Many evangelicals these days share about the power of “detox”-oriented products so often that you might worry that your Bible is accidentally missing the “Gospel of Arbonne” chapter.
While I’m personally a bit creeped out by the intermingling of business and faith, at least these people are promoting the idea of taking inventory about what enters your body, and the (generally) positive effects that diet change can have.
Now let’s channel this momentum into news intake and social media output! It’s easy, and there aren’t even any “uplines” to deal with or PowerPoint decks to endure. Here’s all you need to do:
- Grab a piece of paper and something to write with
- Create two columns, label the first one “Sources” and the other one “Shares”
- In the first column, write a list of your news sources in a given week (in other words, every place that you hear about what’s happening in the country/world)
- In the second column, write a list of the news-related social posts that you’ve made in the same time period (you may not have any)
All set? Cool. Let’s take a look through a critical lens:
- In column one, how many sources are social media services? How many are television news? How many are from newspapers or magazines? How many do you pay for (if any)?
- In column two, do you know the source for each post you shared? If you don’t, did you do any (even light) research to determine the source’s validity? If not, why did you post it? Was it because it “felt” true vs. being true? Did you anticipate getting a little rush of validation when church friends “liked” it?
Now that you see where you stand, here’s how to start the cleanse:
- Always err on the side of paying for your news and getting it directly from a legitimate news outlet. Can’t afford it? Cut something else out, this is more important. Don’t know how to determine what is a legitimate news outlet (either through long-time “all media is crooked!” mental conditioning or having grown up in a world of digital feeds)? I posted some suggestions a few years back, but don’t take my word for it, here’s a reasonably-decent guide outlining bias for a set of popular outlets (feel free to read about the project’s mission/advisors).
- Avoid cable news as much as possible (especially state TV). The coverage is general shallow, personality-driven and designed to fill the endless 24-hour cycle.
- While there’s nothing inherently bad about using social media for news (assuming you’re able to identify valid sources), remember that you’re going to primarily see content from your friends/follow list, so make sure that you spice things up by intentionally exposing yourself to people with views you despise. Smash that bubble.
- Never share something if you don’t know and trust the source. To do otherwise (especially within a group of friends that are more apt to trust you) is irresponsible and dangerous.
I sincerely hope that you value what goes into your mind just as much as what goes into your body, and that you’ll take part in this cleanse. You can even do it in parallel with a food detox. 2Detox2Furious!
To make everyone feel more at home, I’ve even made some social media-ready inspirational memes for you to share along the way: