- The dilemma with social media regarding mental health is that we post the best of us.
- Life isn’t picture perfect. Let’s take care of our mental health and take care of each other.
Social media has turned us into seekers of picture-perfect moments. Some parents, including myself, have had some sort of social media since before their children were born, thus capturing their children’s entire existence on a platform. Isn’t that crazy to stop and think about from an anthropological standpoint? The internet has allowed me to share my story and the story of our children for years. I’ve shared all the play! Soccer games, smiles with stuffed toys, football games in the yard, building with Lego® bricks, and learning through play.Remember, as you are scrolling and you see pictures of people returning to “normal” and posting about the excitement that comes with it, there will be a whole section of life that people are not posting images about. Click To Tweet
Picture of Health
Here is the dilemma for mental health: we post the best of us. If you get into a fight with your teenager, we often are not sending out a picture of tears and typing out the hurt feelings. If your kid makes a mistake, as all children do, the discomfort of toeing the line—the discomfort of sharing too much and feeling embarrassment—isn’t one we want to navigate.
We’ve stayed connected to people that we’ve known our whole lives. I have this theory that there are people we are supposed to have in our lives for a moment or two and then they are to leave as we learn some hard or great lessons, but when you have social media you may let them have more of your time than necessary, maybe even for years. The comparison game is a dangerous one when you only get to peer into a window of what people chose to share.
Picture a Pandemic
Now let us add in a global pandemic. We searched for connections and collaboration from our homes. (P.S. The Teach Better Team provided so much for us as educators during that time.) Teachers, parents, children, and administrators were all asked to do education in a way that many of us have never had to do before.
I don’t know about you, but when a post pops up in my memories on Facebook from a year ago, my heart skips a beat and I can actually feel what was going on during that time. Here we are a year later…and guys, the kids are not okay. You can disagree, but we are going to need to be builders and social-emotional navigators for years. People, we need to love each other.[scroll down to keep reading]
Picture a Reality
Remember, as you are scrolling and you see pictures of people returning to “normal” and posting about the excitement that comes with it, there will be a whole section of life that people are not posting images about.
There are still children who are crying as they return to school because they are used to being with their parents, and levels of anxiety that we may not have felt before the pandemic. There are teens who are hurting and had failing grades for the first time. Or students who missed out on milestone moments in their school or personal lives. There are masks and new mandates to navigate. There are children who will be returning to school who have been abused physically, sexually, and verbally. Children who have been neglected for a year.
Life isn’t picture perfect. Let’s take care of our mental health and take care of each other.
About BreAnn Fennell
Mrs. BreAnn Fennell is a first-grade and second-grade looping teacher in Ashland, Ohio. She has worked in both public and private settings and is passionate about providing exciting learning environments for students. Mrs. Fennell is a published author of children’s books including Play? Yay! and Choose Your Cheer. She is a mom to two energetic boys and a defender of play!