Many persons are living in a disconnected time since SARS-CoV-2 hit. As a part of the human population became busy battling the disease, others sheltered in place trying to stay as safe as possible, another portion of folx looking for work, still others turning to those ideas and dreams of being or doing something different than what they had been involved in BC (Before Covid) times.
The internet was a boon to many working from home, education from home, finding services via the internet, and providing connectivity to those we wanted to stay in touch, from family and friends to colleagues. And most of the world is run via social media platforms to reach audiences for news, entertainment, activism, and business. The choices and possibilities are endless, if one has the means to access them.
Some persons hit the internet and fell into the rabbit warren of distraction. For persons with anxiety and self-esteem issues, the tumble down the rabbit holes exacerbated feelings of self-worth: How many likes did I get on my post? How many people are following my account? Was I funny enough? Did I pick the right selfie?
It’s easy to get lost in that world. The seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes wrote about self-doubt and being in the world as part of the human existence:
“A statement “I think; therefore I am” was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place.” (1)
No matter the generation, people want to matter, to be heard, to exist. When it becomes a life receiving validation from outside sources and where it disrupts one’s ability to live a life, to achieve goals, doubt self-worth, it may be time for some changes.
Many mental health organizations and mental health professionals suggest the following:
- Go on a social media pause for a week up to a month.
- Set a timer and when it goes off, that’s the daily amount of social media interaction.
- Disable one account for every 2-3 accounts for a period of 6 months.
- Limit access to newsfeeds.
Of course, utilizing social media platforms for business will limit many persons in accessing personal interests, so that’s one area that may be exempt from the social media pauses.
If you decide to utilize one of the social media pauses, use the extra time to engage in real time activities, keeping to social distancing and masking, with friends or family, enjoy time outdoors if possible, restart or find new hobbies or interests.
If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, please reach out to a mental health professional.
Take care, and stay safe,
*The title comes from various sources: the caterpillar smoking a hookah asks Alice, “Who are you?” from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and from The Who’s 1978 title track, “Who Are You” album.
(1) “Cogito, ergo sum”; Encyclopaedia Britannica 12 February 2016
Social media is not intended to replace therapy with a qualified mental health professional. All posts are for educational purposes only. If you are in need of assistance for mental health services, please check with your primary care provider, Psychology Today, Better Help, Good Therapy or your insurance company to find the nearest mental health professional.
If you are in crisis, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255, use the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741741 or dial 9-1-1.