Can social media family be a safe place to share mental status?
This issue is taken back from the death of a Bollywood actor. This was the time when my continuous cycle of social media activation and deactivation was in continuum. The initial reason of the actor’s suicide was considered to be ‘’depression’’. ( I don’t want to talk about further investigation hypotheses as this topic is related to my first impression after the news of demise flashed out). At that period of time, enough time to overthink in an empty mind, closure of businesses and college was subconsciously wriggling inside me. Then I started fearing my mind myself. I could strongly feel my mind wasn’t being diverted, as nothing enthusiastic was going on a daily basis. It aroused my fear towards my family members, I mean who knows? A smiling face has thousands of reasons to cry. Suicide rate was skyrocketing. I felt helpless. I have realized in lockdown that people say that they are busy with their work, life etc. but even if they have enough time let’s take lockdown for example, people stopped asking how life was treating them after a month or so. So, a busy schedule can never be the reason to ignore. I would be more convinced if people say they didn’t want to sneak through someone’s personal life and that would be a good reason at least for an introvert like me.
The thing that really grabbed the attention of people during the pandemic were issues of ‘’Mental Health’’. Immediately, after the news broke out, people started posting about depression, mental helplines, recommended doctors, posted awareness posts, pledging to open up about their mental struggles. This gesture was welcomed by the majority of populations.This sudden concern suffered massive backlash too, people were saying, ‘’Oh now everybody is concerned about mental health’’, ‘’Are you psychologists and counselors, all of you?’’ I will not defend any group, both parties had some point. However I would take the positive aspect of initiating a conversation, a light was guided to a ignored subject from human life, mental health.
As per my perception ( keeping in mind that perceptions are subjective), ‘’Social Medias’’ cannot be a safe place to expose. The most commonly reported and seen crimes that occur on social media involve people making threats, bullying, harassing, and stalking others online. While much of this type of activity goes unpunished, or isn't taken seriously, victims of these types of crimes frequently don't know when to call the police. A lot of crime rates are increasing due to the hints from social media for eg. relationship between sharing about personal updates and kidnapping. You never know with what intention the other person is keeping an eye on you. Next, suppose if I post a story indicating that I am not feeling well, or I am having anxiety etc, how many of you will reach out? A handful of people at maximum. My issues might be buried for the gossip and imagining what might be the case. How many of you will genuinely ask to help me out ? Even if you do, I might not be comfortable sharing with you, or I might just reply, ‘’It’s nothing’’ and divert the topic because exposing a personal life is not easy as said. Or even if you want to help me so badly but you are just so uncomfortable to ask for because we have never talked in social media then you will ignore it because of the awkwardness.
There were times when people called a person suffering from a mental health issue as ‘’insane’’ just like that. It’s even more hilarious that social media who judges physical appearance, English speaking ability, colour, caste, dreams, intelligence, choice of partner/profession talking about mental health. I have read somewhere that suicide warning signs are negative view of self, a sense of hopelessness fro future, isolating or feeling alone, feeling like burden to others, aggressiveness, substance abuse, self harm, engaging in ‘’risky behaviours etc bt aren't they to a certain degree is being encountered by a person everyday in his/her life, isn't it? I agree that when you are having a bad day and you read a motivating caption or a quote, it might have generated so much of positivity, a feeling that you don’t feel these alone, there are numerous. Having said that, social media exposure to mental health awareness, making others feel that they always have friends to share is a good initiative but it’s not as easy as said. Social Medias can definitely be the mental health friendly platform only if we realize our mistakes when someone posts issues regarding such issues. More importantly, to be a mental health friendly social media there are a lot of things a man should improve, which will be written on my next blog about how we react when such issues come up and where we lag.