Social media during lock down
Social media - does it help us during lockdown or is it causing more mental health issues during an already difficult time?
Positives of social media
Social media for some, has been very useful during these challenging times of lockdown. It is a way of keeping connected with family, friends and the world; it helps us share experiences and reach out to others and feel part of a wider community.
During lockdown, I noticed a lot more posts being uploaded on social media through people’s news feeds. Some interesting stories, some giving daily updates on their lockdown experience and some providing useful information. It appeared to be helping people get through their days. It has connected the wider community to help each other in difficult times. I have witnessed people connecting to one and another by setting up support groups of help in a time of crisis and lots of wonderful people giving up their time to do what they can.
Is it all positives with social media?
As the days went on during lockdown, I noticed more and more negative posts appearing; some critical, judgemental, condemning, disapproving and some even abusive. This by no means refers to all people using social media - thankfully it is the minority of users.
People were uploading pictures of two people sitting on a bench and condemning them for not social distancing. People posting other people’s names for not social distancing when they were exercising.
There was one post that stood out for me. A photo had been taken of an elderly lady walking with a zimmer frame and a carer by her side; the post stated that the carer was selfish and inconsiderate for taking the old lady out and was referred to as a ‘suicide mission’.
Should people be reaching out to therapy rather than social media?
Social media is a very useful tool. You can ask friends for recommendations, you can send messages of support, it can be used to share positive achievements, it can help businesses connect and advertise, form a study group, find jobs - there are so many more positives social media can offer. Though it does not provide the safety that therapy offers its clients.
Counselling therapy offers a non-judgemental space. A space in which you can feel safe and contained. A space you can explore without fear of being criticised. Personally, I see that carer as kind, considerate, spending her time with the elderly lady. A picture can show so many different versions of the truth, a picture shows the visible reality, but what it does not show us is how they felt that morning or in that moment; it does not tell us their story.
Social media can impact us negatively or positively, we need to be careful on how we expose ourselves on social media, we need to take time to think about what we are posting and how we are using social media.
If you feel you need emotional support, therapy is a safer place to express yourself where your version of the story will be heard and unconditionally accepted without fear of being criticised or judged.