Online Self-Care: Guarding Against Vampires

Ryan Olah
October 19, 2018

Have you ever paused in the middle of a bad day and realized that you can’t quite figure out how your emotional outlook took that wrong turn down Shitty Lane? Nothing terrible happened at home. Work is great and the boss is happy. Despite a quick pulse check on all the major life happenings, you can’t put your finger on why it seems like you’re stuck in the swamp of despair.

And then it hits you. You lost your faith in humanity after seeing a once-beloved friend post some alt-right-ish content to her timeline. After questioning her morality, and wondering what happened to her critical thinking skills, you silently mourn for the friend you knew—and then it all snowballs from there. There’s a cloud over your day, and you just can’t shake it.

Congratulations, you let the vampire in.

According to certain types of vampire tales, a bloodsucker cannot enter a human’s home without an invitation. In order to become prey, a welcoming host acts as an unwitting participant in their own demise. You let your guard down, and all of a sudden, some creature is drinking your life force like a milkshake. In other words, you played yourself.

Vampires that feed on our emotions and energy are all around us, and social media provides a 24/7 casino-style bloodbank buffet for their suckage. Here’s a quick list of some of the most common types:

Since the 2016 election, I’ve been trying to be mindful of how my emotions are affected by what I consume from my timeline. When I realize something’s bringing me down, I make notes of those feelings and try not to inflict more harm through repeated exposure. If you’ve noticed yourself falling prey to the timeline vampires, here are some things you  can do to keep from becoming one of the undead.

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have some other vampire types or tips to share, please drop a comment—I’d love to hear how you preserve your emotional integrity without swearing off social media entirely.

OK, signing off for a bit, gotta go check the latest POTUS tweet…