Midstate educators share ways to focus on mental health during a social media outage


HARRISBURG Pa., (WHTM) — Counseling experts say technology has a huge impact on the way people communicate and the worldwide social media outage took a lot by surprise this week.

The feeling of not being able to post, or the fear of missing out on what’s going on can cause anxiety for many social media users.

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Just this week billions of social media users worldwide had trouble with Instagram, Facebook, and many more platforms.

“So one of the first things that we often tell people is to be mindful, be aware of what you are feeling and that often forces us to slow down,” Dr. Matthew Shupp, associate professor of counseling education with Shippensburg University, said

Dr. Shupp says technology has become closely integrated into people’s daily activities.

However, taking little breaks away from their phones while paying attention to their thoughts and feelings can benefit their mental health and reduce anxiety.

“Having coping skills to be able to navigate a situation like this, when there’s something like this when there’s something that impacts us, that forces us to think a little differently, anxiety doesn’t have to lead to full-blown panic,” Dr. Shupp said.

Richard Fellinger is a Midstate author who says social media helps his business, but Fellinger says he tries his best to monitor how long he’s online.

“There are moments where I should feel like I should get off, I’m scrolling too much I try and be conscious of it and I understand it can be hard for some people not to be conscious of it,” Fellinger said.

Sarah Miller says during the recent social media outage, that gave her time to focus on the activities she likes to do.

“For me personally, social media does not contribute to a lot of my day, but I can understand why a lot of people would get anxious about it. But for me personally, I just chose to spend the day off of social media. Kinda worked better for me anyway,” Miller said.

Dr. Shupp says for many social media users, it might not happen overnight and it’s going to take time in changing their habits and decreasing their screen time.

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