Persuasive Technology and the Emotional Labor of Yoga
Studies show that bad news travels faster than good news. And, unfortunately, the algorithms in our social media accounts are designed to capture our attention and draw us in. This is why the bad news shows up at the top of our newsfeeds way more often.
Every time you react to these negative posts, the more the algorithm thinks that’s what you like and will keep showing you more. This kind of persuasive technology impacts our mood, our brains and our world. In order to be a conscious creator of the kind of life you want, you will have to develop consciousness over the information you’re consuming online.
Negativity bias is real. It’s a biological inheritance from a time when it was really important to amplify negative experiences. This makes sense when it was protecting us from predators, but in this modern hi-tech world it means that our brain is going to remember the worst things without letting us focus on the moments that make us happiest. I do not doubt that this is why we have so much negativity in the world right now. I know that if we took a moment, took a breath, before responding or reacting to a negative encounter – online or off – we might have a little more compassion for one another.
This is why shadow work is so important. Bringing up things that make you uncomfortable teaches you how to be compassionate toward yourself, which is a call for healing. It’s a powerful thing to be able to recognize and forgive negativity in yourself, and even more so when you can apply this same compassion to others. As yogis we are called to embrace compassion and love. The emotional labor of our practice teaches us how to use compassion to improve ourselves on emotional and spiritual levels. I am asking you now to apply this same compassion to those around you.
Daily metta practice is designed to teach you how tap into this compassion and reprogram your brain to see the good. I see the good in you, and I see the potential goodness that can be throughout the world through us.
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