#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.


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Addiction

Addiction

We have all had experience of compulsive and addictive behaviours. It could be us, or those we love. This little free verse touches on some of the insidious experience of addiction.
Addiction

Comes in slows waves at first,
Just a social smoke
With mates after work.
Smell on the clothes triggers the lecture
From unimpressed others.

Years on:
Those quiet minutes,
In the garden
On the verandah,
The drawing in
Of the exhilarating exhalation.
Those minutes,
Those moments
Of restfulness and peace.

Cigarettes gone:
The dartboard gets a workout,
Pummelled by uncoiled tension
That used to be released
On smokey out breath.

But
That’s OK.
The exorcised anxiety found other shapes
And repossessed its host.

Now the keyboard and the monitor,
The apps on the touch screens,
Are the new fixation
For the frazzled.

It robs you of hours,
Slowly
Drained away
Like a persistent leak
Or an unseen, internal haemorrhage.

Just when you are tired of it,
You succumb
And fall
Again
And again,
Like an iPod on repeat
That never goes…
Flat
Until…
You are flat
From the shame
That flattens you
In its wake.
And
You become
Sick and tired
Of being sick and tired
And lack the get-up,
The will,
To change
Or be changed.

Simon C.J. Falk 5 August 2014
 

Ride on Social Media

Ride on Social Media

Distractions can have us lilting or limping through the agendas of our days at times.  Do you ever get distracted or sidetracked?  Ever have a fish for a proverbial red herring?  Anyhow, these little words were bugging me and I had to write them down. So, a nonsense rhyme emerged. I had been meaning to write a tribute to all the crew on WordPress at some stage. I guess that has begun.

 

Ride on Social Media

 

I entered into MySpace

And very soon got lost,

All those images and music,

And all the time it cost.

I don’t know if it’s still up there,

As I haven’t visited in years,

I never found a home in MySpace,

And over it did not shed tears.

I then ventured into Facebook

To keep touch with distant friends,

And before long found some groupies

Who getting hundreds, even thousands, were their ends.

Then I saw the rants and raves

With their belly-aches full of bile,

Who practised defamation

In various versions of vile.

But I stayed on with Facebook,

Keeping to my original ends,

I enjoy staying with close ones,

And still bump into random “friends?”

Then got added on to LinkedIn

Where people strut their professional stuff,

But if they wanted spiffy resumes,

Then mine is pretty rough.

I’ve enjoyed leafing through the Goodreads,

To get amongst the books,

And have been circled into Google Plus,

But then forget to look!

I tumbled headlong into Tumblr,

To see how I would fair,

I really like their layout interface,

But didn’t find many things there.

Thank God I found WordPress,

It’s much better for the soul,

There I have found some writers

Whose words fill in a hole.

I really enjoy WordPress,

And what comes into its reader,

When it comes to social media,

For me it’s become a leader.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 18 June 2014