Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Autism Answer: Your Personal "News Feed"

I was startled this morning when I looked at my Facebook news feed. It seemed that overnight my friends had all become adolescent boys! 

Posts and jokes rife with immature attempts at shocking folks for a laugh lunged at me from my computer screen. Celebrity pics and gossip strutted proudly, while young attempts to make a point with in your face imagery and language stood begging for attention and comments. There was a noticeable lack of my usual news feed celebrations, photos of nature, and love-the-earth type links.

Quite quickly I realized I had found myself in a world of my son's making, that I was accidentally immersed in his news feed and friends, his Facebook family. 

I was mostly relieved--both to know that my friends hadn't drastically changed, and to know with certainty that I'm glad to no longer be adolescent!

It was a nice reminder too. We tend to create our own personal news feeds wherever we go. We choose how we focus and where we focus, we surround ourselves (mostly) with people and places of our choosing. Heck, our search engines are even kind enough to suggest links that they've "learned" we will be most interested in! It's convenient and kind, but also a small sort of lie.

I don't mind this at all, but I find it fantastically important to remember it! It's easy to feel certain that the world is what you see, and to forget the beautiful truth that the world is so much more than that.

There is power in this knowledge. If you find that the world is combative, perhaps step away and look at your habits and choices. If the world seems hyper focused on material things or physical appearance, once again... have a look at your own personal news feed. And know that if you are unhappy with what you see, you can change it!!!

Of course, there is the potential to fool yourself about the world as well. This barely concerns me, because I have a belief system that grows truth and manifests our world directly from thought... however, even without this I would easily understand that knowing the personal nature and choosing of my news feed--and surrounding myself with folks who are vastly different from me--will keep me from becoming a complacent citizen. In all honesty, I became far more of an advocate for the things I love once I purposefully chose to insist on being surrounded by only them.

At home I've been able to create a personal news feed for my family, by highlighting and sharing and "liking" with purpose. I'm not fooled into thinking every home is like ours, I know well that what we think is common, funny, or right is personal to us and possibly the opposite to our neighbor's and the news feed they would create.

But that doesn't mean I shouldn't create with intention! Just that I should remember it's a world born of my creating and to be open to the reality of other different and popular worlds! 

When I remember this truth, that what's taken for granted and assumed in my personal news feed is likely very different from a new friend's, I'm forever patient and happy to explain and share what I know--about autism, organic farming, mixed race relationships, parenting, teenagers, sex abuse, and so much more!! I'm also more than happy to learn what it is that they know and believe about the world that they are immersed in.

Being startled by my son's news feed this morning was a lovely reminder. 

Now, I'm off to peer pressure him into finding friends who post more links about loving trees and less pics about smoking pot.

Tee hee!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)