香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ネットがらみの悩み /東京

(Mainichi Japan) July 31, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Criticism on the Internet
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ネットがらみの悩み /東京

Sending e-mail and checking websites has become a part of our lives, and even keeping blogs or putting our thoughts on Twitter isn't unusual.

The Internet has become further integrated with what we do.

While it has made our lives more convenient and fun on the one hand, I believe that it has brought us its own troubles on the other.

Recently I see more patients who complain of Internet-related problems.

One man began using Twitter, conversing freely with people he had only briefly met through work.

As he and the others exchanged light-hearted messages such as what they were eating for lunch, the man began to feel at ease, like he was with friends.

He started to freely write his thoughts about recent news, like disaster evacuees' criticism of the government or the success of the Japanese national women's soccer team.
Then one day, he found himself at the end of criticism from people he had never met.

He told me he had only meant his postings for his friends, but someone took a Twitter comment of his and shared it with many others.

Soon he was hit with criticism and demands for an apology, and he was frightened.

This man had apparently approached his Twitter postings like a care-free chat at a pub, but others did not see it that way.


Differences in how people perceive comments on the Internet produces no small amount of problems and misunderstandings.

I tell patients that what is really important is real life, and to not allow mistakes on the Internet to drag them down too much.

In real life, when there is a misunderstanding, you simply say, "That's not what I meant."
Other than that the main thing is to not get too involved in arguing about who is right and who is wrong.


One more thing is that it is best not to suddenly share your secrets and hidden feelings with people whom you are only connected to by the Internet.

There may be things that are easier to say to someone whose face you cannot see, but important conversations should be held with those who you meet in real life.

This is an overall policy for protecting yourself from unexpected hurt.

While the Internet is useful, we mustn't become overly entrenched in it and the victims of blog or Twitter-based depression.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年7月26日 地方版

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