Social media can be a great thing, especially during this uncertain time. We can stay connected to friends and family, get news and information, and discover ideas from new ways to exercise at home to art projects to do with kids. However, there may be times when social media can trigger feelings of uncertainty, anger, frustration and sadness, especially during these times of uncertainty.
One of my counseling professors said that when people are distressed, adding more information to distressed system often is of no help at all…in fact, sometimes it can make things worse. Imagine a pool that is filled to the very top. If you add more water, it just overflows. Pretty soon the yard is flooded, and the water bill is sky high with no return on your investment. The same can be said for scrolling through social media during this time IF you are feeling negative emotions. Any news regarding COVID-19, messages that tell us we should be getting more done during this time, stories about all the weight we might gain, seeing how others are home schooling – sometimes seeing all of this can actually make us feel worse.
As this pandemic goes on, each day may feel different for everyone, both physically and mentally. Some days I can scroll through social media and feel okay but on other days, this information does nothing good for me. I find myself feeling sad, frustrated, angry and anxious.
If you are wondering how social media may be impacting you, especially during this unprecedented time, ask yourself some questions. When I see this, how do I feel in my physical body? In my mind? In my heart and gut? If negative emotions come up maybe some time away from social media could be helpful. Additionally, curating your social media by unfollowing anything and anyone that makes you feel bad gives a sense of empowerment and is a good ‘decluttering’ project. Lastly, are you scrolling out of boredom? Habit? Take a breath before you open an app and ask yourself if this is really what you want to do right now. If the answer is no, honor that. Social media will still be there when you get back.