Social Media As Therapy?

December 4, 2016

One thing I am learning after this election: how to handle toxic content.  I want to be informed. I want to kill my ignorance on subjects from the grain to the lot. I suspect this effort requires a compulsive urge, not a healthy curiosity of a business analyst. I belong to the population that was on the cusp of  technological change in communication and access to information.  I was taught the Dewey Decimal System as a tool for research, not Wikipedia. I did not grow up with a cell phone.  The internet still had a slow analog-like interaction, by the time I got an IBM PS/1 (an upgrade from the Commodore 64).

I belong to the population that was on the cusp of  technological change in communication and access to information.  I was taught the Dewey Decimal System as a tool for research, not Wikipedia. I did not grow up with a cell phone.  The internet still had a slow analog-like interaction, by the time I got an IBM PS/1 (an upgrade from the Commodore 64).

So, here I am witnessing historical changes (good or bad), full of emotion. I now have to contemplate how to step away from the easy access of information.  I want to learn.  Although, like with anything, moderation is key.  Too much toxic information can obscure your flexibility.  Facts are good things, but if click bait pumps your blood pressure to get your attention, you may have to re-think your avenues of access for the health of your own psyche.

Facebook is too much if you post the things that are intense and illicit strong reaction.  Their algorithms can pigeonhole you in a box you never intended to build nor stay in. It can attract click bait that is just too much to witness or consume.

In order to practice effective self-care, you have to relegate your feed to 1-minute cooking demos, puppies & kittens.  It is hard to have your heart wound up 24/7.  Sometimes it is just best to switch the feed and chill on a scenery photo or a yule log fire.

Social media as therapy can help you express your anger at unfair situations, but to get that angry would be evidence of how your social media platform interpreted your post as an invitation to feed you incensing images, rants, monologs, scenarios, and social happenings which are not very therapeutic. In fact, such emotional irritations would be best left to more constructive  offline action as the go for relief.

At that moment, social media loses its altruistic intentions of keeping you and me informed, but inextricably tied to fast reaction and high emotion for the benefit of an innocuous push on the keyboard equivalent to a click.

Maybe social media can empower you by informing you, but beware of the manipulative nature of the content you consume.  You can end up injured psychologically from too much negativity and noxious words such as:  “bigot”, “hate”, “rape culture”, “puppy abused”,  strolling into your subconscious.

Can social media be a good outlet if it unintentionally brings back to you what you try to release?