All Articles Tagged "facebook"
This week, Instagram announced a new service that helps its users identify troubling behavior within the community and reach out to followers who might need mental health help. The service, which is not yet available, lets users report posts in which certain negative phrases and hashtags are used, such as “I feel like nobody would miss me if I was gone” and “#selfharm.” The original poster would then get a message from Instagram indicating that one of their followers was concerned about them, and then point to critical mental health resources from within the app.
The announcement by Instagram is part of a partnership with Facebook, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other organizations in an effort to help their communities deal with bullying, eating disorders, suicide and a number of other preventable mental health conditions. Facebook and Instagram currently have guides for talking with your friends online about the above situations. On Instagram, these guides are buried in the Privacy and Safety Center under Support; Facebook has put its documentation in the Community Standards section.
As I read about these initiatives, I’m heartened by the attention that these social media companies have paid to the health and safety of their users. As someone who lives with a mental illness, I pay attention to my friends’ language on social media as a matter of course. And I’d love for everyone to share my mindfulness of trigger words and phrases on Facebook or Instagram. But I’m still not sure of the efficacy of the new Instagram mental health tool and it’s ilk getting people help.
We’ve seen that people often hide behind their social media profiles, and do things there that they wouldn’t necessarily do in “real life” — like bullying celebrities and making death threats on blog posts. The same anonymity that distances people from each other in certain online circles could possible keep them from making positive outreach to the members of their community. Further, many people have Facebook and Instagram accounts that represent a persona rather than the actual person behind the account. That level of namelessness and distance might not be the appropriate place to encourage people to have difficult conversations about mental health.
We all use social media differently. For example, I only follow real life friends on Facebook, anyone can follow me on Instagram, and my Twitter is carefully curated for a specific point of view. Not everyone is that picky with their social media connections, but the way in which one uses the medium will further hamper the usefulness of the Instagram mental health tools. It’s much easier to reach out to your friends when you see that they might be in trouble. It’s not as easy to step out of your persona and engage with someone on a serious level. After all, many of us have friends and follower lists full of people we’ve never met who merely like our posts and send us animal pictures. It’s hard to move from a relationship based on kitten videos to one based on a possible mental health concern.
The new Instagram mental health alert process has a failsafe, a human that reviews flagged posts to determine whether the post in question is really harmful or is a joke or a misunderstanding. I feel good about that feature, as it would eliminate uncomfortable confrontations in which the reported user is angry for having been reported. But that still doesn’t address the fear or discomfort experienced by the reporting party, or the annoyance at getting a note from Instagram or Facebook that someone thinks you’re losing your marbles. Social media is made up of people, but social media companies are still seen as nameless, faceless entities that impose new features we don’t like and shut down when we need them. With sensitive subjects like eating disorders and suicide, I can see users feeling violated as though Instagram has disregarded their privacy.
All in all, I think providing more resources to promote better mental health is a good thing. But our society is still at the point where mental health topics are often verboten and not spoken about in public. I think that injecting hidden resources and unpromoted services to our social media accounts is too passive an activity to make a huge difference. However, if one suicide is prevented, or one person gets help for an eating disorder or a bullying incident, then the effort to launch these initiatives will have been worth it.
In the age of social media posts, many of us are sharing the daily occurrences in our lives online in some capacity. Whether we are tweeting, facebooking or instagramming, these are all great ways to stay connected with family and friends. But if we’re not careful, we can venture into over-sharing and creating a digital footprint we’re none too proud of. While some people are very private and limit their social media activity to the occasional benign post, there are some who view social media as a personal diary where they go to document every thought and dramatic twist of their lives. Not only can over-sharing annoy our friends and followers, it can also embarrass our kids and jeopardize our livelihood. When it comes to social media habits, we should lead by example for our children. Here are 5 posts you may want to try and avoid when using social media.
5 Social Media Posts Parents Should Avoid
Ever since Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” reporters have been asking other prominent, Black athletes if they will follow in his footsteps. But no one had to ask tennis great Serena Williams where she stood on this issue. Not only have she and her sister boycotted entire tournaments due to racist receptions and the flying of the Confederate Flag, today, on her Facebook page she had something to say about the instances of police brutality, spurred by a ride in the car with her nephew.
Yet another reason we love this woman.
Veronica Wells is the culture editor for MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
I’m fully aware that there’s a good chance I might get stoned for writing this piece. Still, it’s a question that’s been lingering on my mind for far too long now. And I have to ask the question.
I notice on social media there are two types of mothers…maybe three. There are the type of mothers who post pictures of their newborn babies, with amniotic fluid still caked up on their faces. There are those who wait months to reveal their new bundles. And there is a third category. This type of mother doesn’t reveal the baby right after he or she is born. They may make an announcement with the name, birth weight and even a quick little anecdote about how their new loved one entered the world. There may even be an announcement that she and her partner have chosen not to reveal the baby just yet.
I certainly understand that. It’s your child and perhaps you don’t want every moment of their lives, from the time they were born, documented on social media. I get it. What I don’t understand is how these very same mothers then go on for weeks posting, what I like to call, detail shots. It’s not an actual image of the baby’s face but rather their fingers, toes, or blankets. I’ve seen one mother go so far as to darken an image to obscure her child’s face. And that’s what I really don’t get. I understand being proud and showing your baby fresh out of the womb. And I get trying to protect your child’s image for a little while, since you can’t exactly ask them if they want to be on Facebook. What I don’t understand is the in-between game. Why tease and taunt people with details? We know you had a baby. Many of these mothers have made an announcement that they are not ready to share the baby’s face yet. Even if they hadn’t, the last image of his lock of hair, made it pretty clear.
So what’s with all the mystery and secrecy?
My coworker suggested that people don’t want their children to be exposed to bad juju or those who would wish evil upon them online. Like the baby’s spirit is too young to be able to fight off bad spirits.
I can’t help but wonder if it’s the need for attention and validation even in the midst of trying to protect your child.
What do you think this is about? And more importantly, am I the only one annoyed by this behavior?
As an elderly millennial, I’ve picked up the art of traditional flirting. I’m not saying I’m good at it, but I can force myself to touch a man’s shoulder or laugh at his stupid jokes if I have to. That said, we’ve approached a new age: the age of the direct message, otherwise known as the DM. If you’re on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram, you are familiar with the private message — a place to send notes and pictures that the public can’t see.
Searching for employment can be a daunting experience and an exhausting job within itself. So when Benita Abraham found the perfect one and was hired after being unemployed for seven months, she decided to share the good news in an interesting way.
Instead of sending out a mass text, Benita created a “She said yes!” photo shoot using her iPhone 6 Plus, reports Refinery 29, and modeled it after the engagement pictures we love to double-tap on Instagram.
After creating a Facebook album with the photos, Abraham captioned it by saying, “I finally found my soulmate, my perfect match, my boo. After 7 long months, I found the perfect job with a company that truly cares about its employees and one I will learn so much from. #employed #myboo #loveatfirstinterview #LTR #careergrowth #perfectmatch #photoshoot #notjustforbabiesmarriagesandbirthdays #workin9to5.”
In the photoshoot, Benita can be seen embracing her framed job offer, detailing their “love story,” and even taking selfies with it. Abraham’s friends also joined in on the fun by serenading both her and the job offer or accepting their offer to join their carpool.
Since Benita’s photo album went viral, people have commended Benita for her humor and reminding the rest of us to celebrate all our victories in life, whether they’re big or small.
There is a growing frustration that many people feel regarding unarmed Black men being killed by the police and it’s lead some to become activists in their own way. Vocabulary.com describes an activist as someone who “campaigns for some kind of social change.”
Depelsha McGruder is one Brooklyn mother that is definitely doing her part for sure. After being deeply saddened by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile she took things into her own hands by starting a closed Facebook group called “Mothers of Black Boys” to provide a forum for mothers.
What started as a concerned mother sharing her new Facebook page with 30 friends one week ago has turned into turned into 74,000 mothers of Black boys connecting, mobilizing, sharing stories, and supporting one another through these trying times. According to mappingpolicevilence.org
Depelsha told PIX11 morning news her thoughts after hearing about Alton Sterling and said:
“I went to bed that night watching the video, the graphic video, of his murder by police officers,” she explains. “I woke up Thursday morning and there was some people in Minnesota talking about something else and I was very confused. Once I realized that another Black man had been killed by the police…I was frustrated, I was angry… I didn’t know what to do, so I… decided to activate an idea I’d had for a while which is to create a support group online for mothers of Black boys. I call that MOBB and I just sent it to about 30 of my friends I knew had sons. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it and within five minutes 30 [members] had turned to 150. An hour later there was a 1000 and then 2000. And by the night there were 21,000 moms from across the country who had joined.”
“No, I haven’t because they’re still very young and I want to shield them from those conversations. I want them to maintain their innocence as children and frankly at this point I don’t know what to tell them because that’s what we’re talking about as mom’s what do we tell them you can’t eat skittles, you can’t have a cell phone, you can’t have a wallet, you can’t have a broken taillight, you can’t sell CD’s, you can’t breathe. So I don’t know what the conversation is at this point. I think that’s a big part of the problem before I would say, ‘be respectful and comply’ and even when we do that it seems to not be enough.”
Let us know your thoughts…Have you joined or started any groups related to #Blacklivesmatter?
I don’t often participate in Facebook’s “challenges.” Mostly because the word challenge is misused. It’s basically just an opportunity for people to either brag about their life or give the people they know a chance to brag about what they know of their life. You’ve seen them, the people of Facebook created the one where women in relationships were challenged to celebrate their men. There are the ones that ask your friends to share their first memory of you. There are challenge where you reveal 25 things no one knew about you (which I did participate in) and one where you have a dollar and have to “buy” the relationship characteristics you want your partner to have.
This is no shade or judgement. I do enjoy reading most of them. But these days, I mostly use Facebook to talk about news and ideas.
But there was one particular on I kept seeing pop up on my newsfeed that caught my attention. It’s this Transformation Challenge, likely known by a couple of different names. For this one you’re supposed to compare you first profile picture with your current one. Perhaps the initial goal of the challenge was to see how much you’d changed physically. But the more it started spreading, the more people thought about the mental, emotional, and psychological changes that had taken place as well.
And while I had seen the pictures compared side by side with one another, it was this deeper level of introspection and authenticity that appealed to me. I thought about my own two pictures, vowing to compare them in my head before I wrote a post about them.
When I did, I recognized just how much I had changed, the lessons I had learned. And I realized that was indeed worth sharing.
So here’s mine.
For some reason, Facebook doesn’t record this as my first profile picture. But I know it was because this was taken by my sister Vanessa during my college orientation. A couple months later, when she and my parents left me in Missouri, it was her who told me it was time to start a Facebook page; something I had been avoiding, and we chose this picture. I love my before picture because it reminds me of my fear.
The entire summer before I went off to school I was so nervous that I lost my appetite. I ate but, literally for three straight months, I was never hungry. It got so crazy that I had an endoscopy to make sure that I was ok. Nothing was wrong with me, physically. I was just so mentally preoccupied that food became obsolete. The mind is strong, y’all.
This second picture was taken, five years after I graduated college, right outside of the office of what was my dream job, where I’m still employed. I still love the actual work of the job but when you get what you want, you see things you never considered. Aside from the makeup, locs, and accessories, the woman on the left is more confident and able to stand on her own. (The day this before picture was taken, my sister informed the family that she was my crutch. Facts.) And this woman on the left is a LOT less scared. There are very few things I fear now, very few. I arrived at this place mostly because the woman on the right learned that God’s got her. There’s something about being away from home, away from familiar that causes you to rely on God in different and new ways. And that’s when things start really poppin’!
(And on another, entirely different note, I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not bleaching. Lighting, photo retouching, and time of year make a huge difference. So y’all think about that when you accuse Beyoncé of whitewashing.)
What I found most inspiring is that my words, my journey were able to help some of the people who read it. And that’s pretty cool. I encourage you all, not necessarily to take part in this challenge, but do look at the two pictures and think about how far you’ve come.
Some of us believe that following a breakup, unfollowing your ex on social media sends the message that you’re clearly hurt over the split, and in some ways, displays a level of weakness or immaturity. But others believe that once it’s over, there’s no need to keep up with the goings on of your former flame whatsoever, so why follow them? Of course, it all depends on the person and where they are in terms of dealing with pain (or lack thereof) from the dissolution of the relationship. If it’s been a while and the romantic feelings are gone, following your ex probably feels the same as following an old classmate. It’s whatever. But if you haven’t fully moved forward, you’re setting yourself up for failure–and some hurt feelings.
At least, that’s what a new study featured in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking states. About 464 individuals whom all have Facebook accounts and have experienced a split from an individual who also has a Facebook page were asked to take a survey about their social media habits and relationships. What researchers found was that 57 percent of participants were still “friends” on Facebook with their exes. Forty-six percent of these people said they still had exchanges with their exes through the social media site, but didn’t really talk outside of Facebook. They concluded that continuing to follow you ex, even if you don’t talk on the phone or anywhere else outside of social media, could have a major impact on your personal growth. In fact, the study points out that maintaining communication with them via social media could be a lot worse than actually having conversations on the phone and meeting up. Why? Because social media exposes you to facets of a person’s life that you wouldn’t know about otherwise. This kind of information, according to the study, can intensify heartbreak. That information includes seeing images of your ex with a new romantic interest, or viewing pictures of them super happy while you’re still feeling down in the dumps.
And yet, it was also found that Facebook exposure sometimes helped the individuals studied move on. As the results pointed out, those exes we don’t follow can “remain shrouded in an alluring mystique,” while those we see and know the whereabouts of can lose some of their luster in the post-breakup recovery process. Basically, you realize they’re not all that after all.
However, those behind the study said that overall, personal growth was mostly stunted for the large group of people who remained friends with their exes on social media.
As Tara Marshall, Ph.D., lead of the study and of the department of psychology at Brunel University in the U.K. told Mic, “The more you can minimize exposure, the more space you have to move on.”
Got it, doc. But I think we all knew that following our exes and delving into the lives they’re leading without us is far from healthy. They do call them an “ex” for a reason…
Have you ever noticed that after scrolling through Facebook for twenty minutes you’re usually left feeling hopeless, angry, confused, jealous or dejected? It’s okay—it happens to the best of us. You may not think that the posts you peruse or scroll past don’t make it into your subconscious, but there are a lot of intense emotions on Facebook that affect your mood whether you want them to or not. There is only so much filtering you can do because once you’ve read just half of an angry rant or saw a sad photo for a second, it’s made its mark. You can’t change what people post, but you can change what kind of posters you remain friends with. You might think it’s time-consuming to go through your friends list and start unfriending, but it’s a small investment in your happiness because certain Facebook posters and sucking the happiness out of you.