Pull the Plug…Clear the Cache

The COVID 19 virus is dominating the news cycle. This will continue for the foreseeable future and understandably so. We need to understand how the virus is affecting us, what we need to do, and what the future holds. But the constant bombardment of virus-related stories is overwhelming. And its effects are telling. And they are not good.

People are depressed and getting more so every day.

But the COVID-19 story doesn’t stand alone. It’s one of the many negative stories that we are exposed to on a 24/7 basis.

Over the last decade, our reliance and ties to the electronic world have increased. Television, radio, podcasts, Facebook, blogs, Instagram and Twitter have become a huge part of our daily lives. We are attached to our cell phones like nothing else. I remember as a kid my Dad yelling at me to “turn off that television.” I could only imagine what he would think now. But back then, I couldn’t take the television with me when I went outside to play or go to school or whatever. Now, these devices never leave our sides.

Sometimes it’s frightening.

Before the pandemic, I went to see some friends in Arizona. I remember being in the waiting area at the airport packed with people. I noticed that almost everyone had their head down buried in their phone. I could have walked past them naked and nobody would have noticed.

We see it every day. Phones on and heads down.

While having information at our fingertips has made things much easier. It comes with a heavy price. The amount of negative news that we are exposed to is overwhelming. And it’s detrimental to both our mental and physical well-being.

Negative news stories have always led the way. It’s been that way in the news business since the printing of the first newspapers. But its different today. It’s much more invasive. We are being overexposed.

Besides traditional news outlets, social media sites are also problematic. The amount of political rhetoric that is almost always negative is off the charts. Daily, each side blasts the other with salacious stories, blogs, posts, and tweets. This only adds to our unhealthy exposure.

It matters not what side you’re on or whether you believe the information is true. Writing, reading, and forwarding negative stories has a detrimental effect on both the sender and receiver. The truth is these stories do very little to change anyone’s opinion. I am not suggesting that we sugarcoat but as they say…. too much of anything is no good.

And now that we are “quarantined” it’s even more important that we give ourselves a mental health break.

Like our computers, our minds, psyche, attitude, and mood can hang up. We have all experienced, the annoying computer hang-up where the screen freezes.  And, the little circle keeps spinning and spinning as our computer struggles to fix itself. One of the first things the “techies” tell us to do is to unplug it to allow it to clear and reset. Usually, that does the trick.

We need to do the same with our brains.

We need to unplug our electronic lifeline for a bit and gives ourselves a break. Turn off the television and turn off the phone. Otherwise like our computers, we will crash. And don’t worry…. if something important happens you will find about it−no doubt.

So, for the sake of your well-being…. pull the plug and clear the cache. Give yourself a break from the negativity. It’s more important now than ever.

I’d like to hear your thoughts…

Stephen Phillip Monteiro is a law enforcement, security and intelligence consultant. He’s held senior leadership positions with consulting firms in Washington, DC and is a retired Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Visit his website: https://www.thegoodamerica.com to leave your comments. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevemonteiro10

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