Social media can be really, really bad for us.
It has been described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
It triggers sadness and lower levels of general life satisfaction.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It’s so incredibly false and fake that Instagram influencers who don’t actually exist are being paid to hawk products!
And it often prompts us to enter an unhealthy comparison feedback loop that we’ve never normally engage in offline. For instance, when a friend tells us they got a new job or bought a new car in person, we generally celebrate their success. But when they post flashy photos of their new wheels or luxurious holiday, all sorts of ugly thoughts can pop into our jealous minds…
Moral of the story? Social media can be a total bitch.
But every now and then, it serves as a platform for something really amazing.
Such was the case this week when YouTube start Caspar Lee opened up on his social media channels about his struggles with an unusual and potentially debilitating condition.
Caspar has Tourettes Syndrome. He’s using his incredible platform – which includes 6.1 million Twitter followers, 3.4 million Insta fans, and 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube – to share a short, sweet, heart-warming video about what it’s like to live with Tourettes.
I must confess that it’s a condition I know very little about, and have had no exposure to or experience with. It blew me away, seeing these confident, open kids and teenagers sharing such a personal part of themselves, with such openness and vulnerability. Caspar also shares his own experiences of learning how to live with Tourettes in a separate video here.
These videos are so enlightening – and they’ve made me realise that I’ll have stop hating on social media, at least for a little while.
The opportunity to learn more about different conditions and illnesses is such a gift. As a parent, I am endlessly grateful for these moments; even if my children don’t ever experience it themselves, they might have friends or schoolmates who do, and having awareness and empathy for others goes a long way.
Social media might be linked to greater feelings of social isolation, but it can also bring people together to connect in heart-warming ways. Can’t really complain about that, can I?