Compelling social media visuals keep you lured for more

When the Towers came down on September 11 in 2001 most of the images and videos were shared on TV and via email from a few sources on the world wide web.

It was compelling to watch in an anxiety-inducing, heart-wrenching and luring sort of way.

I watched it at work and had to inform (interrupt) a class full of American pilots to let them know their country was under attack. They left class to call home while the rest of us watched on any screen around the work place for further developments.

At some point a few days later I had to disconnect and occupy myself with other things. I felt myself develop emotional triggers, PTSD and anxiety over all of the unknowns. The images kept resurfacing and it was hard to put them out of my mind.

Despite the horrors I witnessed on various screens, I wanted to know more. We all did. We were afraid, confused, and continuously compelled.

The internet was a new-ish thing back in the early 2001. It seemed so endlessly full of constantly new information, so that’s where we turned for supplemental or additional information to what the networks were reporting on TV. There were no smartphones back then… or if there were, most people didn’t have them yet.

TV was still a prominent feature in our lives, but the internet had immediate and sometimes unfiltered information available which gave us a new way to consume media.

They were unprecedented times.

Isn’t it strange how today it’s pretty much normal to expect, and receive, instant live, uncensored, unpolished, unedited information 24/7 via a screen we hold in our hands?

We’re still in unprecedented times except under a whole new dynamic now.

Those catastrophic events of the terrorist attacks come to surface now as I watch, against my own better judgement, the search and rescue operations in Turkey and Syria. Even if I don’t follow people on social media who report and showcase personal accounts of the devastating earthquake, it still manages to infiltrate my feed.

It’s difficult to disconnect when our phones are glued to our hands.

I use my phone for business and I use social media to supplement my business. I choose very carefully who or what person or entity I follow on the socials to keep my anxiety levels in check.

But it doesn’t matter. The images show up on my timeline and it’s hard to look away.

One of the topics I follow (on purpose) are Beagle-, or dog-related stories as a form of easy-on-the-heart-and-mind entertainment. The algorithm picks this up and computes that I like dogs and therefore sends me images of sniffer dogs, the type that aid search and rescue operations in places of destruction.

That’s how it works, the algorithm of my social media timeline in the bottomless pit that is the internet.

For instance, one clip showcased the search and rescue teams and their sniffer dogs from various countries who flew in to the earthquake zone: Mexico, Italy, Taiwan, China, Austria, Australia among others. A great effort of combined cultural and ethnic unity jointed together in searching and rescuing for people buried under rubble and debris. Dogs finding people, and pets, in active participation to preserve as many lives as possible.

These stories fascinate but also trouble me. Survivors – victims – video tape the events as they unfold; unfiltered, uncensored and deeply personal. I want to look away but these heart wrenching personal accounts of traumatic experiences pull me in deeper and keep me watching.

Again, it is extremely difficult to look away.

Perhaps the time has come to disconnect for a few days. But I’m not sure I can. When momentum happens in small business, it’s difficult to pull the plug and say “not now”, particularly if social media plays an important role in the business.

To navigate this dilemma of media overload and luring, I decided this week I will give myself a set amount of time to work on the social apps, and the rest of the time I will work in other apps that do not require access to live feeds. There is plenty I can do in Word, Canva and on my Etsy shop that does not require access to TikTok, Instagram or Twitter.

I feel so helpless when I watch the dedicated women and men and their dogs dig through rubble to pull out injured people.

And when the feed injects some political scandal or some drama about UFOs flying over the Great Lakes, I can feel myself slowly bubbling over into full-blown rage.

Seriously, you want me to spend time worrying about political corruption right now? Am I surprised that some of our politicians can’t keep it in their pants? Or understand the meaning of integrity? Should I cry over unidentifiable flying objects that may or may not be spy instruments of foreign countries? Do I care, one way or the other, if we’re being spied on by foreign lands?

Even if I did, there is literally nothing I can do about any of it.

It all gets to be a bit much, don’t you think?

So, yes, I will focus my attention on designs, book editing, book publishing, Etsy products and its marketing campaign and that sort of thing.

And if that doesn’t work?

I can always clean or cook something while listening to my daughter’s indie music playlist. 😀

I know many followers of this blog are not on social media, or are on it in limited capacity. I commend you to keep this up, especially if you’re not working in a field or position where the apps are a part of your enterprise.

But for the rest of us?

Less is more, I think.

If you have any tips, feel free to share. I’m all ears.

Thank you for stopping by my little rant today. I have some news:

If you wanted to read my book The Man from the South but had trouble loading it from my Smashwords page, it is no longer there. I enrolled it in KDP Select and it is now available on and on Kindle. Click here for details.


13 thoughts on “Compelling social media visuals keep you lured for more

  1. I agree with your sentiments on this post 100%! I have a daily 30min timer set on my Instagram, which I normally don’t meet or exceed unless I get caught up watching silly pet vids and/or viewing a lengthy post, plus possibly getting sucked into a scrolling void. I jump on and off Twitter, like you, I mainly use these socials to promote my creative endeavors. As I’m getting older, I prefer more time away from socials since it can be draining, wasteful, and banal depending on how you use it.

    I don’t get how we live in a society where true crime is all the rage, I can’t watch videos of a violent nature since it takes an emotional toll on me. Just hearing the retelling or audio clips is enough to upset me. The world is becoming more desensitized, which should be extremely concerning for us all–what other lengths will people go to for their own gain at the expense of others, just for a like and repost?


  2. I’m more into words than images and on top of that moving images, like TicTok or news videos, appeal to me the least. I realize I’m not the norm, but it does keep me distanced, detached, delighted to not be drawn into the emotional fray.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed, you have to be selective these days what you allow through. I think (I hope) we’re all getting hip to that now. That said, I call my 93yr old mother every day on the way home from work and she spends all day getting twisted up about this cable news story or that. Today it was unidentified flying objects getting shot down all over the place. It’s useless for me to try to talk her down as she doesn’t hear that well, but I still try. “Why don’t you watch a nice movie, mom?” 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I broke the 9/11 news to a Burgerville restaurant and its staff while ordering a bagel and coffee from the drive-through. I’ve never forgotten that. And that whole day at work, we were glued to the TV. It’s probably a good thing smartphones didn’t exist yet; the television footage was distracting enough.

    Liked by 2 people

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