Written by Shiroshini Periasamy (BM117)
Influencers. When you read this word, you are likely to conjure thoughts of insta-famous people, brand deals, and a method to getting the ideal life. In this era of worshipping social media, this is not inaccurate in the slightest, but it is just a page from the whole book.
These days, influencers are a major part of our lives in some way or another. Trust me, I tried to avoid them. I did not love the idea of a potential mass-brainwashing movement, or at least that was how I used to see it. Yet, they sneaked up on me, whether it was through my budding curiosity or social media algorithms, causing me to see these influencers in posts of all sorts. They became a part of my life, and I did not or would not recognise that fact. I started having opinions on things I had never thought of before and changed my mind on things I knew. When I did realise it, I hated it; I thought I was becoming basic. However, as with everything, the bad and the good came hand in hand. There were some people who opened my eyes and allowed me to see this ever-changing world in a new light.
Yes, this is an essay on how we view our surroundings. You may have seen the first word and thought that this essay was about something else altogether, but since you are already reading this article, perhaps this may serve as food for thought.
Have you ever done something completely new that does not seem that big of a deal, and yet when you stop doing that, you cannot seem to get back to your former self? That is exactly how I feel in this situation. Some of these influencers I mentioned led me to see how much of a negative life we lead. Now, I am not stating that the world is negative. Rather, the way we see it, is.
The worst part is that most of us get through life without ever realising how. It is in the subtlest of our actions, the thoughts behind our words, and the reason behind our thoughts. Just think about it. We are more likely to think about everything wrong, or that could potentially go wrong, in a situation rather than think about the exact opposite. We think that it is completely normal, or we convince ourselves that we are just being cautious, but is that not only because we have all been trained from birth to view things that way?
This excuse called caution is, at most times, just that: an excuse. Perhaps a scenario would enlighten you as to what I mean. Coming from an Asian background, most of us would have at one point or another heard our elders tell us to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or some other job stereotypically associated with security. There are tonnes of reasons for that: prestige, financial security, etc. By going by the default trend, our elders are taking a precaution of sorts so that the opposites of their reasons never become a reality. However, you may notice that most of these reasons give some sort of happiness. Then you may wonder: if the goal is happiness, is this the right way to go about it? Are we in fact not approaching the same thing, but with a negative stance?
The examples can go on and on, but by then, this essay would be too long for you to maintain any sliver of interest, especially since you will start recognising that almost everything in our everyday lives makes the cut.
The irony is that negativity itself is not all that negative. We do need a balance, as with other things. It is the sheer amount that we dare to include in our lives, that suck out all things good. Numerous studies have shown that a small amount of negativity is perceived in the same way as a contrastingly large amount of positivity, so when the balance is tipped, chaos is crowned king. Simply said, it drains us.
We need to balance out that shocking imbalance or we will become robotic workers of a negative world. That does not mean you need to turn your whole life around and put on a pair of spectacles tinted with positivity suddenly. Perhaps, we need to just be open to alternative perspectives in everything around us. It is like in a multiverse, where every small decision and perspective brings about the difference in entire lives. Our default settings may be negative, but it just takes a few proactive actions to change that. Just one small step every day, and if you are anything like me, everything changes for the better. Give it a try, and hopefully this food for thought turns out to be dessert.