Dealing With People OnlineRelationshipsDealing With People Online<div class="ExternalClass5962E448FA8F461AA1169A9D39208367"><p>​<span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:"times new roman", serif;">I’m currently dealing with some anxiety and self-esteem issues, which I seem to be getting from social media. I often use apps like Discord, Reddit, and other sites to try and escape my problems, but they always seem to come back to me, either by embarrassing myself or being made fun of by people online. Now, I’m not saying that everyone is like this, but the majority of people I interact with online are usually dismissive and oblivious to their problems or their feelings, and they sometimes end up hurting people without even realizing it. So, I’m personally considering if I should just stop trying to connect with people online and just focus on myself, whether it be through some other activity or working on school. I don’t want to be disconnected from everyone, but at the same time, am I even ready to make social interaction? Also, I’d just like to say that I’d really appreciate it if people didn’t make jokes about me or my situation. I understand that people make jokes, and sometimes I can have a good laugh at that, but this is a crossroad that I’m currently facing and wondering how I should handle it. A lot of people seem to do this online, and if I’ll be honest, it angers me to no end. </span><br></p></div><div class="ExternalClass55B4C2BF16B74AB98DF4C1D0A7CC03DC"><p>​Thanks for reaching out about this. It's great to bring these concerns to light, especially when it feels like it's really weighing on you.</p><p>It sounds like you're experiencing some hard times dealing with people online. One of the best things about the internet is also one of the worst: You can interact with all sorts of different people. You can find the sweetest, most compassionate people on one page, and the rudest, most insensitive on the next. It's completely normal to feel upset when people make jokes about you or call you names. After all, those are hurtful behaviors.</p><p>Another great thing about the internet and online interactions is that you can generally get away from it pretty easily. When you encounter people, who are calling you names or making you feel anxious, do what you need to do to separate yourself from them. Switch to a new page, a new site, block them, or simply put it away for a bit. You can't control the mean things people say and do, but you can absolutely control whether you engage with it.<br></p><p>The anxiety and self-esteem is something that you can work on over time. You might find it helpful to limit how much time you spend online, or just spend less time on certain sites. You certainly don't have to give up social media altogether but bringing some balance to what you view and how much time you spend viewing will give you some more control over how you feel. What you said about focusing on yourself is a great idea. Having friends and community is important, and social media can be really beneficial in that regard, but don't forget to take some time for yourself.</p><p>These next few days see if you can work on that balance of online/offline time. Practice your awareness of your own feelings and how this balance affects that. And, of course, don't hesitate to reach out again when you need. We're here for you.<br></p><p>​Take care,<br></p><p>Nate, Counselor<br></p></div>14

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