This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT). The images in this post will expand when clicked.
While social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and is even used in some contexts for learning; it is important that we are mindful about how we use social media and the potential negative effects on our health.
However it’s not all bad news. There are mindfulness app’s that we can install to help track and limit our use of potentially negative habit-forming platforms. There is also lots of advice about being mindful and healthy when interacting in online social spaces. A quick Google search will return numerous sites and articles – here’s a couple of examples to get you started:
In my first professional post as a librarian at the Charles Frears School of Nursing, one of my duties was cataloguing new books. These were mostly textbooks but one day something different arrived on our shelves. It was a memoir by a then little known writer who had worked as a midwife in the East End of London just after World War Two. While cataloguing this book I was drawn in by the stories of hardship and human warmth and it took rather longer to arrive on the shelves than usual! Little did I know that this was the start of a global phenomenon: it was, of course, Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
In the years since Call the Midwife came out, there has been a flurry of first person accounts by health professionals – such as This is Going to Hurt by junior doctor Adam Kay and The Language of Kindness by nurse Christie Watson – reaching the best-seller lists. Writer and nurse, Molly Case has an explanation for the recent rise of the medical memoir: “Modern life is so frantic and everybody is so busy clicking things online and rushing around that there’s this collective need for introspection. People want to look inward at their bodies and minds. They want to unpick how society works and find out what makes the people looking after them tick” (O’Kelly, 2019). It may also be that at a time when the NHS is perceived by some to be under threat that the public is seeking to better understand and to celebrate one of the UK’s leading institutions.
A new display in the Kimberlin Library seeks to explore some of these intersections between health, medicine, literature and the arts. Based around the six books on the shortlist for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize, all of which are available to borrow, we have extended the theme to include books from our collection and objects from DMU Special Collections. My personal favourite is Life is the Heart of a Rainbow which features the works of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama has a mental health disorder and has suffered from hallucinations since childhood but has used these visual disturbances as an inspiration for mesmerising artworks – many of which famously feature polka dots – over a long and critically acclaimed career.
You will find the display in the Learning Zone on the ground floor of the Library, next to the Leisure Reading collection.
This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT).
A slight departure from the usual tips this week but perhaps one of the most important in the series.
When we use technology, especially in spaces where we can communicate and interact with others, it is important that we think about the impact that our contributions may have on others and how we process content that we see online.
It is all too easy to become embroiled in online arguments, trolling and to become a victim of such online abuse and we must ensure that we at least know where to get help if this happens.
Using technology can make us feel as though we have a shield or some sort of invincibility due to the asynchronous and often anonymous nature of online discussions but technology can be a platform for bullies and their victims.
Often, we can be exposed to content that might affect us by accident. We have no control over what others may post or say and they have no control over our actions in online spaces – this means we can feel the negative effects without being the victim of targeted/malicious posts; and we might negatively affect others if we don’t think about our own actions and posts.
If you feel as though your wellbeing and mental health are affected by your online interactions (either directly or indirectly) please talk to a trusted friend or colleague or book a DMU SPA appointment. It is easy to become affected without realising it and regular breaks from social media along with developing an understanding of how we process and internalise information we see online can help us to equip ourselves with the resilience and courtesy required to cope with 24 hour access to online information and interactions.