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Old 06-13-2023, 07:23 PM
Status: "I'm turquoise happy!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
23,866 posts, read 32,129,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Does social media encourage us to lie to ourselves? Not the lying to others to look better or one up, but denying or hiding from reality ourselves because everything is supposed to be so positive all the time. If we aren't positive we may be told to stop complaining or being a "downer". What about people who are actually depressed or going through some difficulty. Or just living a real life of ups and downs.

What is complaining anyway? Say someone talks about their day and the things that happened. person 1- Today my car broke down and the tow truck took two hours in the rain, and the mechanic seemed like a rip off. Person 2- Today I got a promotion, my kid got all As at school and the weather was beautiful. They are both true. One is not more legit than another. One does not deserve to be called "complaining" or "venting" (negative connotation), while the other gets pats on the back, they are both reality. They are both someone's story.

I think it can cause confusion in people who are not always happy, of course none of us are always happy and we weren't designed that way. We may be less encouraged to deal with issues if we can push it down inside, go on social media and get a dose of fake positivity.
I am really happy that someone brought up this subject. There is something called "toxic positivity" that I think is very hurtful, emotionally dishonest, and shames anyone who does not see the world as a virtual wonderland of "sunshine, smiley. faces, blue skies, rainbows, kittens and puppies".

Sometimes bad things happen. All of the cheerful memes in the world will not change that. I don't think ANYONE is always happy. If they appear to be, they are acting.

Many cults pressure their members to "always smile". "keep sweet" and basically deny and bury any emotions. This reminds me of the Duggar documentary "Shiney Happy People."

People who act this way are missing an array of nuanced emotions that validate human experience, and the feelings that people experience.
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Old 06-14-2023, 06:46 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,569,727 times
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Interesting topic. I think it can be toxic to mental health. Heather Armstrong of Dooce, a really early workplace/mommy blogger who became the first poster child for not blogging bad things about your work. I LOVED her site and started reading it pretty early on. I am not sure if I read it before or after she got fired, but I found it so interesting. Unlike many people, she was actually honest. That said, I think it did a number on her having all that fame and apparently she struggled with drug abuse an alcoholism.

I think it is a double-edged sword. On the off chance you are negative, a lot of times people will give you super hurtful comments. Meanwhile, if you are positive all the time, it does a number on your mental health when you are actually going through a lot. For example, I occasionally watch a recipe YouTuber and I think she recently came out with a confessional about how her life has gone to s*** in the past few years in the background.
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Old 06-14-2023, 09:42 AM
 
Location: As of 2022….back to SoCal. OC this time!
9,297 posts, read 4,497,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Sometimes bad things happen. All of the cheerful memes in the world will not change that. I don't think ANYONE is always happy. If they appear to be, they are acting.


ITA sometimes there are bad days or bad things happen…BUT if you have a feeling of happiness & gratitude in your life, it’s easier to move past it. My divorce several years ago was awful but I had a lot of supportive friends and good things in my life. A career I loved. But I also chose not to live that out on social media. My dad’s cancer may have come back. I don’t talk about that either because my channel & posts aren’t about family struggles. I’m not getting paid for that….it’s about beauty, health & fitness, tho some ppl do ask a lot of personal questions. Even sharing my pregnancy has become about promoting health in pregnancy & items or lifestyle tips for the best health. It’s about being your best self.

So…just because we have a positive & professional social media does not make it toxic. It makes it HEALTHIER. IMO, the negativity on social media spreads like a virus. We all have stuff happen or bad days. When there are problems in life tho….turn to a spouse, friend or family member one to one.
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Old 06-14-2023, 10:19 AM
 
19,364 posts, read 12,014,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TashaPosh View Post
ITA sometimes there are bad days or bad things happen…BUT if you have a feeling of happiness & gratitude in your life, it’s easier to move past it. My divorce several years ago was awful but I had a lot of supportive friends and good things in my life. A career I loved. But I also chose not to live that out on social media. My dad’s cancer may have come back. I don’t talk about that either because my channel & posts aren’t about family struggles. I’m not getting paid for that….it’s about beauty, health & fitness, tho some ppl do ask a lot of personal questions. Even sharing my pregnancy has become about promoting health in pregnancy & items or lifestyle tips for the best health. It’s about being your best self.

So…just because we have a positive & professional social media does not make it toxic. It makes it HEALTHIER. IMO, the negativity on social media spreads like a virus. We all have stuff happen or bad days. When there are problems in life tho….turn to a spouse, friend or family member one to one.
No one is saying that. Not at all. You have a specific subject matter and that is great.
But some people have private social media that IS personal, for friends and family.
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Old 06-14-2023, 10:24 AM
 
1,703 posts, read 1,077,585 times
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Social media diets are essential. Virtual reality is not helpful to most people.
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Old 06-14-2023, 11:20 AM
 
2,523 posts, read 2,635,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyLark2019 View Post
Social media diets are essential. Virtual reality is not helpful to most people.
Lisa Ling's This is Life series has an episode where she shows some positives to virtual reality, but also explains that there needs to be a good balance. She portrays this super well.
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Old 06-14-2023, 11:25 AM
 
2,523 posts, read 2,635,674 times
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Positivity can be bad if it's fake or unrealistic. People use it as a weapon to be selfish. They can pretend to like someone and really not be into them physically. Over (positivity) can avoid problems that need to be dealt with. So, like any idea, positivity can be good or bad, but it depends on the context and the balance.

I tend to be more realistic/negative on my own social media. But I also limit who is on my social media and only want people I've attempted to connect with 1-1 in a video chat or someone who is or might be an actual in-person friend in some way. People who only want to network are for LinkedIn. I've had people want to friend me on other platforms and not LinkedIn, but they were only offering interest in professional type connections.
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Old 06-14-2023, 12:04 PM
 
19,364 posts, read 12,014,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am really happy that someone brought up this subject. There is something called "toxic positivity" that I think is very hurtful, emotionally dishonest, and shames anyone who does not see the world as a virtual wonderland of "sunshine, smiley. faces, blue skies, rainbows, kittens and puppies".

Sometimes bad things happen. All of the cheerful memes in the world will not change that. I don't think ANYONE is always happy. If they appear to be, they are acting.

Many cults pressure their members to "always smile". "keep sweet" and basically deny and bury any emotions. This reminds me of the Duggar documentary "Shiney Happy People."

People who act this way are missing an array of nuanced emotions that validate human experience, and the feelings that people experience.
That is very well said. They are like partial people, how can one be complete without acknowledging the whole life experience.

Bad things in life are normal, not some alien evil force. We learn and grow from them if we are willing to face whatever it is. You know those people who have bad relationships over and over for the same reasons? They never absorbed or examined what was going on, never talked to anyone about it, at least anyone who would be real with them. You cannot have balance in life without the light and the dark. Ignore the dark at your own peril.

Sometimes I have even been able to see patterns in negative things that would seem unavoidable but found ways to avoid such patterns in the future. It's just problem solving. It's really interesting stuff too when you learn intricate ways to problem solve, but involves a lot of introspection about things considered "negative". So some of us bring this into our lives and communications and see it as challenging and liberating. To me a lot of negatives can also be neutral or positive, they can be valuable learning experiences.

Try getting your average facebooker to understand that though.

**And no one is saying don't have fun too!**
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Old 06-14-2023, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,207 posts, read 14,430,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
That is very well said. They are like partial people, how can one be complete without acknowledging the whole life experience.

Bad things in life are normal, not some alien evil force. We learn and grow from them if we are willing to face whatever it is. You know those people who have bad relationships over and over for the same reasons? They never absorbed or examined what was going on, never talked to anyone about it, at least anyone who would be real with them. You cannot have balance in life without the light and the dark. Ignore the dark at your own peril.

Sometimes I have even been able to see patterns in negative things that would seem unavoidable but found ways to avoid such patterns in the future. It's just problem solving. It's really interesting stuff too when you learn intricate ways to problem solve, but involves a lot of introspection about things considered "negative". So some of us bring this into our lives and communications and see it as challenging and liberating. To me a lot of negatives can also be neutral or positive, they can be valuable learning experiences.

Try getting your average facebooker to understand that though.

**And no one is saying don't have fun too!**
I don't think that the typical person who only shares light hearted or positive things on Facebook, is refusing to feel or experience or think about, or even talk about, negative things. I don't think that they are an incomplete person, emotionally, because of that.

I think that they probably just choose their audience better.

Because really...it may be that you feel entitled to information that you aren't entitled to. Because maybe it's just none of your business. No one has an obligation to splash their personal stuff all over the internet. The fun stuff...often not very personal. But the hard things, the painful things... I tell ya, when I need to talk about some of that stuff, especially anything I'm actually upset about? I only talk to the few people I trust who actually care about me. Not hundreds of acquaintances on Facebook. And even if I only had a relatively small number of friends and family as friends there, I still would be more selective than that. I mean, do you know for a fact that whoever you might be thinking of here, does not have someone like a coworker as a Facebook friend? I don't want my coworkers knowing all of my personal business. Or any family member who is prone to gossiping it around.

Now anyone who remembers anything about my posting history here might be scoffing and thinking of the many times I shared personal and even very negative life experiences and things here...but I learned (the hard way) to wait until the emotional rawness was gone. The last time I shared about really bad, really hard things I was going through here, it was blood in the water for some pretty nasty sharks. Now, well. Now I know better. No matter how serious the subject I'm talking about here, now, I'm not hugely emotionally invested in it, even if it may seem otherwise. Some posters can go so far as to annoy me, but they don't get me holding my chest cavity open after handing them a spear to stab into it.

Doesn't mean I don't feel stuff, go through stuff, think about stuff...just because I don't put it all on blast online, though.

And I don't think that's "toxic" at all.

If one of my Facebook friends who has a harder life than mine, is unhappy because I share mostly funny little anecdotes and art and whatever, and feels like I'm deliberately trying to make them feel bad by comparison...I'm not sure why they would continue to follow my posts.

Mind you, when a friend is suffering, I sure as hell don't pop up and tell them to just smile or pull a "Life of Brian"...always look on the bright side of life...*whistling*... (Monty Python reference if anyone doesn't know)... No, I can be sympathetic and supportive. I would agree if someone is dismissive of another person's problems and tries to tell them to just stop feeling bad and feel good instead, yeah, that's garbage behavior.

But I don't feel like that's what you're getting at here.

At least it doesn't sound that way.

It sounds like a demand that everyone on Facebook share an equal balance of positive and negative things, at the risk of being accused of "toxic positivity." Which is...weird, to me.
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Old 06-14-2023, 02:36 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
8,438 posts, read 3,698,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
This is frequent among chronically positive magical thinking types, they "think" something should be a certain way, you tell them it is not, they won't hear it, and don't want to be wrong because it pains them. They can't handle the truth.
Why do ‘they’ need or have to understand your truth? Regarding social media/the thread, what difference does it make? If ‘chronically positive magical-thinking types’ annoy you, then the question needs to be asked (relative to a Psychology Forum) - why do you engage, follow or friend them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Magical thinking is false thinking and it's toxic.
How do you confirm or deny another’s ‘false thinking’; and, for that matter, how is it toxic to you? Folks need not be miserable or ‘spill tea’ in order to be real.
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