Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 1 of en Epic Social Experiment

The face of fear!

So, it's time for me to do something I have been
putting off for six years! I cannot believe I'm doing this, but the best way to conquer a fear is by facing head on. This post will serve as documentation of the journey upon me. 

For  most people, the task is something they could do in an hour tops. In fact, many are, have, and continue to do so. I hate ominous posts, but it's just my nerves and the show will go on, to all things superficial.
I am so nervous. I don't want the experiment to be compromised, but it's one hell of an experiment. I tried watching this movie on Lifetime about a pregnancy pact. It's amazing the things one must endure in order to conduct a theory. I always admired the show 20/20 for being able to chronicle ignoble acts by social experiment. I remember there being to men who were exactly the same, with exception to their race. It's amazing that people still have prejudices and when it's brought to their attention they seem shocked and appalled at the reporter for tricking them. Sure, it's sort of cruel, but how else can you get unbiased data to support or defend an argument?  Fortunately, there will be some confusion, I may be accused of lying, and most likely will anger a few. 
I'm excited to see how this unfolds, but again, it's not an area of my life I have ever diverted from, but I am so curious as to the outcome. So, this is day one, and hopefully at the end of this assignment, I will have a great project worth putting myself, family and friends,....ugh....job on the line. People don't like to feel tricked, but how can you conduct a study if you advertise it and expect unbiased data?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mental Health & Social Media

We all wear our masks. We use them to hide our fears and insecurities so that the world is less daunting.
From our perspective, everyone is better than us. They have better jobs, parents, lives, friends, homes, etc. It may seem but it's only what people show to the world.  The person we are on the inside is much different than the person we show to the world. Yes, some people do have more money, more friends, and travel, but that doesn't mean their life is great. To be honest, it takes more courage to be vulnerable on your own than to have a huge network of support. What's more a lot of people have decided it's cool to have disorders such as, obsessive compulsion, anxiety, panic attacks, and so on. Well, I don't doubt that people do have anxiety, we all are anxious as some point and time, but as the DSM V reads it's not as cookie cutter as many are lead to believe. "I have anxiety..." Has become the new "Good morning!" Everyone has it. But, do they really? Not to say anyone is being deceptive, but you don't throw around terms like "I'm OCD," when what you really mean is that you like things a certain way. "I have anxiety," because you're in a crowded room. Maybe you're nervous, or have a phobia of crowds, or flying. By self diagnosing yourself and proclaiming it to thousands, hundreds of thousands, even a million people when it's not a debilitating issue, minimizes the disease for those who suffer.
I saw a Internet personality's video about how she had really bad anxiety, yet you see her at the mall, with crowds, without crowds, meeting people, hugging strangers, traveling, and so on. I cannot judge her diagnosis, but I do know people who have various forms of anxiety. One person has social anxiety so bad, she lost all her friends, and has been a prisoner in her own mind for over ten years. She doesn't date, she can't work, she doesn't open her door to strangers and when she sees these people on YouTube stating they have anxiety, and they are out and about, sure that's a glimpse into their life, but that snapshot is all people have to compare their illness to. "Hey you're like me...I must suck since I have no friends because they got tired of me being a flake. If they knew my problem they'll think I'm mental, or paranoid." No, they won't! They may not understand it, but it's not something to be ashamed of. It's good to release that burden to someone you can trust, but make sure they are a) not going to push your limits, and b) is trustworthy. There are many ways to fight this illness. Many practitioners are available to help. They usually have a combination of therapy and cognitive behavioral techniques to start and some, not all, prescribe medications. I am not a doctor, but it's not a weakness to need help. It's scary trying to free ones self from the hell of isolation, but it's a battle that can be one, it just takes a little faith, some courage and patience.