During this most unusual of years I’ve watched social media carefully, as I do. It’s the place where I get most of my inspiration, and learn about how many ways people can find to upset and stress themselves, and others.
For those suffering with anxiety and depression, social media is often not a good place to visit. Never more so than now.
Theories and Facts
Social media has been awash with some very alarming theories and ‘facts’, facts that so far I’ve seen no proof of other than someone somewhere says so. Various ‘experts’ have been trotted out, on both sides of the equation, and those who believe one thing the other is an idiot, and vice versa.
Because we don’t know what’s going on, we’ve never had to deal with a pandemic on this scale, it has been a steep learning curve for governments, the medical profession, scientists, and individuals. Obviously mistakes have been made, and it should have been obvious that they would be made.
As you grow through a new process you learn, re-learn, and eventually have a clue what you’re doing, until the next time when it’s different. There was a Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, it spread as far as it did as military people were returning home after the war. It was particularly cruel as many had survived the war, then the flu hit the camps, and their families had to be told that after surviving years of horror they had died, abroad, of the flu.
As you may imagine, people reached back to that pandemic as an example of what we should do during this one, over a century later. In a time when international travel is rife. It was always going to be bad.
Many humans push the responsibility for their lives onto the government, whilst complaining about living in a Nanny state. Opposition parties see their role as constant criticism. MPs and PMs are not medical experts, they are not education experts, they are not scientists, and so on. As such they must rely on the people who are experts to guide them.
It’s been clear throughout this pandemic that some people will try to help, some will do as they please, and many are bewildered.
So What Does This Mean for Anxiety?
It means that you have to distance yourself from what’s going on. If you’ve been, or still are, engaging with social media, the news media, and various conspiracy theories, it’s likely that you will be feeling much worse than you need to. Apart from knowing what it is safe for you to do, you should be focusing your mind elsewhere.
It’s not avoidance, it’s common sense when there are no real answers and few real facts. Why subject yourself to the pressure of the opinions of others when it makes you feel ill and frightened?
When it comes to conspiracy theories, I have a nice upholstered armchair firmly on the fence. Undoubtedly there are things going on in this world that would make my hair stand on end, and probably had a peaceful person reaching for a bat. However, I can’t prove any of those things and frankly I wouldn’t know where to find proof I could trust nowadays. Between computer hackers, the media, and social media, I’m not even sure the truth is out there anymore. There are so many factions interfering in so many things, unless you have absolute proof it’s better to sit back and wait. Work out what you believe when you see some concrete evidence.
This is a bad time, accept that it’s a bad time and it will have affected you, but you have the power to decide how much it’s going to affect you. Never forget that. Your mind is your own, and only you have the power to protect it.
To your happiness