Quit Feeding Your Brain a Bad Diet

Michael Henderson
Dec 4, 2019 · 4 min read

Most of us are conscious of what we put in our body but what about our brains?

Image courtesy of David Matos on Unsplash

If you eat junk food all year, you will feel it and your body will tell on you. Your brain is the same way as what you consume is reflected in your actions, mood, and ability to process thought.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you are feeding your brain everyday and how that is impacting your interactions with friends, family, co-workers, and your mental health in general?

If you are like 99.9% of the human population then the first thing you check when you wipe the drool from your mouth in the morning is your phone.

I know, I know, some old guy is sitting here making an opening statement on how social media is ruining the minds of our younger generations.

News flash! I am not old…yet and there is some truth to be said about social media, it is dominated by violent videos, the media telling one what they should think, and any topic that will get a reaction from society.

It’s just how the behemoths algorithm works.

The Algorithm

If you see something that makes you angry, whether it be another news article or a less than intelligent comment on a news article, you are going to spend your time thinking about it and getting more angry than you were to begin with.

The algorithm picks up on that and it remembers what gains more interaction from you then proceeds to show you that type of information.

I remember when I had a FaceBook account and every morning I would see post about how alcohol should not be sold on Sundays because it is GODS day. Like seriously, why are we pushing other people’s religious agenda on the general public?

If you are wondering, I did comment on the post and expressed my opinion. What I didn’t know is I was telling the algorithm to show me more content like that.

That's right, nothing like a controversial topic to start the day.

My point is, the algorithm is doing its job and its job is to get you to comeback to the platform, comment on post, and view more ads.

This can be good if nothing stupid makes it into your news feed but that is most likely not the case.

Politics

Remember me telling you that news media companies are dominating the platform?

If you find yourself on social media you will see that almost everything has some type of political angle on it. The algorithm and media companies know this is what gets peoples attention.

There used to be a time where news outlets told both sides of the story and gave the reader an honest, full of substance read about a certain issue or political circumstance.

Things changed for the media companies and newspapers, their most valuable outlets, magazines, the television, and newspapers were slowly going away and being replaced by the World Wide Web. Information was only a free click away.

Now, media companies only push click bait titles and one sided information that they know will get you fired up. This keeps the clicks coming in and you mad about something.

None of the editors, writers, or even readers of these posts take the time to find out the other side of an argument or even care to education themselves or others about a topic.

Violence

I don’t know if it is because I am a white male located in south Alabama and FaceBook expects me to be a violent trump supporter or what but I have deleted my FaceBook account twice because of not only animal violence, but human violence as well.

These types of videos are forced on me in many ways. I will be scrolling down my timeline and see a sponsored video of people beating each other or it will be a post that someone shares.

Someone I am friends with actually shares these violent videos and then somehow they get to me in a sponsored post. Talk about scary.

Actually, the scariest part is seeing all the comments and likes on the post of people that have watched it. I can’t make it 5 seconds into a fight video without my heart pounding and my hands sweating. Not to mention it hurts my heart to see people thinking the only way to solve a problem is violence.

That person in the video that is getting beat up has a family, most likely a mother that cares about them, and is a human with feelings that the end of the day.

What shocks me is the fact that people enjoy watching those videos and have the nerve to share them. When I see stuff like that, it reminds me how desensitized the content is causing us to become, but that is another topic for another day.

Leave With This

When you first wake up you are laying down the foundation of the day. For your brain, this is a big deal. If you wake up every morning and have an argument with someone before work, then you are most likely going to have a bad day because the tone of your day has already been set by something negative happening right when you wake up

If your brain consumes content first thing in the morning that is deemed controversial then you are allowing posts like the ones mentioned above to have control over your feelings and set the mood for the day.

Seeing those stupid posts and getting mad or sad about them is as real to the brain as a 1 on 1 argument with another person.

Challenge yourself for one week to wake up, listen to a bright and happy podcast, read a feel good article, or watch the sun rise and see how it improves your day versus reading something negative and frustrating.

Thanks to Hendy

Michael Henderson

Written by

Writer | Software Engineer | Innovator | It’d mean a lot if you’d 👏 and follow me. New articles weekly!

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +582K people. Follow to join our community.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade