#WATWB November 2020 – Social Media Mental Health and Racism

Well I’m off to a late start again! My biggest good news this week was being able to see a really wonderful friend – and in person too! However, we aren’t here for that purpose.

Our latest #WATWB co-hosts are

Lizbeth Hartz, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, and Roshan Radhakrishnan.

Please hop on over to their pages.

I have long been interested in people and culture. We have such a vast array of them in our world. At times our “otherness” can lead to competition and conflict. At others we enrich each other in our variety.

Image from ABC News – ABC Life November 2020

So when I saw that the Australian ABC had this story on their ABC Life list, I had to have a look. It can be used for other aspects of social media but they have applied to racism.

There are four suggestions. I’ll provide a taster quote for each one and you can go to the link yourselves at your leisure.

Suggestion One: Setting Firm Boundaries for Yourself

“This can include your engagement on social media, who you deal with and how you deal with them,” says Naarm-based counsellor Tigist Kebede.

She has some simple advice to start with.

“Log off. Especially in times of distress or where you feel overwhelmed, having contained periods where you use social media can be life-changing.” For more.

Suggestion Two: Connection is Key

Whether it’s spending more time with (biological or chosen) family, finding a mentor in your workplace or seeking out online communities, prioritise connections with people who share a base-level understanding of what you’re going through.

“Connection — whether it’s to community, to an individual, to others — is about finding your people,” Ms Kebede says.

“It’s not just because they’re the same colour but because they understand your experiences that you can share the load with them.” More on connection.

Suggestion Three: Give Yourself Space to Feel

Experiencing racism can overwhelm us with anger, anxiety and pain. It can impact us in many ways: mentally, physically and spiritually.

Rather than bury your feelings, “check in with yourself” is Ms Kebede’s advice.

“It’s about holding space, compassion and empathy for yourself and for your needs. If you feel you want more.

Suggestion Four: Reclaim the Narrative

In Professor Carlson’s experience, it’s Indigenous peoples’ ability to see the funny side that often helps them deal with the repetitive trauma of “another day in the colony”, to quote Dr Chelsea Bond.

Deploying humour has become a powerful tool for Indigenous social media users to speak back to racist and non-factual online commentary.

“That’s something I love about our mob, being able to see the irony. You get people saying ‘Australia was colonised peacefully’ — well, you can show just how laughable that is by turning it into a meme like [the Facebook page] Blackfulla Revolution does so well.” More on reclaiming.

There is more to the article than what I have gratuitously cut and paste from ABC Life. The link is in each quote.

As I was preparing this post some other words were forming. Below is an excerpt and link.

Not Just Some Other

I am black

I am white

In restful dark

And shining light.

I am yellow

I am red

I am hard at work

And resting in bed.

More here.


Please follow other posts with the hashtag #WATWB

Author: simonfalk28

Country lad, Focussing on verse.

7 thoughts on “#WATWB November 2020 – Social Media Mental Health and Racism”

  1. Hi Simon – I remember being completely hooked to everything internet in the early days – before social media … so I remember making that effort not to go various routes back then. I decided early on I didn’t need social media – I do a microscopic bit – but no children, really not need – as I’m not promoting a book or anything. I keep going with the blog and keep an eye on what’s going on – and am so grateful I can stay on the very edge. It’s so difficult not to get hooked … these ideas look so helpful – am glad the site is there for reference purposes. Take care – and how lovely you were able to meet up with your great friend – a special time. Hilary

  2. One of the hardest thing is enforcing the limits you set, particularly when a friend crosses one of those boundaries. Th as Ned got choosing this for WATEB, Simon. All the articles are nice to read, but it’s good to find something we can put into practice.

    1. Yes, Dan No doubt you’ve seen and used lots of tips along the way as well. There is a journalist here in Australia called Ginger Gorman who has written a book called “Troll Hunting” based on her experience. I’m yet to read it.

  3. I may not study cultures but I do accept that we are all on this planet together. We should do our best to get along with one another. Thanks for sharing this interesting article with everyone and for being a part of #WATWB, Simon.

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