I’m Catching That Train, Are You?
So it turns out the news which appears to be trending on Facebook may not be trending anywhere else… And perhaps the news items you see on your own page may be quite different to what your mother is seeing, or your neighbour or your friend. Once again, Facebook has been found not to be as friendly, innocent and transparent as most people think it is. What a surprise!
What’s wrong with personalised service, you might say? Well, nothing. I like it. I enjoy my custom-made orthotics. I love my bespoke book covers. And I adore the fact that Facebook is attempting to manipulate my experience in this way. Because it means they believe they can; and perhaps in this day and age this is exactly what it will take for people to realise there isn’t just one version of the world out there! Facebook knows it. The media know it. There is a reason they are feeding us their preferred interpretation of events. But no worries. I’m sure they’re just being helpful.
Talking of the media, a friend recently had to travel to the US and Canada to visit family, and she was extremely worried because the terrorist attacks in Belgium had just occurred. Quite understandably a lot of people were probably feeling the same way. And when I advised her not to dwell on it so much, my friend said it was impossible because the bad stuff was all over the place: on TV, in the news, on social media, she believed she could not escape it…
But whose choice is it really? What would happen if we turned the TV off, did not watch the news for a while, got off Facebook, and instead spent the time we have available filling our universe with the things that make us feel happy, peaceful, excited and empowered? How would our world change then? I was away somewhere with no TV and limited Wi-Fi when the Brussels events took place, and for those precious three days I did not even know it had happened. This means that in my world at least, it had not. Seems like a weird and crazy thing to say, right? But Facebook and Co know for sure it is far from crazy, and they are making the most of it while they can.
Once you know what they know, the challenge (and an exciting one at that), is to carry these learnings out there into the world. To not just study this stuff, and understand how it works, but to actually put it into practice. So I have been letting go of what is holding me back in life, one shackle at a time. Most of them are based on fear, and paradoxically, sometimes it can appear terrifying to let go. Like, what’s going to happen if I quit my job, my comfortable and steady money-maker? But that is up to me, right? So I am turning on the pressure, getting ready to jump tracks, and it is most interesting to notice the reactions from some of my friends now. Up to a point they were happy to indulge ‘The Great NLP Change’ in me. They said it was wonderful, they said they were pleased for me. But now when I share and discuss my plans with them they tell me to wait. They tell me to hang in there a bit longer, where it is ‘safe’, and ‘see what happens’. Don’t rush, they advise. Be careful. My friends try to fit my plans into their old models, and they find that they cannot… And then they give me the best gift of all, that of experiencing my own fear, reflected back to me through their own comments and reactions.
So thank you, and I am done with it now. Hey, I do know I sound absolutely nuts sometimes, friends! But I make sense to myself, and I dare say that’s okay. So here I stand on the platform now, watching the train to my preferred version of the world enter the station. It is a great place to be, about to embark on a new adventure. I am definitely jumping on board. And I will even save you a seat if you want to come!
“Fortune befriends the bold.” – Emily Dickinson