The Relationship Gap in Social Media and Texting Platforms

Social Media | Texting | Emailing | Technology in Communication

Don't fall in the relationship gap created by digital forms of communication. Photo by Pixabay, public use domain.
Don’t fall in the relationship gap created by digital forms of communication. Photo by Pixabay, public use domain.

Mind the Gap.

You see the signs or hear the audible warnings inside of the London Tube, a reminder to pay attention to the gap between the train door and the platform. A misstep could result in serious injury.

I wish people would hear a similar audio byte, “Mind the Relationship Gap”, each time they send a lengthy text to someone other than themselves. Maybe it would save them the anguish and frustration that my clients talk about, saying, “I know  I shouldn’t do this, but I got into a texting fight with [name of person], and it was all downhill from there.”

It’s been brought to my attention how commonplace it is to see lengthy Social Media posts that fall into a similar pattern as long smartphone texts. What exactly is happening here when we pick up our devices and start finger tapping away? Are we accomplishing the things we think we are, and are we losing anything in the process?  Continue reading “The Relationship Gap in Social Media and Texting Platforms”

    Thanksgiving Day 2016

    Thanksgiving Day | Going Home | Family Dynamics

    Thanksgiving Day 2016

    Ah, it’s that time again.

    We are about to climb into our cars, board planes, or open our homes to family members and friends to celebrate an American tradition: coming together at the Thanksgiving Day meal, tossing around the ball for a friendly game of flag football, and figuring out how on earth we were ever comfortable sleeping on those tiny, double-sized twin beds.

    This year has another special feature to integrate. How do we integrate or avoid arguing with people over conflicting views about the the new presidential administration and proposed changes? And what, if anything, does this have to do with your mental and emotional health?

    You tell me. I mean, literally: you all have been telling me over the last two weeks. People are reporting that they are thinking about this challenge. People are asking me what to consider as they make plans to spend time with family, friends, and community members, as its citizens discuss their views of the future under a new president and administration.

    And some are already changing plans, based on what is happening in their homes and friend’s home, with some of that decision having nothing to do with the election. They have long-standing conflict that has been lingering for years.

    Read on for more tips to consider before you meet together.  Continue reading “Thanksgiving Day 2016”

      Election Anxiety

      Election Anxiety

      Seattle Direct Counseling | Presidential Election Anxiety Fears

      Blue and white box with slit for ballots on a sidewalk.
      An official ballot box for the Nov 8 elections stands ready to receive ballots on a Seattle street.

      I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write about Election Anxiety, or ‘Election Distress Disorder’ (not a real DSM-V disorder).

      Because of the ethics of my profession, I consider it a solemn duty in this season to listen to all my clients in a non-judgmental manner; to do anything less dishonors our profession and the work we each do to hear ourselves and apply ourselves at whatever level of free agency that we can.

      After nearly 17 years of doing therapy in the Seattle area, I have concluded that the current presidential election campaign is the most talked about campaign of my career. It’s also the most controversial, and the topics that have been stirred up have affected all peoples on either side of the political aisle, as well as those who have chosen to depart from the mainstream political parties.

      Yet, I am not here to talk about the particulars of the campaigns. I want to talk about what the campaign has done to us, what it has forced upon the table. It is being called collectively, “Election Anxiety”, an anxious reaction to the fears, racism, misogyny, and verbal bullying that our nation has witnessed on our television screen, computer monitors, and smart devices in the form of video, news articles, audio sound bytes, and Social Media response.

      It’s not that any of these topics are new. The sheer volume, however, is new. For example, I have been called the derogatory term, “chink,” many times in my adult lifetime. Yet, the number of derogatory terms directed at my fellow Latino and Latina friends has exponentially exploded this year.

      A year ago, we weren’t even using that terminology, “Election Anxiety.” Now, it’s a ‘thing’. A real thing.

      I am not alone in naming this ‘thing’. In an article from the New York Times,  Social Workers and Licensed Mental Counselors across the country are reporting an increase of clients asking to talk about the elections during therapy in the form of anxious and fearful thoughts.

      And now, Election Anxiety has come to my office is in the form of requests about how thoughts regarding bullying, misogyny, racism, and micro aggressions in the workplace might be handled.

      Read on for more about Election Anxiety.

      Continue reading “Election Anxiety”