by Giulia Mammana | 25th Mar 2020
Working from home, it’s easy to find yourself distracted by all the news and opinions being shared on social media. Just a quick check to see what’s happening and you’re caught in a vicious cycle without even realising. Navigating from one piece of news to another, it has never been easier to get lost in a web of arguments, fake news and conspiracies.
This is even more true when your work actually involves using social media, meaning you have to spend more time on the web finding out about trending topics and what the latest situation is. This doesn’t mean that social media is not helpful at this time of uncertainty. I don’t think that self-imposed restrictions, like just searching for the information that you need, is realistic in times of crisis like this one. Things are changing quickly and you need to stay informed every day.
A healthy amount of social media
The amount of targeted articles and information that you can pick up from social media can save you a lot of time searching. It can inform you quickly and clearly about how to protect yourself and those around you.
To lead a healthy life in lockdown you need to develop your own personal strategy, and find a balance between checking information and wasting precious time. Joining in with online disagreements is never a good idea in my opinion. It will soon get lost in replying to what others are saying, and things can quickly escalate to verbal agression, which won’t make you feel great, especially at a time that is very testing mentally for everyone.
Personally, I spend about 15 mintues of spare time a day on social media, either early in the morning or at night, to make sure I’m up to date on the news of the day. I might get caught up for longer with some funny or engaging content, but I try not to be to hard on myself when this happens. I know that it can be a great way to release stress too.
Judge what’s reliable and what’s not
Take time to ensure that what you’re reading and sharing is coming from reliable sources. Check all the pages that you are following, are they what’s considered as respected sources? If not, then unfollow. There’s enough happening in the world right without putting more stress on yourself.
Be aware that lots of people are spreading fake news. It’s usually easy to spot them, as they tend to link to unknown, obscure sources and use aggressive communication.
If you don’t think you’re getting enough valuable information from your social media feed then why not have a re-think about the pages that you’re following? Think about what would be beneficial to you and start following new pages.
A perfect balance of informative and light hearted Facebook pages in my opinion is about 80-20% Social media is a powerful tool to get quick, comprehensive information, you just need to use it in a smart, constructive way.
If you work with young people please let them know about the Meic helpline service that continues to run as normal during this time. Trustworthy articles suitable for young people are being posted about the Covid-19 crisis on their news pages and children, young people and professionals can keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter.