I have found that the need for neutrality when being online is the best approach for protecting one’s mental health.Tweet
It’s no secret that social media is a modern wild-west of sorts. A fact that I think is sad, considering it held so much promise. Now, if you spend time clicking away on any one subject, you will see nothing but what you saw. So, if it goes against your values, it may cause elevated levels of anxiety. Copious amounts of this can trigger one to respond. Thus, increasing your angst. The way I see it, online social networks are mental illness creators. And for some? It makes their mental health condition worse.
In my case, it has become “all” things mental health. It’s a part of what I do to help others like me. While this has helped me reach others, I find that it – if left unchecked – can hinder my healing. How? Well, if I choose to dedicate too much time to the internet, all I see is mental health-related challenges. Getting caught in the whirlwind that these platforms call algorithms would only see me inundated with nothing but mental health – and it does.
Since taking on the role of mental health advocate, I had to set limits with these platforms. After all, if it impacts my progress, it defeats the purpose. Furthermore, how can I be a help to anyone if my already fragile health goes down the tubes?
Social media and mental health
The short answer? I couldn’t.
Despite knowing I must set limits online, I know that it hurts, to a large degree, what I am trying to achieve here as a mental-health blogger. Less time on the internet means fewer views on the blog and less engagement on the most-used internet media.
But – I’m okay with that. The Road To Mental Wellness was meant to inspire others. Thus, the number it helps is arbitrary in a sense. For me, if I have helped one person, the impact for their life is huge. For my own sake though, I need to strike a balance between what’s best for me and the help I am able to give.
Let’s face it, social media can be a downright nasty place. It’s full of trolls and people who feel empowered to be, say and do as they please. Have a point of view? Share it and see what happens. Regardless of what you’re into, the mean and nasty counter arguments are murder on mental health.
The need for neutrality
For us, the mentally ill, I think there is a need for neutrality. For instance, I do my best to accept the fact that: one, people have opposing views and two, those heartless individuals don’t know anything about me. Therefore, I take a neutral position. That is to say, that I choose not to respond. I clearly know my track record that is my life. As a result, nasty people don’t deserve a response. Why? Because they are wrong! Sometimes those who are wrong don’t deserve to be corrected.
I know that we are putting ourselves out there and trying to help others, but is it really worth your mental health to constantly have a go at your social media presence? Only you can decide, but if I had to guess, I would say that the algorithms of these addictive platforms are not good. Furthermore, the needless nastiness is a force that can wear down the most mentally robust people.
“While it may be true that the internet can forget you the moment you take a break, it’s like all things – social media requires balance.”Jonathan Arenburg – The Road To Mental Wellness.
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In the end, likes, follows, and shares are great in terms of reach, but I think it is more important to make your own mental health a priority. In my view, mental-health advocation is a long game. Like therapy, it takes time, balance, and self-care to go the distance.
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