Compassion fatigue in the age of social media
Have you at any point felt like you don’t have the strength to care about anything any longer? Have you at any point felt damaged and upset by the battles of others?
In the event that you addressed ‘yes’ to any of these inquiries, odds are you have Compassion fatigue.
What is compassion fatigue?
Compassion fatigue (also called “vicarious traumatization” or secondary traumatization) is indifference to charitable appeals on behalf of suffering people, experienced as a result of the frequency or number of such appeals. This condition is characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others.
What does social media have to do with it?
Before the era of the internet and social media, Compassion fatigue was something that only Medical health workers and social justice professionals had to deal with. But in the modern age, we have never been more consistently conscious of the horrific tragedies occurring around us, throughout the world. We, as a society face the peril of becoming numb after withstanding so much loathsomeness. Doing even the most mundane things, such as scrolling mindlessly through Facebook feed has become an utter black cloud. Pictures of dead Syrian babies, personal stories of rape and sexual, and the news of drought and hunger has become commonplace.
Where’s the solution?
From a superficial view of the problem, one might tell you to put down your phone and minimize the use of social media and focus on self-care. But this solution may not be as practical as one might think. Being an active part of a community involves empathizing with your peers about the issues they hold close to them, which is why it isn’t always easy to cut down your screen time. Sometimes, your silence due to lack of knowledge can be misinterpreted as indifference, and you are easily labeled as a bigot, racist, or a sexist.
It is our responsibility, as a society to let people around us have a break once in a while. We should all collectively get rid of our hostile attitudes and the “cancel” culture and give people around us more breathing space. Everyone should have a right to just keep themselves updated with only a small number of issues that are important to them so that no one will have to burn themselves out with the fear of missing out.