The attractions and dangers of social media.
Anxiety, depression, Social media. not really a good mix is it? or is it?
The modern world has made us more connected, and at the same time, less connected. The contradiction of the online world is that we engage via text, and image with people, many of whom we will never meet In Real Life.
For those of us that have low self-esteem, Anxiety problems, or incipient depression the dismissive comment, the casual dis, or the Outright troll can be a devastating thing. You can put your opinion out there, your thoughts and feelings, then get ripped apart.
How do you deal with this, how do you take this world and make it work for you, without falling in to the trap of feeding the troll, or creating a self reinforcing opinion group? That is the big question isn't it.
Well, I do not claim to have all the answers, but I have found things that work for me. Let me give you some indication of where I am coming from here.
A few years ago I was very active online with Social Democratic sites, writing and even blogging. I spent time and effort researching and writing for two or three Social democratic Sites. but ovr time I started to notice the comments were getting populated by the troll, by the nasty comments, by outright insults. It is a thing that happens on line in politics, if you start to get a rep, the troll will pull you down. It takes a thick skin to deal with this, and unfortunately I had never developed that knack. So I gave up.
Yes the trolls had won, but so what. What had I actually lost? I can still write, I can still send my posts and pieces to websites if they ask for them, I just do not ask for a byline, or link. That way I can still do what I love, and avoid the trolls.
But your facebook page, your twitter account, your tic-toc, how do you deal there. Well, BLOCK. do not feed the troll, unfriend, Block and get rid of that negativity, but do it with thought. Do not block real life friends, unless they have really stepped over the line. Take time out. go social free for a few days, this also lets you know if you are becoming too reliant on the social media.
Yes, During the lockdowns we have treat the social media as our outlet and our connection to others, but here is a world out there. Full of wonder, and life, and people, things to do things to see things to experience.
Look at it this way. How many people post pictures of the food on their plate? WHY? how many of them actualy look at it, smell it, taste it, and then describe it with passion?
If it is your job to be a food critic, or promoter, then fine, but at least do a good job, make people feel and imagine what is there. Otherwise all you are doing is going "look at me". And you will attract the troll.
Social media is like any addiction. Yes ADDICTION. it can have bad side effects.
So rules for surviving in a connected world.
1) Use it, do not abuse it. And that also means do not let it abuse you.
2) Connect with people, and control your connections. Don't accept friends requests from friends of friends unless you actually know them.
3) give other peoples opinions the value they deserve. Unless it is constructive, dismiss criticism. Block the troll do not feed them.
4) find time to leave the computer, or phone alone. Ignore it, put it on silent. ( allow only friends and family to get through).
If it is making you anxious, making you depressed, giving you problems. Give it up.
Your life is too short to be allowing strangers to dull the shine. If they are not making you feel good, then what are they worth to you?
After all, you pay for the wifi, you pay the phone contract, you pay for the internet connection. Why pay for trouble?