A little while ago Dodie, accompanied by Hazel, uploaded a video discussing her sharing a lot about her mental health online and the video alone sparked off a lot of thoughts for me but the conversation that followed was even more interesting. Not only did Dodie’s fans voice how they feel about her content and uploads but friends such as Lucy Moon and Melanie Murphy replied also and it’s got me thinking.
I have spent the last few days drafting and re-drafting this post for fear of saying something wrong or even, ironically, oversharing in this post itself.
As Melanie says this new world full of social media is new to us all and for the likes of myself and Dodie we’ve been there through it’s rising. In historical terms, it is still a very new concept and therefore the do’s and don’t in this online world are not yet established.
Over the years I’ve had an assortment of accounts – some privately made for myself, some for only certain people and many for the entire world and as a result of that my following has had stark differences across accounts and I’m in a place now where I am tiny proportionally online and I think perhaps it’s my favourite time. On my accounts, there has always been a discussion of mental health but to what degree and what degree they should be at is the question. Now don’t get me wrong – the conversation of mental health and support of others will always be of immense importance to me but retrospectively I’m wondering if I have overshared about my experiences before and if perhaps I still am? Wait no… I have most certainly overshared before – I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But now I am trying to find the balance.
Over the last month, I have either entirely remade or cleared out my online accounts in order to delete anything that I felt was ‘oversharing’ but now with these new clean accounts, I’m wondering where to start. Firstly I am no longer going to be writing posts when I am in my darkest places in the spur of the moment and I think that is a decision Dodie has made also. It is very, very easy to use this online world as a place to vent and a place of comfort. Somewhere that isn’t totally private but feels a lot less intimate than being face to face with someone. But isn’t that also an issue? Shouldn’t we be reaching out instead to friends and family? And with Dodie: when you have a following so large should you consider the effects it could have on others?
I have been a part of Instagrams recovery community on-and-off for a good 5 or so years now and I have to admit what once was a supportive positive community is now a dark place filled with detrimental posts and trigger warnings on every post (however I must commend the use of trigger warnings of course!). Should it be stopped? Is it beneficial? Does it fuel people’s illnesses?
I think Dodie is really brave for making this video and it has definitely sparked off the right sort of conversations that need a lot more discussion and thought about. What’re everyone’s opinions – I’d be really interested to know. I think I’ll do a follow up post when I’ve had more time to draw conclusions and put all my thoughts and opinions into practice.