Do you scroll through Facebook or Instagram and get a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out)? Does the news hitting your feed make you feel depressed? You went to the comments section, didn't you? Don't ever go to the comments section!
It is so common for my clients to come in and talk about how social media is very triggering for them. I've heard about sexual assault cases on Facebook bringing up old memories, Timehop reminding you of painful times in your life or learning that your family has some disturbing views.
There's not a week that goes by that I don't hear from someone feeling emotionally triggered by what they are seeing online. In fact, "University of Missouri researchers found that some test subjects exhibited signs of a type of schizotypy known as social anhedonia. This condition is the inability to feel happy from activities that one would normally enjoy, including interacting with others. People who experience this have fewer Facebook friends, share fewer photos and participate less" (source). Wow!
A few years ago, I made this video about how social media is triggering you. I feel since then, it has become more and more relevant. We've become more addicted to our phones and social media than ever, plus we are bombarded with media every single day.
What are some steps you can take to help yourself right now?
1. Delete Social Media apps from your phone so you can only access them through the browser. This helps create another barrier to getting to them as quickly and can help reduce time spent on these sites.
2. Unfollow people, groups, news outlets, etc from showing up in your feed. Here's info on how to unfollow. I actually stopped all of our local news from appearing in my feed. I don't even see when my friends comment on their stuff anymore.
3. Start following groups and people who are sharing positive messaging. I even have a Facebook group dedicated solely to this!
4. Read How to Break Up with Your Phone (you'll thank me later).
If you're struggling and need help with what social media triggered in you, give me a call at 317-279-5022 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi there, I'm Arielle a licensed therapist on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. I am an Army Veteran, meme connoisseur and watercolorist.