It used to just be a place to connect with loved ones. A place to share pictures. A means of staying in touch with people. A way of finding out information through a simple “search” on Google. A place to follow blogs or the news to stay up-to-date. Now, media and social media have become so much more than those things. It’s become a place of tension. It’s become so controversial that people stop talking to family members or lose friendships. It’s a form of getting news to travel quickly - whether it’s real or fake.
What media most impacts you?
Months ago, #metoo overtook the internet, news, and social media platforms. It was a source of contention, stress, support, and oftentimes a trigger to some’s trauma. For myself, I use social media platforms to connect with the Kansas City community, to provide information and support. Except, every time I opened Instagram or Facebook, I saw yet another #metoo post. This isn’t true for everyone, but for me, seeing this was even more isolating. I fell into the comparison traps of my story against everyone else’s. I devalued my experience at times and felt like I needed to console others other times. An innocent ploy to use social media to connect became something that triggered thoughts and feelings I had worked so hard through.
This is just one example of the power that internet has. Posts can go viral in less than a minute. Relationships can be severed even quicker. Judgment and comparison is the name of the game, and fake information are encouraging people to change opinions and beliefs based on inaccuracy.
Media messages have shaped how we think and take in information. Political, social, personal, cultural, and environmental information is shared with a single click. On March 22nd, Mike Gaziano, MSW, LCSW, will discuss these very things in a 3-hour course.
He writes, “We have been misled as to what are healthy boundaries, appropriate relationship behaviors, and codependency.”
So what do we do?
1. Get informed.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” - Brene Brown
In-person human connection builds empathy, nonverbal communication skills, and significantly improves relationships and self-esteem. Are you connected?
LSCSW, CPT, Millennial Therapist