Monday, 13 August 2012

Guest Post - A carer on social networks

What follows is a guest post which resonated very strongly with me.  It highlights what I have come to realise, namely that we have to look out for our own mental health first and giving support to others second. I got the balance wrong and paid the price. Thankfully I have worked my way through it and will be more careful in future. I hope it helps others avoid 'falling apart'. Have a read, I thoroughly recommend it...

When is enough really enough?
I am a huge fan of social networks such as twitter and Facebook but are they really harmless places to socialise?
Oh I know about the dangers of stalkers, pedophiles etc and the danger they represent but what about to 'ordinary' everyday users?
I have come to realise that these social sites are used for many different reasons by many different personalities, maybe that is what keeps it exciting for us.
I have however been made to look more closely at what can happen to the 'carers' of twitter recently.
Carers are the people who often have problems/issues of their own, be that illness, disability, emotional issues etc. this doesn't surprise me as I have always believed those most willing and able to support others are often those who have experienced things in their own lives, maybe that is why they reach out to others or why others reach out to them.
This is a good thing and thankfully people do still care enough about their fellow human beings to interact in this way. But it carries with it responsibility not only to the person you are helping but first and foremost to yourself.
I have seen several of my friends get overwhelmed by the demands placed on them recently. 
If you dread logging onto a social network for fear of what may be asked of you, or logging on to check on your 'friends' takes precedence over other maybe more important things then you need to take a step back and look at what you are doing and what you could do differently.
Your own emotional and physical health must always be your priority or you will find yourself rushing headlong Into burnout.
Burnout is a very real problem and should be taken very seriously. 
Maybe it is my background in Psychology That has made me so aware of how awful it can be and the warning signs we should be looking out for.
I reached a stage in my working life where I used to have to have stern words with myself before a client came to get my head in the right place to work with that client. 
There were times when a feeling of real dread would come over me at the thought of the days counselling ahead. Admittedly I had health problems to contend with as well but I pushed on for far longer than I should have done.
I have to admit I wonder if we allow ourselves to get so involved in others issues or causes as it enables us to put our own issues on the back burner for a while,
Whilst your head and your heart is feeling for and at times fighting for other people or other causes you have no time to look at yourself and what may be going on in your own world. 
It's a clever distraction but don't be fooled, whatever it is you are covering up or running from will need facing one day and you will have depleted energy with which to face it if all of your energy has gone to others.
Don't stop supporting or caring about your fellow human beings as it is what makes you special and undoubtably it is appreciated but do please keep your own health and well being uppermost in your mind, taking a step back now and then is preferable to having to cope with burnout. 

Used with permission from Penny's Points blog.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post social networks it provides a common forum for representatives of communications science and other disciplines who share an interest in the study of the empirical structure of social relations and associations that may be expressed in network form. It is also a grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision.


Comments are always welcome....