Day Twenty-Five: Instagram

I posted my entry to Dorian Mases’ #challengemirrorimage Instagram challenge today. These challenges are everything social media is cracked up to be, but often isn’t. I’m not sure how Dorian, in Lincolnshire, ran across me in Colorado, but he invited me into a great group!

In an online world where tides of toxic sludge lap on shores of hatred, and grievously cynical manipulation is almost a given, how cool is it to find a community that highlights the wonderful potential of our technologies? Through these challenges, I have had rewarding interactions with people all over the world, from diverse walks of life, from multiple generations, and in an endlessly fascinating array of professions. I get positive feedback on my images, and the opportunity to give the same to others.

So often, our online life increases alienation. It can feel like the whole world is full of cyberbullies and ugly political agendas. I feel so lucky to have found a refuge where the internet actually does what it is supposed to, connecting people across our divisions. And I strongly suspect there are many more such communities out there.

The human brain is wired to focus on the negative. It makes sense — too much looking on the bright side and not enough attending to danger can get you knocked right out of the gene pool. But it also makes us prone to missing all the things that are going right.

Looking for the positive is especially difficult right now. It almost feels disrespectful to the people who have been hit the hardest. But it is a really important way to protect our own well-being, and likely even our immune systems. And the more that people can turn themselves to optimism, despite the buffeting of this virus, the better chance we have of putting our economies back together.

So it is worth turning our attention from all the negativity and just general ickyness online, and looking for the communities that are getting it right. I bet there are a lot more of them than we have been led to expect.

Share the good stuff you find. Use your likes and comments to positively reinforce content of decency. And please post links in the comments.

Signing off. Take care, and take care of one another.

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