COLORADO SPRINGS — Shannon Brice is among Facebook early adopters. "Back when I was in college, when it was just college kids." Now, her latest and last post for a very long time is different than her typical connections with old friends and pictures of her cats and dogs. It says she is deleting Facebook. "I feel like my action of deleting the app has allowed me to control something in a world where everything seems like it's out of control," said Brice. She is among social media users seeing it as an additional cause of stress in the midst of all the other unrest so far in 2020.
For Brice signing off social is not about ignoring current events, she wants to stay informed. She is tired from blocking, removing, and deleting negative posts. It seems the digital artificial intelligence did not get the hint. "No matter how many times I did that,…the algorithm beat me. and it still was in my feed that I just didn't want to see," said Brice.
The pandemic, social unrest, and politics, posts are often laced with unyielding opinions. Coker says this is beyond ideas she disagrees with. Even like-minded opinions are often posted with a toxic approach. "Even then there's still language and tone that is being infused in people's posts that aren't productive.""In my opinion it's a healthy decision to take a step back and say no I need to take a break, this isn't healthy for me." said Aspen Pointe, mental health professional, Katie Blickenderfer. The health threat and social unrest in 2020 is taking a toll on the mental health of a lot of people. "Social media if not managed by the individual can lead to amplified feelings within these stressors that are already very real for people." Rather than helpful or influential information, many social media posts just add to anxiety.