Social media is an effective way of keeping us connected, isn’t it? The flick of a thumb, the touch of a finger and boom, a plethora of posts at our fingertips. Everyone’s latest updates, everyone’s pictures and statuses and so much more, all accessible for us. Sometimes we can get overloaded. And really that’s the problem, isn’t it? No holds barred, no barrier to stop us from being bombarded, nothing. It can be a mess!
Sometimes social media can be great for encouragement. As someone going through depression, we can find what we need to keep going. Other times, it just drags us down. Do you find that? We look at everyone’s updates and it just makes everything worse. It looks like they’re doing so much better than we are. Everything seems to be going right for them, doesn’t it?
Isn’t that the problem with social media, though? There is no barrier preventing us from getting depressed by what we see. Nothing to stop us from getting mired in that downward spiral, that depressive funk that makes it worse. Or is there?
Social Media and the Barrier
Those of you following the blog will know I’m active on Twitter and Facebook, updating fairly regularly on either and doing my best to interact with followers. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to do the same on our Tumblr and Instagram accounts. Not to spoil the secret or anything but when I go to interact, I search for the hashtags of depression or anxiety to find people to interact with. Now, Twitter and Facebook let me find them without any problems. But Tumblr and Instagram? They have a barrier.
Take Instagram, for example: when I search for #depression, the following message pops up…
Can we help?
Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death.
If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help.
Isn’t that fantastic? You search for something like #depression and Instagram and Tumblr both put up a barrier for you to pass. You literally have to click the “Show Posts” button to be able to access posts of that nature. But they also offer support if you’re suffering.
Isn’t that great?
A Call to Action
For a society that seems to put some form of emphasis on mental health awareness, you would think that the other social media sites would do it too. Facebook and Twitter, with their millions of users, should take similar ownership, wouldn’t you say? Isn’t it time we took that responsibility and offered support? If Tumblr can put up a barrier that forces you to click to accept to go through to the #depression posts and offer links to support services, why can’t Twitter? If Instagram can do it, why can’t Facebook?
Do you think this is a good thing? Would you say Facebook and Twitter need to do something similar? Comment below to let us know!
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