Social Media and the Desire to Self-Harm
Monday, May 4 2015 Jennifer Aline Graham
A desire to self-harm can be affected by social media. It is sad that most wars have been over something as simple as differing beliefs. I have never been into politics or religion (I support believing in whatever your heart holds to be true), but it does bother me when someone expresses a belief and they get attacked because of it. Whether that attack is verbal, physical or online, it still hurts those who aren’t secure or confident in the skin they wear. Sometimes the pain caused on social media can translate into self-harm.
For years, people have been expressing their differing beliefs and for years people with opposite thoughts have been stomping all over them. It’s natural to become frustrated with those who don’t see eye-to-eye with you. For many, keeping in strong emotions can cause inner pain and sometimes self-harm, if kept inside too long.
Letting out those thoughts can be a coping skill for those who have felt too much pain from holding them in.
Social Media Amplifies Differing Beliefs and Self-Harm Desires
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media systems have taken over the daily lives of millions. It has become extremely hard to go an hour, or even 15 minutes, without updating a status or scrolling through photographs. With this technology comes the ability for people to speak their beliefs with more ease. While many people may support the belief that was brought forward, there will be many also attacking those thoughts.
Recently I posted a Facebook status with a religious undertone. I am not one to openly express my religious beliefs on social media often, but I decided to post the thought anyway. Even though the main point of the status was for "people to believe in themselves," many decided to focus on the religious part of the status.
This little status trial made me realize how quick people are to attack those who have differing thoughts. It is perfectly healthy to express your beliefs – no matter what they may be. However, it is also important not to try to change or manipulate people because their beliefs aren’t the same as yours because options on social media can affect one's desire to self-harm.
Social Media Can Be Both a Bully and a Support System for Self-Harm
When I battled self-harm, Facebook and Twitter weren’t the strong force they are today. Now, because of this technology, there are millions of people who post their thoughts as a way to stop them from bubbling up inside. Many people cut or burn their skin when they have emotions building up that they can’t release. On a positive note, social media has given people an opportunity to express thoughts and free the burden. However, it also means there will be people out to attack those thoughts and twist the words to their liking.
The world of social media can be very intimidating when you struggle to stop self-harm, sometimes the words of others may overpower the confidence you have in your own thoughts. Choose what you post wisely and prepare yourself for the feedback that follows– both negative and supportive.
Believe what you wish and follow your heart – don’t get lost in the words of others.