How Does the Social Media Age Impact Our Mental Health?
Guest post by Ginny McQueen
Secretive would not be a word that would describe me. In fact, the words “overshare” and “TMI” have been thrown in my general direction. This upsets some people. It disturbs others. There’s something about talking frankly and honestly on topics like mental health, sexism, and even just emotions that makes a percentage of the population very uncomfortable.
But for a whole other cross-section of the world, opening up about these sorts of topics is at least helpful and at most life-changing. While many creators are very specific with the image they present to the world, I almost go out of my way to make sure I’m being candid both with myself and with my audience.
It’s very hard to argue that seeing only happy thoughts on Twitter and smiling faces on Instagram wouldn’t warp your idea of both how other people live and how you assume you compare. Being surrounded with faux-positivity can lead to feeling like you are the only person in the world with problems.
There’s a reason we as a culture lose our collective minds over celebrities doing insanely simple things.
“JLaw left her home without makeup!”
“Carrie Underwood Uses Baby Bump as a Tabletop!”
“Chris Pratt says he loves his wife! SHOCKING!”
We tend to assume the people on the other side of the screen from us are different from us. So when we catch a glimpse of “normal” from other people, it’s comforting. But when that carries over to celebrities and personalities that talk about their own personal struggles with things like mental illness, abuse, and other life-changing issues – it can break down the stigma that keeps so many people scared and silent.
With my new podcast, Exposed, I’m hoping to take my want to share stories with people even further. And even more importantly, give others a platform to share their experiences as well. There’s a tag line I use for a lot of my content: “Sharing is Caring.” It’s silly and cute and maybe sounds a little shallow. But one of the meanings behind it is that sharing yourself with other people really does help. The hundreds of messages I’ve gotten from my audience make me sure that this sort of thing does help, even if it’s just one person.
The guests we have lined up are writers, producers, activists, artists, and the list is growing. I’m releasing one episode a week, but hopefully with enough support and interest, I’ll be posting bi-weekly soon.