7 resources for responsible sharing on social media

In this time of social distancing, the digital world can be a valuable source of connection if used responsibly. Thank you for joining me .

In another post I shared 9 strategies for responsible social media posting and sharing. Here are the online resources that I used and some others for you to check out.

Take A Seat — Chuck Sigars

Mr. Sigars blog post isn’t so much about how but about why it’s important to post responsibly. I include it here because the situation he describes was part of what prompted me to address this problem. He wrote,

we end up living in a world in which casual truth and lies exist in the same moment and we’re too overwhelmed and busy to figure it out. We believe what we want, and disbelieve the rest, and now that I think about it, this is exactly the world we live in. Never mind.

man looking at a phone screen
4 Tips for Spotting a Fake News Story
One tip is-

Pay attention to quality and timeliness.

Social Media Tips – Viswanath Lab

Be the weak link-you may be unknowingly contributing to the spread of false information forwarding anything and everything you receive.

THINK before you post or share.
graphical depiction of electronic devices, paper, pencil, Bible, coffee mug
How to Avoid Falling for Urban Legends, Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories

Why would we believe unfounded and sensational claims and theories about people and events that could be easily explained otherwise?

They help us make sense of and manage threats. Most pieces of misinformation address things we fear (diseases, kidnapping, murder, mysterious creatures, crime, etc.). We often don’t fully understand these threats, so we use misinformation to make sense of them and to cope with our fears.

5 ways to spot disinformation on your social media feeds

Remember that the creators of disinformation purposely make content that is designed to trigger an emotional response,

so if you find yourself having those reactions, please pause and consider the questions listed in the article.
The Simplest Way to Spot Coronavirus Misinformation on Social Media |

The SIFT method described by this digital literacy expert can be used with any information, not just about coronavirus-Stop, Investigate, Find, Trace.

hands keyboarding
Tips & Tools – Media Literacy & Misinformation – LibGuides at Monmouth University

Manmouth University sponsors this website dedicated to Media Literacy . The site offers advice on

  • how to choose a news source
  • how to fact check
  • how to image check
  • how to check your own bias
  • how misinformation spreads
  • how to evaluate sources
  • conspiracy theories

“The problem is not that some people might believe something that’s not true. The problem is that most people might stop caring if anything is true.”

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Director, University of Virginia Center for Media & Citizenship 

Try these tips now while reading-

Microchips in our vaccines?

Use these resources to evaluate this blog post by Dr. Gretchen LaSalle. Whatever you already think about vaccines, microchips, and Bill Gates, identify your own bias, then objectively consider what she says. Fact check her references, think critically, consider all sides, identify your emotional reaction.

And if you choose to share the post, consider using the strategies I suggested in my previous post.

Use these 9 strategies to share responsibly on social media

People use fear to motivate and manipulate. Using phrases like “they don’t want you to see this”, “share before they remove it ”, and words like racist, fascist, communist, conspiracy, censored, socialist, control, right, left, etc. imply an urgency that usually isn’t realistic or rational. Sharing verifiable information allows your friends to draw their own conclusions based on fact not fear.

But if we have learned anything in the Internet Era, it is this… We can’t always believe what we read. Even legitimate news outlets get it wrong sometimes and people have agendas which can color how they report “the news”. Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it’s time consuming. But we HAVE to do the work of researching these claims to make sure we are not part of the problem in spreading falsehoods and misinformation.

Gretchen LaSalle, M.D.

exploring the HEART of health on social media

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

I appreciate your commitment for making social media a safer, more valuable, and healthier place to connect and share what we know and what we feel. In this time of social distancing, the digital world can be a valuable source of connection if used responsibly. Thank you for joining me .

                              Dr. Aletha 

7 tips to calm your corona crisis concerns

Practicing mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and spiritual practices will help center you in routines and awareness, and keep your mind from wandering into the dark and sometimes irrational unknown.

Even physicians feel stressed and uneasy about the COVID-19 pandemic, maybe more so than others. After all, we’re supposed to be the ones with the answers to our patients’ questions and have the means to help them. And unfortunately this is a time when we have little of both and it’s frustrating.

One of my collagues read an article about dealing with this stress, and to decrease our stress from having one more piece of information to read he briefly outlined it in an email and added his own thoughts. I liked it so well I asked him if I could feature it here and he graciously consented. And like he did, I have added a few of my thoughts and some references, as well as a link to the original article from CNNhealth.

Limit the frequency of your updates, including social media  

With one of my patients who I was having to talk off of a ledge twice weekly, I suggested allowing herself one news check-in for 30 minutes each morning.  This worked for her.  Choose a frequency and a time that works for you.  But why stop there?  Consider a social media sabbatical .  Truly.  Give it a week and see how you feel. Taking the apps off your phone or tablet helps keep you accountable. 

CDC-Coronavirus Disease 2019

Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction

a podcast by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Join CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the latest news about the coronavirus. He’ll make sense of the headlines, speak with the experts and give you all the information you need to stay safe and healthy.

diagram of the human brain.
The major parts of the brain, including the pineal gland, cerebellum, spinal cord, brain stem, pituitary gland, and cerebrum are labeled. photo courtesy of Source: National Cancer Institute Creator: Alan Hoofring (Illustrator)
Name your fears

Recognize that we all have a negativity bias hard-wired into our brains.  It’s a leftover evolutionary tool that helped keep our caveman and hunter-gatherer ancestors alive. 

In addition to constantly scanning our environment for threats, it also does a good job of overestimating the likelihood that something tragic will befall us, and underestimates our capacity and resources to cope.  We’re not crazy or neurotic, we’re just wired that way.

Conversely, if you minimize or ignore the threat of the pandemic, ask yourself if you should  take it more seriously. If your reactions don’t match those of others in your community, your fear may have driven you to denial.

Practice Social Distancing
Think outside yourself: 

If/when you are feeling overly worried and anxious, and your thinking feels contracted and hopeless, turn your thoughts to how you can help someone else.  This may be a child or other family member, a group of society that is at risk or marginalized at this time, or some of the groups at higher risk due to their occupations, age, or medical conditions. 

Science is unequivocal that when our thoughts turn to serving others, symptoms of worry, anxiety and depression lessen, and we feel better about ourselves.  And this does not have to be anything big, simply shifting to focus off of ourselves and onto someone else helps.

a smiling woman working on a laptop computer
Physicians and counsellors are available virtually, by phone or video visits.
Seek support, but do it wisely: 

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.  And that goes for us caregivers too.  We are not, and should not think of ourselves, as impervious to the various stressors, the disrupted routines and all of the uncertainty that is prevalent in the world right now. Ask someone you can trust to be objective and rational, and not feed your worries or concerns. 

Pay attention to your basic needs

Don’t get so wrapped up in thinking about the coronavirus that you forget the essential, healthy practices that keep you physically well. 

  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Keeping up with proper nutrition
  • Getting outside as much as possible
  • Engaging in regular physical activity

Practicing mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and spiritual disciplines will  help center you in routines and awareness, and keep your mind from wandering into the dark and sometimes irrational unknown.

a women with hands clasped in prayer with a Bible
a man reading to two young girls, sitting in a woman's lap
Don’t chastise yourself for worrying. 

Again, this is part of our normal evolutionary programming.  And to help kids when they are scared, don’t just tell them everything is going to be alright. 

Let them know you hear their concerns and that you understand where they are coming from.  And THEN give them evidence and reasoning for the opposite side of the worry equation.  

Acknowledge their fears, and validate them…  And then do the same for yourself.

This post was adapted from this article on CNNhealth

How to keep coronavirus fears from affecting your mental health

Thanks to my guest writer-Dane Treat, M.D.

Dr. Treat graduated from the University of Oklahoma medical school, although a couple of decades later than I did. He completed residency at Good Samaritan Family Practice in Phoenix, where he lives and practices now. He also completed a Sports Medicine fellowship. He is a student of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. He wisely married a Mayo Clinic trained gastroenterologist, and they are the proud parents of a daughter.

near Phoenix, at Scottsdale Arizona, The Boulders Resort; photo by Dr. Aletha

exploring the HEART of dealing with COVID-19

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

If you are depressed and thinking about or planning suicide, please stop and call this number now-1-800-273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

If you want to help, donate to your local food bank, or make a purchase or donate to The Hunger Site.com . (This is an affiliate link that pays this blog a commission, however 100% of a donation stays with the charity.)

                              Dr. Aletha