Like many people, I have spent a lot of time in front of my phone, computer and TV, focused on the war in Ukraine. On some TV news programs, this is literally the only topic, sometimes in subtle detail. What we are seeing, hearing and reading is terrifying and sometimes graphic. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel
Sad, angry, sad and sometimes frightened by the news. Usually, what I feel is empathy for distant people I don’t know personally, but sometimes that deep concern turns into personal anxiety, especially when I talk about nuclear war or “World War III”. I hear about the possibility.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about talking to kids about war, but it’s not just young people who may be concerned. There are adults too. This can happen especially to those of us old enough to remember the Cold War. I grew up in a time when he was a constant threat. My school days were often interrupted by air strike exercises, where we were instructed to come under our desks in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack—like a wooden desk with massive fireballs and subsequent radiation. will provide any level of protection against During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, I remember looking up at planes to make sure they didn’t have hammers and sickles. My family didn’t have a Fallout Shelter, but some of our neighbors did. If you need a refresher course, google “cold war air raid cartoonTo watch the “Duck and Cover” cartoon series with some pretty ominous film footage of what to do in the event of a bomb.
TV news has been scary enough since the Ukraine war began, but some of the pictures and videos on social media are even more graphic. I know it is important to be aware of the atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin, but there are times when I have to look away to maintain my own conscience.
I have also seen some posts on social media that are outraged, some with propaganda, including repeating Russian propaganda, such as claim rejected That the US is funding a bioweapon lab in Ukraine. David Victor wrote an excellent prime for the New York Times, How to Avoid Sharing Misinformation on the War in Ukraine, where he lists some of the red flags a post may consider to be shared. These include verification of the person posting (look for the blue verification badges on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook that are often assigned to journalists and other public figures). That doesn’t prove they’re right and certainly doesn’t discredit everyone without such badges, but at least you know the people with these badges are who they say they are. Also, beware of usernames containing a long string of numbers, which are often bots. And, as ConnectSafely suggests in our Quick Guide to Misinformation and Media Literacy, “Search for the source and author to see what else they’ve published and what others are saying about them. Also search topics to see what else has been written, including articles that may be what you’re looking for can deny that.”
Social media is a two-way street
But social media can also have a calming effect and be a source of accurate information, including posts from legitimate news sources. Calm-wise – not everything I see on social media is about war. In fact, most of the people I follow on Facebook are using their feeds mostly to post personal news, pleasant photos, funny stories or jokes, all of which can help break the separation and help us Can assure that life goes on. The same goes for Instagram and Tiktok. I had heard about the misinformation on TikTok, and although I’m sure it’s there, when I randomly scrolled through the videos, I didn’t see any, most of which were people’s attempts to be funny. Were. Even though we may be living in unusual times, my social media feed reflects the very well needed normalcy. Yes, there are posts about Ukraine, but most are about “normal” things like birthdays, holidays and other life moments.
Personally, what I have received from social media during this war is a confirmation that most people – including many who do not share my politics – are concerned and caring. It’s easy to feel powerless when faced with all this bad news, but social media can be empowering — at least — proving an opportunity to share your feelings and take action, even if it’s a modest donation to benefit victims. Doing learning about a local event to support people in the war or area. While it is certainly possible to be negatively affected by social media discussions about war, I have found some reassuring and united.
fundraising and donating online
I used Facebook’s fundraising tool to organize my own fundraiser to benefit World Central Kitchen, which is helping feed refugees from Ukraine. As I wrote in my funding pitch, “I feel helpless when I hear the news about Ukraine. Raising funds to feed refugees and people in the country will not stop the terror, but it will ease the pain of innocent Ukrainians.” It will take a little work to do less. Donating money for this purpose may not be ‘enough’, but it is something we can do.”
My Facebook friends and followers met my $2,000 goal in a matter of hours, so I raised it to $5,000 and that too has been exceeded. In addition to my own fundraiser, I contributed to others’ Facebook fundraisers, not only to provide modest financial support but to show my support for their efforts. Facebook gives you the option to donate anonymously, but you can also let others know that you donated without disclosing the amount, so making a small donation also shows your support for the cause and the person raising the money. . One of the big benefits of a Facebook fundraiser is that Facebook covers all transaction costs, including any credit card fees.
take a break
Despite the positive aspects of having a conversation and being informed, there are times when we need a break from the bad news. Lately, I’ve found myself watching a little less TV news, especially the 24/7 cable coverage that often focuses on the most horrific atrocities and horrific scenarios. Sometimes I have to “change channels” to find something to take my mind off the troubles of the world. Or I go for a walk where I appreciate my quiet, peaceful neighborhood. Instead of constantly watching TV or scrolling online, I found that getting news from reputable online news sites gave me the information I felt I needed to have enough emotional content to stimulate my empathy without raising my blood pressure. Is. It is a balancing act. We want to be informed, we want to do whatever we can, but we want to be able to get a good night’s sleep and avoid spinning our wheels in a way that doesn’t help the people of Ukraine but injure themselves and those close to us.