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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.