WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA?
• Comparing yourself at an elevated rate.
Comparison is the killer of Joy. Somehow, we sometimes fall into the trap of comparing our situation to someone else that you see on Social Media. Social media is a highlight reel of someone's life, situation or relationship. We are all unique, situations change, real relationships, with a brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father or spouse, go through ups and downs. Learning how to navigate the relationship curve is the secret.
This is especially crucial in Stroke, Stroke Recovery and life after Stroke.
Most Stroke Survivors eventually join a Stroke Support group on Social Media. This can be a great resource for information, tips, tricks or simply connecting with other Stroke Survivors who face some of the same challenges that you do. But it is extremely important that you do not compare your recovery to someone else's recovery. As every Stroke is different, so is the recovery. As there are no two snowflakes alike, there are no two strokes that are alike, or recovery. When I was at inpatient Stroke Rehab, I would see Stroke Survivors walking up and down the hall, while I was in a wheelchair. Most were admitted after I was there, and I was still there in my wheelchair after they walked out of rehab. As happy as I was for them, it really played on my mind. I struggled with it.
• Feeling more anxious.
When you see someone's profile on Social Media, with vacation pictures, outdoor excursions with a loved one, Birthday party, you may think, where did I go wrong? This can make you feel more anxious and uneasy or unhappy. So don't dwell on it.
• Feeling more depressed.
This can then lead to Depression, where you feel tired, don't want to get out of bed, and don't want to see anyone. As a Stroke Survivor, this can really stall your recovery and / or quality of life. If you feel this way, reach out and talk to someone.
• Feeling lonelier
This leads to Loneliness. Even the biggest Introvert, needs someone, sometime. As a Stroke Survivor, in most cases we are only as strong as our Support System, and / or Caregiver.
• Feeling more envious or jealous
Spending to much time on Social Media can make you feel Envious or Jealous of other peoples accomplishments or Perceived Lifestyle This can get you caught in a viscous cycle.
As a Stroke Survivor, if you find someone who has experienced a great recovery, reach out and ask them how they got from there to here. Most Stroke Survivors are very helpful, supportive, and can really give you some great tips, especially a veteran Stroke Survivor, or a 5 year plus Survivor. They usually have it figured out, so if you are looking to join a Stroke survivor support group, look for experience. Young Stroke Survivors, just had their lives turned upside down, and have not found their new normal yet, which is understandable, it's a shock to their system. I know, because I've been there. It takes a while to get your emotions in check, but that's normal.
• Feeling stressed or frustrated
All this can leave you feeling Stressed out, Frustrated, or even worse Angry at the very people, that you care about the most.
It seems that in today's Instagram, Facebook, Tweet, Twerk, TicTok world, it's easy to get caught up in the scrolling through your phone, watching someone's highlight reel.
It is extremely important that you control or limit the amount of time you commit to it. Set rules for yourself, like no phones at the dinner table, or putting your phone on the other side of the room from where you are, making it an inconvenience to reach. If you set perimeters for yourself, you will be surprised how much you missed in life, by looking down at your phone.
Life is happening right in front of you, have a look around, and keep your phone in your pocket until it rings, chirps, pings, quacks. Unless it is a phone call, if I was you, I would get it later.
Stay in control, and you will be amazed, how freeing it feels.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Many opinions and viewpoints are based on my own Personal Stroke Recovery journey. As every Stroke is different, so is every Stroke Recovery. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the JGH Rehab website is solely at your own risk.