Now that the outside world is on pause, our lives are online more than ever. But how do you stay connected to others in a healthy way?
During these scary times, it is difficult to know whether the information you are seeing online is accurate. This can sometimes cause you to come across information that may be incredibly upsetting but isn’t actually true.
To help yourself to avoid these pieces of information, make sure that you do the following:
1) Only get your news from reliable sources like the World Health Organisation. This makes sure that what you are reading is just the important facts.
2) Don’t take the things you read at face value. Everyone is more stressed than usual at the moment which may lead them to post things that have caused them panic which may not be quite accurate. Make sure you ask yourself: Is this likely to be true? How do I know? What is my evidence? Before getting worried.
3) Only check the news once per day. Choose a time of day that you will dedicate to checking what is going on in the world and then avoid the news at all other times. You could even go as far as to using the mute function to mute all tweets which use words which relate to current affairs such as ‘Coronavirus’ or ‘Breaking News’ and mute accounts which regularly post upsetting content for the time being.
It will come of no surprise to hear that, more often than not, the things that people post online are not always a clear representation of what their day-to-day lives are like. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the constant stream of touched-up Instagram posts of friends seemingly having a wonderful time, feeling positive, and being really productive. But remember, no one posts pictures of their lowest points. Your friends won’t post about their hours spent sitting in their pyjamas all day or all of the times they have felt overwhelmed or stressed recently, but that doesn’t mean that these things aren’t happening. Lockdown is not likely to be fun and interesting for most people and that is okay!
More often than not, the internet is an amazing place filled to the brim with new and interesting content. If you use social media well at this time, you will find that it is a brilliant way to enhance your days. Spend some time searching for Instagram accounts that post crafting ideas, or YouTube channels that share fun baking recipes for you to try out. Whatever you need, it’s there! If you are feeling a little more ambitious, perhaps you could look for free online courses on the Future Learn website or search for an online language course on a site such as Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. The world is your oyster, even if it is mostly found online at the moment. Most importantly, try your best to stay in close contact with others and check in on friends to make sure they are doing okay.