Surviving social media


Veronika Lee, Entertainment Editor

Social media can make or break a person. 


Lauren Duca, a Twitter warrior known for calling for the cancellation of others, is now finding herself with a one-way ticket to being “canceled,” herself.  Duca is a self-proclaimed social justice warrior who relies mainly on tweets to raise awareness and spur dialogue. (She was even on Fox News fighting Tucker Carlson.) This week Buzzfeed exposed that NYU let her teach a journalism course without having any real experience in news. Students in her class also complained that her behavior may be constituted as abusive. 


Oftentimes, according to Chartwells Marketing Director Daniele Frechette, outlets like Twitter are a means for people to take out their negative emotions. No stranger to having the food service company called out on social media, Frechette says it’s wise not to engage online about the conflict.


“I respond and say I am sorry…I tell them to please contact me because I’d love to talk about this privately. I don’t just hash it out on social media. And nine times out of 10, they don’t bother responding after that.”


Sometimes negativity and argumentativeness aren’t the only issues with social media. Photos taken in confidential places or even just on the job can lead to disastrous consequences.


“Saul,” who declined to give his real name, works at a major media company in New York City. One day at work, he found himself stuck in the company elevator. He took a pic and uploaded it to Facebook and Instagram – the photo clearly showing his frustration.  A C-level executive took notice immediately and demanded that he remove the picture at once as it put the company in what they perceived to be a bad light.


“Saul,” whose company is very high profile insists that he will think twice before taking a picture on the job again. 


And sometimes we come across malcontent people on social media who just seem to wish us ill-will. (Revenge porn, anyone?)


In the event that you find yourself the object of cyberbullying, Dr. Megan Gould, a local board-certified psychiatrist, suggests reaching out to the bully directly (if you know them.) “Otherwise, contact the site directly to have the information removed. If all else fails, you may have to just delete your account.” Whether you are the victim of cyberbullying or someone is bringing up past behavior you might not be so proud of, seeking a therapist for help is absolutely critical. 


With regards to how daily social media use affects mental health, Payton Hoxton of Tulane School of Social Work emphasizes the importance of not comparing yourself to others and of practicing wellness through mindfulness and other stress relievers. “You have to remember that social media is a highlight reel of people’s best moments,” she said. “No one is going to show you what’s going wrong so it’s not worth comparing yourself.”


Students who find themselves the object of cyberbullying or who are just struggling with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and/or comparing themselves to others via social media should check in with university counseling services available in the University Center, Room 226. Services are confidential and appointments can be made by calling (504) 280-6683.


Artwork courtesy of Sean MacEntee via Flickr Creative Commons