Social media, generally, gets a bad rap. Yes, the way many of us use it only increases anxiety and loneliness, because we are flipping through someone’s vacation pictures and comparing them to our day at work, but we can, and should, be using it to communicate. We have the most powerful tools we’ve ever had at our disposal to break the silence around a million issues, and we should use them.
“When I finally gathered the courage to open Facebook again, I had a torrent of messages and notifications. Most of them carried the same sentiment: I have anxiety, too. While I’d certainly blasted my personal world with my emotional state hoping to get some level empathy, I didn’t anticipate which corners of my social circles would be delivering it. Close friends of mine, people I used to share every secret with, messaged to tell me they’d recently gone through something similar and not talked about it. Acquaintances wrote with ideas and (indeed) some advice. Much of the advice wasn’t especially helpful, but knowing that I wasn’t alone made a world of difference. For months afterward, casual acquaintances told me that sharing my experience actually helped them feel less alone, which I hadn’t even thought about.”
And, you know what’s even better about social media tools like Facebook? If someone tries to shame you, or criticize you for sharing your story, there’s nothing that says you need to be connected with them any longer. A quick click and they’re gone.