Gavin Starks
2 min readMar 23, 2020


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Social-media health tips

We’re all worried. To help everyone keep informed, stay safe and reduce anxiety, here are some social-media tip that will help all of us:

1. Do not forward documents in chat (e.g. WhatsApp) without a link to a *credible* website.

2. Switch off the TV, radio and all your social media channels for at least a few hours. We are all going to get news fatigue — tune in for updates, don’t saturate.

3. When people are scared, support them. Also: rest.

If you’re tempted to forward or share something that, really, you know better (don’t you)…pause… make a cup to tea…listen to some music…watch a video or, better still, call someone you care about.

Let us focus on supporting those nearest to us and minimise worry about things we have no control over.

Whether you are religious or not, it seems wise to follow the serenity prayer:

“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference”

Forwarding ‘questionable’ content only serves to:

  • increase your anxiety and the anxiety of those around you
  • reduce trust in our social structures
  • promote disinformation and misinformation
  • reduce the sense of agency people feel
  • increase uncertainty
  • incite anger


  • focus on your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you
  • support the vast collective effort of our public servants and health workers
  • vote based on your personal and individual moral conscience—most of us live in a democracy, use it.

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