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Discharging on Social Media Consumption

This morning I woke up early, and instead of going back to sleep, which would have been best for me, I got absorbed in a social media app on my phone for almost two hours—watching videos, looking at pictures, and following links, almost all posted by people I do not know. At the end my eyes felt glazed over, I felt tension in my head, and a lot of disconnection and isolation had been restimulated.

A half hour later I had a mini-session. It was hard to feel anything about the big things happening in my life, even with this close Co-Counselor of mine. Then I started talking about what I had been watching, because that is what kept coming into my mind. I laughed and laughed and laughed, telling my counselor all the things I now knew. As soon as I finished laughing about one thing, another thing I had watched would come into my mind and I would tell her about that, and laugh and laugh and laugh.

After ten minutes of this, I could feel my eyes clearing up, my body getting less tense, and my attention returning. Partway through I said, “This is such a waste of my time!” She said, “No, you’re getting your mind back; you’re getting it back to where you want it to be.” I kept going, and she was so right. By the end I could feel relaxed, like I had my mind a lot more, and that I could choose where to put my attention much more easily.

We take in so much information and so many images—and their associated distresses—through the Internet, television, and other forms of media. And I don’t think most of us discharge about it very much. I have had sessions about television shows and movies I have seen, in my adult life and in childhood. They have always been useful. They have freed up my attention in a way that reminds me of discharging on early sexual memories—on a chain of times when I was fascinated and my attention was consumed. I think these kinds of sessions are a good complement to the work the Communities are doing on pornography.

How much of our attention and mental storage space are taken up by images we have seen—images that someone else has created and that have been filtered through their distress? How much more of our brains would we have if we discharged there? Based on my recent experience, I highly recommend it.

Shani Fletcher

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 190, January 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00