Working On Us – Week 10

illustration of a brain encircled by the words mental health matters

It’s week 10 of the working on us mental health prompt series over at Beckie’s Mental Mess.   Please visit her post for details on how to participate.

This week’s topic is social media.

Prompt #1 Questions: 

  1. Does social media affect your overall mental health?  If so, please describe how it does affect you? I don’t think I really use social media enough for it to have an impact on me.
  2. How does it make you feel when you see family/friends posting pictures of them living their life happily?  I only use social media for blog-related purposes, so I’m not connected to people I know in real life.  I have no desire to see people living (pretend) happy/perfect lives.  Sometimes I’ll get sucked in and look up people I used to know in real life, but I try to avoid that most of the time.
  3. Do the following people make you feel inadequate in any way due to your mental health?    I’m very selective about who I connect with on social media.  Almost everyone I follow either has a mental illness or posts mental health positive content.
  4. What has been your overall experience with social media?  And, what sites do you follow?  It’s been pretty positive, and that has a lot to do with being really selective in how much I use it and who I’ll follow.  I’m on Twitter and Pinterest, and more recently I started using Instagram and LinkedIn.
  5. Have you considered not being on social media?  I had a Facebook account back in the day, but other than that I didn’t use social media until I started blogging.  I have no particular attachment to social media now, but it can be a nice way to connect with other people in the mental health community.
  6. If you have quit social media sites, has it improved your mental health and stability?  When I stopped using Facebook a number of years ago, it was because seeing other people’s wonderful lives made me feel crappy about myself, so quitting was definitely a positive thing.
  7. Has social media ever triggered you in a negative way?  Explain how?  There are a lot of people I follow on Twitter who I rarely if ever interact with.  Sometimes that means that in my feed I see messages from people about being suicidal in a very imminent sense.  I find that distressing because if it’s someone I don’t know from a hole in the ground I just don’t have the capacity to take that on.  There have been times I’ve chosen to unfollow because of this or because of sharing graphic self-harm images.  I want to support the people I’m genuinely connected with, but I have to have limits for my own wellbeing.

 

Prompt #2  We are all familiar with “Selfies”  Describe for us, what is the first thing you think of when you see your family/friends keep sending and/or posting selfies?

In general popular culture terms I think there’s a hyper-fixation on selfies, with the mentality that something didn’t truly happen if a picture wasn’t shared on social media.  I really noticed this when I was travelling in Italy last year.  Instead of actually looking at the attractions a lot of people seemed focused on getting the perfect selfie.

To answer the prompt question, though, no one sends me selfies, so it’s not really an issue.

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20 thoughts on “Working On Us – Week 10

  1. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    Hi, Ashley! Thank you so much again for always participating in this series. I couldn’t agree with you more on your answers to questions #2 and #7, as well as the Prompt #2.
    My personal experience with social media is I find so many people either vein, or self -absorbed with the self picture taking, and as you said the “pretend” notion of everything being so “Wonderful all of the time.”
    I weaned myself off FB and Instagram although the accounts are still open. WordPress is my forum. I find that people here are more real, in touch with reality, and the overall experience of having the positive connection with my fellow bloggers most rewarding.

    I would reblog you post the normal way, but your reblog option is MIA. So, I’m going to repost this on my site the old fashion way of copying & pasting it.
    Thank you again, for being a significant participant on “Working on Us” 💚

  2. Meg says:

    Great answers!! You use all the social media sites I don’t, and vice versa. I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with Facebook, and it’s been working out for the past three years or so, for the first time ever. If you ever get back on FB, feel free to send me a friend request!! 🙂

    • ashleyleia says:

      I actually tried to join Facebook recently to join a writer’s group, but I guess they decided I’m not an actual human because they immediately disabled my account 😉

      • Meg says:

        Facebook did? Yikes!! That seems odd!! But be careful with writers groups!! I’ve had some bad experiences, but I don’t know if it’s a “Meg” thing or a general issue. Writer’s groups can be sort of … intimidating. But I can’t imagine why FB disabled your account!! I’d complain. Hmmph.

        • ashleyleia says:

          It was a group for Medium, the other platform I write in, and it seems like having the connections of that group is valuable for growing on the platform. To dispute Facebook disabling you have to send them an image of your phot ID, to which I say hell no.

  3. Liz says:

    I just reading here in above where you commented to say you just changed your plan a few days ago. It will explain why I have had to re-follow you. I had not seen your posts since this one, so catches up. It seems the wonkyness with WordPress that happens knocked me off from following you via the reader, because I didn’t unfollow.

    • ashleyleia says:

      I’m not sure if that’s the plan change or not. It seems to have happened to a number of people recently, and I’ve discovered there were several people I mysteriously unfollowed.

  4. Hannah Celeste says:

    Very nice! I agree with your response to question #2, and I love that you pointed out that social media perfection and happiness is quite fake! Also, you response to #7 reminds me of a quote that I heard: “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”

  5. Carol Anne says:

    I am on twitter, and have seen people post really graphic things on there about suicide like plans, and self harm, like what they did, photos etc. Its a huge trigger for me so I don’t go on there often, and I have also unfollowed people due to doing that sorta thing. As for fb, I am on there but when my friends weren’t responding to me it triggered me and so did seeing tons of likes comments on friends posts, for some reason that was a huge trigger and made me feel inadequate so I don’t go on their often now at all. XX

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