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7 Types of Social Media Posts I Don’t Want to See As a Trauma Survivor

I look forward to my morning scroll. First thing in the morning, I shuffle my pajamaed body to my computer with tea in one hand. What treasures or ideas will I uncover today? There I am, happily munching away on my toast when a post will appear that is upsetting or downright nauseating. Some posts can ruin my day.

I experienced the trauma of bullying, and emotional and physical abuse growing up. I have had to deal with some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some posts remind me of past pain or make me angry.

1. Verbal and physical

Nothing makes my day merrily roll along than seeing a video of strange teens hitting and kicking each other, or someone yelling at staff at McDonalds because their burger was not what they ordered. Really gives me a happy McHappy Day — not.

While these kinds of videos may help expose crimes or the need for some other corrective measures, I do not want to see them in my newsfeed. The world seems to have become insensitive to violence, but I am not. I grew up with “spankings” that left me black and blue and bullies who ridiculed me. When I see people being hurt, it can trigger memories of the physical pain and emotional distress I experienced during a dysfunctional childhood and adolescence. Argh.

Some people share violent videos with a “tsk-tsk, what is the world coming to” attitude. I do not need to see it to “tsk-tsk. ”

2. People-bashing.

Some people use social media as a weapon to air their grievances and trash other people. They make fun of politicians and celebrities. I get that some of the raging may occur when people are angry or under the influence of substances. However, I am concerned about the aftermath of their posts. The people venting may change their minds in the future, but their posts are out there in cyberspace forever.

Social media may also provide opportunities for bullies and stalkers to threaten and harass the innocent. Using comments to rage or take revenge on others can have nasty repercussions. Relationships will become strained or broken. People get hurt.

3. Inspirational Stuff

Some posts are “feel-good” about the accomplishments of people with disabilities or those with mental health challenges. The problem is the reason why these articles make people feel good. Some will post that seeing the challenges disabled people face made them “so thankful for all the things they have” that these “poor disabled people” do not have. I do not like to see disabled people depicted as objects of pity or as limited, lesser human beings.

4. Oversharing.

I believe there is some personal information that should not be shared online. Sometimes people are looking for sympathy because they endured something awful. They may be seeking people who will validate their anger or help them indulge in a pity party. Social media is not an appropriate place to air dirty laundry, which can ruin people’s reputations and strain or destroy relationships.

5. Boundary violators.

On Facebook, I tell people that I do not want sparkly hearts and witty sayings in Messenger. They keep on doing it anyway, much to my chagrin. Many Twitter profiles these days, including mine, say “no DMs.” Direct messages can be a pain. I do not mind people who feel compelled to say, “Thanks for the follow” so much. Courtesy is always appreciated in this cold world. However, it does irritate me when people ignore my request for no DMs and use messages to promote causes, sell their books or demand to become “friends.” Sometimes people get a little too nosey for my liking as well (no, I am not looking for a hookup). My time is precious to me. I do not want to waste it on unwanted notifications.

6. Fake news.

As a breast cancer survivor, it infuriates me how much “fake news” there is about “causes” and “cures” for cancer. There is also a lot of misinformation about other health topics, especially COVID-19.

7. Cut-and-paste requests.

Some posts push people to care about a topic by inducing guilt for being well, inspiring pity or some other kind of manipulation. These postings usually start with something like: “I bet no one will read or share this post.” I want to tell them that in my case, they are right.

Many people seem to be unaware of how annoying, aggravating and offensive some of their posts are. I recently heard a term that describes social media as a vampire that can suck up precious time. If people would think before they post, reading my newsfeeds would be a much more pleasant experience for me.

For more on this topic, check out this contributor story on what to remember if social media impacts your depression.

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash