What's not as bad as social media would have you believe? People have answers.
We all know someone who needs to see this.
Social media trends can often put overwhelming attention on a specific subject, turning it into a cultural obsession. There are a lot of examples when it comes to relationships and mental health. Social media is filled with armchair therapists who feel the need to diagnose everything as a psychological or physical disorder.
The problem is that there is often a giant chasm between the way that people who are trained in the world of mental health and psychology use these terms and the way they are bandied about online.
Take the term “gaslighting,” for example.
“Indeed, ‘gaslighting’ can be added to the list of words that have spilled over from clinical psychology into popular nomenclature,” Alia Hoyt writes at HowStuffWorks. “While increased understanding of mental health issues is generally a good thing, it falls decidedly flat when terms like gaslighting, ADHD, OCD, and such are grossly misused. All three have become popular slang terms for feelings and experiences that are nowhere near what the terms mean.”
When every bad partner is elevated to being a narcissist or a gaslighter, personal quirks are symptoms of autism, and bad days become episodes of depression, the world starts to become a lot more frightening.
That’s why a recent post on Reddit by NotABigFanOfDucks was so refreshing. They asked people on the forum, "What isn’t nearly as bad as Reddit would have you believe?" and received nearly 10,000 responses where people tamped down the sensationalist nature of social media.
Here are 11 things that aren’t “nearly as bad” as social media would have us believe.
1. Working through relationship problems
"Yeah, the relationship shouldn’t be a constant struggle that outweighs the good but not always sprinkles and sunshine. We are all human, including you and the people you date." — LocuraLins
2. Dads are welcomed in parks
"As a father, taking my daughters to the park. Nobody ever thought I was a predator or looked at me suspiciously. If anything, most people gave me positive vibes because they liked seeing a father actively involved. Nor was it strange to see other men." — BobbyTwoSticksBTS2
"100%. As a man, I get way more credit for doing anything with my child than her mother does from random strangers. The bar is so low for us lol." — TeddyOne
3. Not all bad partners are abusive
"I mentioned an ex being emotionally immature and someone said he's a covert narcissist. Not every relationship conflict is a sign that someone is abusing you." — Xain_the_idiot
"When did we start using ‘narcissist’ to describe someone exhibiting literally ANY undesirable behavior? It gets on my nerves so bad. Not everyone is a narcissist, FFS. Some people are just your everyday, run-of-the-mill di**head." — NapsAndShinyThings
"This is my big beef. Not everything needs a label to validate it. People can be an a**hole without being a narcissist. Some people are just incorrect sometimes. They're not trying to gaslight you." — I_Poop_Sometimes
4. Mental health
"Oh my god, I am so utterly exhausted by the new crop of armchair psychologists we now have to deal with, thanks to TikTok. Everyone has ADHD, on top of severe anxiety and depression, which are, in turn, caused by terrible past traumas. But you're a badass warrior for simply waking up each morning!" — KryssCom
"My cousin-in-law has OCD and was arrested because she, at the age of 12, took on three officers trying to force her to go to school, but she had to go home because her number of steps wasn't a multiple of 5, so if she didn't walk back home and do it she honestly believed her perfectly healthy mom would die. She believed this enough to fight three police officers. At the age of 12. I was recently talking to someone who said they had OCD, and I asked them ‘what their compulsion is’ and they said, ‘I like to keep my room tidy,’ and I said, ‘Is it tidy right now?’ and they said no, and then got upset when I told them that's not OCD. When I showed them the DSM-V, they told me, ‘It's a spectrum.’ Not everything is on a spectrum. You're neurotypical, and that's OKAY." — Throwaway_Consoles
5. 9 to 5 jobs are evil
"The ‘9 to 5 cubicle job.’ As someone who thought he'd do manual labor and retail bulls**t their entire life, I love my office job." — DabbinOnDemGoy
"This is a big one. Office jobs can feel depressing at times and some are worse than others, but I've been a line cook and a landscaper for years at a time and I'll take my current office job. Nothing against line cooks or landscapers, but those are REALLY tough jobs to maintain for decades. Very tolling on the body, brain and soul." — AfetusnamedJames
6. Wrong ideas about introversion and extraversion
"Introverted and extroverted don't really mean what most people think they mean. It means people who recharge their energy by either being around others or not. If you're an introvert, you 'recharge' alone, if you're an extravert, you recharge by being around others. This is why you can see socially adept introverts and socially awkward extroverts. It has nothing to really do with confidence in social settings, but whether or not they energize you." — LilyHex
7. American life
"Life in America. We absolutely have our problems, but so do all countries. Reddit loves to compare the most awfully designed suburb of a terrible city with, like, downtown Stockholm lol." — Narcadia
"Thank you for reminding this American who gets sucked into pessimism too often. There are some accelerating trends likely to make us such before anyone in the mainstream sees it coming, but all the hysteria around the little things seems to be pushing people further toward disastrous reactions to overblown problems. We could all use a little more 'it ain't that bad.'" — PM_ME_UP_PEWP
8. Upward mobility
"The ability for a person to work hard and improve their quality of life over time." — TooMuchMapleSyrup
"The 'I will never succeed because society has set me up to fail and therefore I will no longer try' attitude is so prevalent and so unhealthy." — One-Zero-Five
"This might be a selfish and nihilistic way to think but when I see people with that mentality, I think how much easier it will be for me to succeed because I'm willing to work hard and improve over time. It's like when people are willing to place themselves near the bottom of the 'pecking order' (standard deviation, bell curve, however, you see it), it's easier for me to rise to the top." — Duhblow7
9. Being a parent is fun
"Being a parent! Raising a whole human from scratch is freaking exhausting, yeah, but kids are also hilarious, sweet, fun, loving, weird, quirky, and awesome—all of which massively and unequivocally outweighs hardship." — Amoryjm
"I really regret listening to people who talked about how hard it would be. Stressed about it so much leading up to it. Not enough people talk about how much f**king FUN being a parent can be." — Knvn8
10. May-December romance
"Age gaps in relationships. Not saying they’re all okay but a lot of Reddit seems to believe they are all inherently abusive." — Hollowdisaster
"Exactly. What’s the point in having an age of consent and then getting upset when two people above that age are both … consenting? People on here love to get upset over things that have nothing to do with them. It’s weird." — Anonymous_Seaotter
"Suffer the pain of rejection or the pain of regret. I've never regretted approaching a woman, but I still remember regretting not approaching them." — 65AndSunny
"Also, being sensitive to rejection does not mean you have ADHD." — Trcomajo