At any time of the day our phones will ding to let you know you have a notification. It might be breaking news or a message from a friend. The days of waiting for the newspaper to arrive to tell you the current events are long gone. Now those “papers” are a scroll and a swipe away. News of tragic events come to us live as they unfold. Social media is now something that often affects our grief.
This is especially true in light of the recent passing of basketball star Kobe Bryant along with his young daughter. It was being reported that the LA police were upset that entertainment media group TMZ broke the news before the family could be notified.
Social Media can be a trigger for your own grief
In this world of fast spreading news and notifications, we can even make the decision not to look at it. Have you ever had a rough day and an image of some tragedy pops up on your screen? You probably had an even deeper emotional response.
While dealing with your own trauma and grief, a flash of another disaster can be a trigger for your own grief. At times it is nice to feel the shared understanding of experiencing such trauma. It can be healing to sit with others who have been through what you have been through. If you are struggling with your own grief though, seeing these images or reading these articles can be a detriment to your healing if it is done in excess.
Ways to Manage Grief Triggered by Social Media
If you find your grief being triggered by the constant stream of information and images online here are some ways to manage it’s impact.
Set your phone apps so that they do not give notifications that pop up visually on your phone or tablet.
Sometimes information will pop up and you can’t help but read it or see a picture. If you do not allow these notifications you can check yourself when you may be more mentally prepared for whatever info it may have.
Give yourself a certain time frame that you can check social media or other news sources.
If you only check them at certain times a day you can take that time to digest whatever the “news” is and then close it again and not make it a focus.
Take time away from social media.
Make a day of the week or certain times during the day a “no media Monday” or some other fun name and challenge yourself to only focus on being present in real life.
Delete apps off of your phone.
Deleting social media apps or news sites can help to keep from compulsively or unexpectedly scrolling past something that triggers that grief.
Take time for real connection.
Connect with people in real life. Have conversation and be social without the media.
While technology has its many benefits, it can also be a trigger for grief. There are certainly lots of fantastic support services online. There are many heartwarming stories and inspiration that we can draw from that come across our social media feeds. Use those to build yourself up but always remember that personal connections are the best way to heal from grief. Find a friend, counselor or a grief support group to help you along the way.