The Sadness of Social Media

I can’t tell you how sick I am of seeing patients, friends and even celebrities bullied on social media.

Why is it that when we are talking to someone face to face we don’t comment on their weight, how big their teeth or how annoying their pictures on their social media are. And yet when we can leave a comment or press a button to show our distaste we gain a new sense of courage – we feel we can kick the person over the letters of the keyboard. Facebook introducing a ‘dislike’ button for posts makes me incredibly sad – so we are now promoting negative feedback? What happened to “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all?”

When a young person comes into my room with stress or mental health issues – more often than not social media has some role to play. The vulnerable young soul in front of me feels inferior, bullied, worthless. I wish I could say this was rare – but I see this far too often, and it makes me a scary combination of sad and angry.

More needs to be done. It’s not just kids its adults too. Adults are quick to leave a comment on Instagram “gross” or “you look fat in that” – have these people EVER thought of the implications of their nasty damaging comments?

I don’t have children yet but from my experiences as a GP I am bloody scared of social media in my future child’s life. What age do you let them have access? How do you police it? How do you check they are not being bullied? And even worse how do you check THEY are not the bully?

 

Yes social media can be great – but in the wrong hands it can be devastatingly destructive.