Social media is a funny thing isn’t it, on one hand it’s a god send, how else would I get to see funny pictures of cats and Ainsley Harriot cooking if my friends didn’t tag me in them online? On the other it’s a burden because you can’t escape other people’s opinions, no matter how much they can hurt.
I love social media at times for the amazing sense of security that it brings, the fact you can reach thousands of other people who have had similar experiences to you in a click of a button is unbelievable when you think about it. When I was a young girl and felt so alone things could have been so different if these technologies were available.
Imagine if, instead of spending years thinking I was strange or worrying what was ahead, I could have just expressed my worries on a twitter chat and be done with it. I feel isolation still exists but you have more of a chance of community in modern times (I’m 23 going on 230) because community is now so accessible and you don’t even have to go out of your front door to obtain it!
As with anything with the good also comes the bad. Although the majority of people I speak to through the internet are kind, caring and wonderful people, there are still many that are frankly idiotic. People that type hurtful, disgusting words on a keyboard because they can’t see the person they’re inflicting pain on, they express damaging views often on parts of humanity that are vulnerable. I call these people a***holes.
Recently I have seen so many detrimental and frankly disgusting opinions shared on social media regarding mental health and so I’m going to bullet point a few – just so we know what we’re dealing with here;
- those with mental illness shouldn’t be able to have children’
This is ridiculous, mental illness does not equate danger. and repeat. I think teaching children ignorance is okay is much more damaging. Many can have mental illness and live a full and ‘normal’ life and so this claim is totally unsubstantiated . Remember anybody at any time can suffer with their mental health, it isn’t an exclusive club and I for one think I’ll make an amazing mother one day.
- I have OCD, I love cleaning and hoovering Now I don’t have OCD but I do know this is really offensive. OCD isn’t a quirk, it’s an illness that can be totally debilitating and so to make light of it being you enjoy to hoover or dust is really damaging. You wouldn’t have a headache and describe it as a tumour so why is it acceptable to self diagnose a mental illness and trivialise an illness that can be really difficult for others.
- *makes cruel joke about mental health* I was only kidding, god why you so uptight it was a joke Joke implies something funny. Making light of an illness isn’t funny and if you didn’t mean anything by it maybe think how your words had come across. It’s like the bully at school always described their actions as a joke because it meant they could get away with it, they could justify it. Actually if your deliberately being cruel about an illness you’re not funny, you’re an idiot.
- Why do you blog about stuff like that, it must be for attention?!
Blogging isn’t for attention, not in my case or the countless other bloggers I have met online. I for one blog about mental health because I think the internet is a really useful tool to share the truth. To share positive views on mental health and rid stigma. I don’t blog because I like the attention, it’s actually difficult discussing painful memories. I blog because my experiences can help others. My experiences are much more common than others realise and so by talking about them it removes that taboo, that fear. It can be difficult to do and so celebrate bloggers who aim to rid stigma, they’re the change we need in this world
Finally let’s think about social media, yes it’s both a great and bad thing but ultimately its a tool. A tool to connect with others, to motivate and support your peers and to inform people on things they may not have much knowledge about. It’s also great to share a selfie that boots your confidence and watch funny videos, like that little cat dancing with a sombrero on its head (WATCH IT HERE, your welcome) and to share happy memories.
Lets use social media as a tool to better ourselves not as a platform for tools to try to belittle us.
As usual, remember it’s okay to talk