Unsurprisingly, research supports women’s–especially Black women’s–descriptions of their experience of online abuse:
It’s pretty hard in 2018 to avoid being online, so it can be hard to avoid abusive interactions. This can leave vulnerable people with increased depression, anxiety, and other trauma-related symptoms. Ideally, various platforms would develop better algorithms and reporting mechanisms to limit online abuse. Even more ideally, people would stop being abusive!
Failing that, you need to support your own mental health as best you can:
- Be mindful of how much time you spend on social media. Take breaks!
- Find supportive groups / circles / allies to focus on
- Find supportive, helpful media sources and check in regularly
- Develop a free “block” or “mute” hand – you don’t owe others your energy, attention, or explanations!
- Document any threats or threatening communications before they are removed, and report abuse
- Know that you are NOT crazy–it really is bad!–and you are not alone ❤