be bombarded with it constantly? Through the newspapers, through the news itself, through our mobile phones?
I initially had this unjustified fear that I wouldn’t have a clue what was going on and I would be caught out and embarrassed in a social context. This hasn’t happened for 2 main reasons:
1. At the weekend, I’ll flick through The Times
2. Through snippets on the TV/snippets of conversation/etc. it is pretty difficult not to have a general gist of what’s going on in the world!
If you simply have to know what’s going on, why not try Positive News instead? Shining a much-needed light on the good that’s happening in the world…
Second, comes the mindless Facebook-scrolling. Whilst my FB consumption has now reduced and is more controlled, Twitter has become my latest social-media-platform-I-really-need-to-manage. In today’s busy world, we are being bombarded more than ever before, and not just in the physical world, but in the digital world too. This information overload is such that we can’t properly process it nor are yet aware of its effects… one thing I know for sure, it’s a good idea to A) Limit what’s going in and B) Consciously decide what’s going in rather than being fed it!
Again – do I really need to know what’s happening (through a curated lens) in other people’s lives? There’s evidence to suggest that the more we spend on Facebook, the worse we feel. I can relate to this! There’s so much going on, and quite often you feel terrible that you’re not partying on that rooftop or standing atop that mountain (bizarrely, even if you don’t even particularly like rooftops or mountains!). Social media does have its uses and its advantages, but too much of it can be detrimental. (PS. whatever happened to making phone calls and meeting people? I’m trying to get better at this myself – and take more of a “quality over quantity” approach when it comes to my social relationships).
So, I guess I would question whether in the morning:
A) News bombardment is a good idea
B) Social media / general mindless scrolling is a good idea
Read some positive news instead Or do some exercise. Read a book. Write.
Oh – and once in a while – you really need to try a sober rave. You’re likely to be on a nice buzzy high for the rest of the day. Try it!