Elizabeth Gomez: How to Cope with Social Media While the World is Burning Down Around Us

It’s no surprise that social media is linked to anxiety. I wrote about methods that could be useful for coping with a regular level of social media use. Lately, I find myself scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter like it’s my job and my whole family will be murdered if I miss a single post of a puppy sleeping next to a cat. I’ve often caught my friends on their phones in social settings checking on the happenings of the day, but since the new orange soda pop faced President took office, I can barely get people to look up to hold a conversation. I find myself repeating the phrase “Just stop looking.” Followed by a boomerang response of “I can’t.”

Long gone are the days of my feed being filled with photos of avocado toast and cats taking baths. Now my feed is filled with protests, calls to action, and this new President with a Hitler mustache. The information is fast flowing and I find it difficult to decipher what is true and what is not. I wake up to panic attacks and dread of what I’ll read today. I have found a few ways to balance the endless threads of social media to my real non-online life and thought I’d share them with you.

  1. Take a day off! Turn off your phone or delete all the apps. Just shut it down and move to a far away island where no one knows you and electronics are simply used for wind chimes that warn you of upcoming storms.
  2. Make sure to follow @HaIfOnionInABag on Twitter because it’ll make you feel better because you’d rather a half onion in a bag would be president over Donald Trump.
  3. Never read the comments on any article, especially if it has to do with race, class, women, or people.
  4. If you find yourself in a online fight on social media, be prepared with comebacks such as:
    1. In your Facebook!
    2. Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t tweet a damn.
    3. I’d take your seriously, but you lose points for being instagrammatically incorrect.
    4. OH! Snap…chat!
    5. Based on your response, you clearly haven’t Reddit.
    6. That is incorrect, you should Google PLUS kill yourself.
  5. Donate money to important organizations that you know we need – ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Islamic Relief USA, Sacred Stone Legal Fund – and use funny names that will tickle other donors, such as “Paul Ryan Can Eat My Dickhole $75”
  6. Find a way to create an emoticon that will punch any of these statuses in the face:
    1. Hillary isn’t any better than Trump
    2. Bernie would have won
    3. I’m sorry I voted for Trump
    4. See? Voting doesn’t matter
  7. Review your “memories” link on Facebook, when the world was delightful and you’re only irritation was the media’s attention on Kim Kardashian’s butt.
  8. Play this video of Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee saying, “These people couldn’t run a two-car funeral,” on repeat (round 3:40)
  9. Drink, a lot. We are lucky to live in an age where you can get a flask scarf so no one knows you’re drinking at work.
  10. Get off your phone and show up to the demonstrations, marches, protests, write the letters, make then calls, and the update your media so we can like it and then unlike just to like it again.

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