Arnold declares war on social media

By Matt Perryman

I’d gotten a few minutes into my workout yesterday when Arnold told me that he’s tired of the L-O-W energy radiating from social media.

As cool of a life-goal as it would be to lift with Arnold, he wasn’t down here in lonely New Zealand helping me hike the dumbbells up to my shoulders. This was on the new podcast he’s been putting out since earlier this year. I dig it, since it is short and usually interesting.

It’s weird though, because it’s not really him doing it. They rigged up an AI using his voice. Which is kinda chilling if you’ve ever seen the Terminator.

Yesterday, he got on to the subject of the “crab bucket” of social media. If you don’t know the story, rumor has it that if you put an arm-full of crabs in a bucket, they’ll yank back any of them that try to escape.

You see the same happen on the public internet whenever anybody tries to better themselves. Arnold shared the following:


Some of my friends sent me social media posts of NFL players doing great lifts. One was deadlifting 700 pounds, and the other was jumping with over 300 pounds. I loved it. One of my favorite things is seeing great lifts, no matter who is doing it.

But I noticed the comments were filled with a lot of crap. “I know high schoolers that could do that,” “It doesn’t count on a trap bar,” “I am smaller, and I could do more.”

Those who spend more time on social media than me know this is a major trend. I don’t know what it is about some people that makes them want to embarrass themselves in public by talking crap about other people’s accomplishments. And I can’t imagine how miserable that must make you. To never be impressed or in awe? That’s a depressing life.


Amen.

The fitness world attracts this energy like a bear to a tree full of honey. While competition is good, it magnetizes all these fragile egos and aggressive dimwits.

In the past I have been as guilty as any of joining in the online snipe-fest.

That was not coming from a healthy, centered place of mind. I ask myself, what is the result of these negative habits of thinking and feeling? What good comes from slagging off people out there trying to escape the crab bucket however which way they can?

Nothing. Not one thing. That kind of energy comes from fear, envy, doubt, pity (first directed at your own self), and resentment.

That “dark side” energy is powerful.

First of all, it’s fun. Like back when you could make crank phone calls. Anonymity is its own kind of excitement. And like all fun things people can do in a group, the stakes always escalate. The more you do it, the more others do it, and the more they do it, the more it feeds your own desire.

These apps are designed to encourage this behavior. Large-scale emotional manipulation by the algorithm has been common knowledge for years.

There’s an old Buddhist parable warning that negative emotions are like holding a burning coal tight to your chest. You think you’re hurting the other guy while char-grilling yourself.

After everything I’ve preached about stress and its effects on mind and body health, I’m trying my best not to get burned.

It’s a good bet that if you’re trying to excel in anything, starting with your fitness and health goals, you want to avoid all this as much as possible. Feed your mind with more than cheap junk-food.

For high-quality thoughts in your head, click here and let’s see what I can do for you.

Matt Perryman

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