Is Social Media Closing the Gap it Created in the First Place?

Technology is good for so many positive purposes when it’s put to use for the right reasons. But when it’s abused the results can be catastrophic. Take online bullying for example. It’s been linked to low self esteem, actual fights, and worst of all – suicide.

There’s a lot you can ignore while looking down at your mobile device. But can we really ignore the gap that separates the technology generation from real life eye contact? One social media platform is attempting to bridge the gap society says it created in the first place.

Facebook Reaches Out.

When someone posts content that could be construed as suicidal in one form or another, the post can be reported as such. But now Facebook is taking that action one step further by reaching out to the original poster and offering additional resources and help.

“For those who may need help we have significantly expanded the support and resources that are available to them the next time they log on to Facebook after we review a report of something they’ve posted,” Facebook Product Manager Rob Boyle and Facebook Community Operations Safety Specialist Nicole Staubli explained in a post. “Besides encouraging them to connect with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we now also give them the option of reaching out to a friend, and provide tips and advice on how they can work through these feelings. All of these resources were created in conjunction with our clinical and academic partners.”

In its own social way, Facebook is also providing resources to the person who reports the content.

“We’re also providing new resources and support to the person who flagged the troubling post, including options for them to call or message their distressed friend letting them know they care, or reaching out to another friend or a trained professional at a suicide hotline for support,” the post continues.

Teaching people to not only care, but to take action. That’s something Direct Care can get on board with. It’s pretty great that social media is being used for this kind of good, even if it is partially responsible for creating the problem in the first place. It’s already easy to hide behind a mobile device – it might as well be just as easy to help a friend who’s in too deep.

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