Seeds of Thought

I sat down on my daughter’s bed last night and snuggled in – a rare treat with a teen. Forcing a little closeness and it felt good. She carried on swiping through her phone with a dexterity that can only come from practice, liking photos of barely friends with a heart. She stopped at one whose look she objected to, took a screen shot and sent it to a friend: why? Why? Why? She asked her friend rhetorically.

‘The internet makes us all so judgmental’, I said to her. She could only nod her head.

We all have seeds of thoughts: little seeds of negative thoughts, when we don’t like a person’s choice of dress, or hair or actions. Dreams of holidays where the sea is clear and turquoise blue and the sand glides through our toes. Cravings for interiors that are clean and white and velvety grey. Wanting that gorgeous pair of boots, that dress, those shoes, that cashmere jumper to keep us toasty warm, because the nights are drawing in. Small seeds of worry, where we imagine that a rash is a fatal disease and a stomach ache is Cancer. Harmless seeds of fantasy, where sex is hot and horny.

The internet is the greenhouse for these thoughts. It germinates them quickly and they grow. They grow far bigger and stronger than they would without the hot house of the web.

Before you know it, you have put it in your basket and because it already knows your password, that seed of thought is quickly and easily real. Next day delivery is the icing on the cake. No need to wait. To ponder. One minute left to bid on E Bay creates an urgency and a need that a shopping centre can’t provide.

Before you know it you are sure you’re really ill. You wonder how many different ways you can write your symptoms in the search engine to get the answers to concur. You get an emergency appointment, to find your doctor disagrees. You decide she must be wrong, until you get better and you know, on that occasion she was right.

Before you know it you hate your child’s teacher because they failed to notice that your child was a little wet. All the other mothers on the internet agree: it’s outrageous! How could she not have noticed? (I mean, really: only 35 children in the class and a child who didn’t tell her). The seed has grown into a venomous plant. That seed of doubt about the teacher has turned into child abuse and neglect and everyone talking about it on the internet agrees. Horse shit on the roots that make the poisonous plant grow stronger and out of control.

Before you know it, your son’s seed of sexual fantasy is easily planted and is growing in to a monster that is never satiated and is uncontrolled. Unrealistic expectations create unrealistic relationship goals.

Before you know it you find yourself asking: why? Why? Why? Rhetorically.

Because we know what the internet is capable of; but once those seeds of thought take root, the genie has left the bottle and they grow.

Image result for a seed growing

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8 thoughts on “Seeds of Thought”

  1. This is so true. That seed grows so much faster with the internet feeding and watering it at such a rate. It’s so hard not to be judgemental and I try so hard with my teens to get them to think of positive aspects of a post and not to say anything that they wouldn’t want to hear themselves. The trouble is that social media doesn’t allow that moment to be taken – we are all guilty of reacting so quickly and what may have been an innocent action could have consequences so much bigger than we could possibly have ever imagined – great read! #BloggerClubUK

  2. You write like a dream Alison, I’ve gobbled up your homepage here… You are absolutely spot on too, the internet can be an incubator for negativity (love your greenhouse analogy and all of your analogies here) but then equally positivity and kindness grows there too and tenfold. I suppose there can’t be one without the other. I love how you’ve normalised and naturalised bad thoughts here because we all judge. I had CBT after a traumatic birth with Oliver and I remember the therapist reassuring me at my darkest of moments that we all have bad thoughts, that it’s vital not to try and combat them as that can be fruitless and often impossible. What should have scared me was in fact liberating and helped eventually stop the incessant worries. I’m not a naturally jealous person, never have been but I’ve been at the receiving end of some harsh negativity this last year. I’ve been reminded judgement is normal through it though, envy too at times and that what matters is to truck on with your plans, not allowing anyone to stop you, surrounding yourself with those who want the best for you whilst remaining as understanding as possible. I hope you win the Best Writer award x

    1. Thank you so much for all your comments Vicki, they mean an awful lot to me. Your point about trucking on with our plans, regardless of negativity from others really resonates with me. I think the older I get, the more I realise that it is ok to truck on and I have the confidence to believe in myself x

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