Sunday, December 11, 2016
Is It Time To Take a Break from Social Media?
I must admit I've been finding to hard to blog or tweet or do anything on social media these days. It's just getting too crazy out there.
The blogosphere is too gloomy, Twitter is a smoking battlefield.
And it's hard to make people laugh as I like to do, when so many of the people I know are either in a deep depression, or angry, or terrified by what might lie ahead.
And with good reason...
For who knows what Donald Trump might do when he becomes President?
And the uncertainty is making a lot of people sick or sicker.
With an administration forming around President-elect Donald Trump, the mood in the psychotherapy space has transitioned from anticipation and worry to fear and despair.
Prior to the election, 52% of Americans reported that the presidential race was a very significant or a somewhat significant source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association, and this was true across party lines.
In the weeks since the election, many of my patients have come to therapy with anxiety, fear and worry. One patient said she felt a high level of “uncertainty” around what a Trump presidency would mean for her due to limited information about his policies. Another person reported days of often crying uncontrollably. Frequent checking and worries about the future are key features of anxiety disorders.
Especially since Trump is also showing signs of going over the deep end...
And the whole world trembles at the thought of what he might do or tweet next...
Will it be meaningless drivel or more lies? Will he start a war with China, or bring down the global economy?
But of course all of the above is amplified in our internet age. So I was interested to see the Guardian writer David Sax suggest that in these turbulent times, we should take a break from social media.
I noticed that Twitter, Facebook and other digital forms of communication fed and nurtured my very real anxiety until it consumed me. Whenever I turned to the internet for a distraction, and even a possible sense of reassurance, I was instead sent reeling to the worst corner of my psyche.
Not so long ago, the internet was a reliable escape from the harsh reality of the world. Today, it is the reality we need to escape from.
Like many others, I am seeking comfort away from the screen. The only things that seem to make any sense, and to lighten the darkness, are those precious moments offline. Listening to a record. Escaping into the pages of a familiar paperback. Playing board games with friends. Seeking refuge from the uncertainty fed up so efficiently online, in ways that feel grounding and familiar.
Stop letting social media play such a big role in our lives.
As Rick Mercer seems to be suggesting here...
Although he also seems a bit agitated, which is worrisome.
So maybe this might be a better solution for all of us not just Grandpa ...
Or maybe we could send one to Trump to keep him distracted for days, especially in the middle of a crisis.
Or maybe we could just remember that thank goodness we live in Canada.
And it's that time of the year...
The world may be going to hell in a bucket.
But life must go on, and in our peaceful and relatively sane Canada real is good.
It's starting to look a lot like winter in The Great White North.
And it has never looked better....