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  • Kelsey Darmochwal

Managing Emotions Online

Reading ads and articles ( and even others opinions) can sometime bring up uncomfortable feelings. Here are some steps to help stay calm and collected.

While I always encourage the following principles when using social media, I feel it is worthwhile to have a refresher as we enter a new season of heightened emotions related to politics, please bear in mind the following for yourself and others:

1. People on the internet are still people. If you wouldn't say it to someones face, don't type it on your screen. This is the online disinhibition effect.

If you feel so strongly about what someone has written, remember is it much better to engage with them in person or at least over the phone to eliminate this problem for both parties.

2. Consider the 15 common logical fallacies and how to identify them.*

3. Opinions based on emotion are more likely to be changed with emotion. Opinions based in evidence are likely to be changed with evidence. Trying to use evidence on emotion or emotion on evidence will not work well, especially in the light of online disinhibition effect.

4. Marketing consultants are using data from psychology to garner attention online, because of this reading headlines alone is not a reliable way to gather information. Remember the rules of reputable information - Is this in-depth? Who is the audience? What is the purpose? Who are the authors? Is it published on a reputable non-biased media source? Is it able to be found in more than one location? Is it current? What supporting documentation exists?

5. If you find yourself struggling with emotions relating to what you are seeing, it is PERFECTLY HEALTHY to take a break from social media or restrict your content. Anger can be an excellent catalyst to motivate action, but if you cannot reasonably take action it is ok to step away (control what you can, release what you cannot). While experiencing unpleasant emotions is a natural part of life, if these experiences are making it difficult for you to stay focused on things you enjoy or preventing you from feeling hope it can help to step away.

* Here is a link to an article about the 15 common logical fallacies along with good examples of each.

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If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately. If you're having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). If you are located outside the United States, call your local emergency line immediately.

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