2. One Zero: The Social Media Managers Are Not Okay
I used to be obsessed with social media in a way that I no longer am, and it used to be the center of my artistic practice. Over the past few years, I’ve greatly changed my relationship with social media. I put less importance on it in my life, and am not interested in it in a professional way as I once was.
Professional social media managers have always had high-stress jobs, and with the onset of the pandemic, that stress has been exacerbated. “In the relentless news cycle of 2020, social media managers are first responders,” writes Marta Martinez. “At a time when many are feeling social media’s impact on mental health and the burnout of working through a pandemic, they are under immense pressure to stay online, always be on call, respond quickly, and not make mistakes.” While those of us who don’t work in social media can take a break from the platforms, we “don’t know what it’s like to live in that Twitter feed… to live in the comments section and to be able to see a populace that is agitated, that feels hopeless, that feels angry, that feels powerless,” says social media manager Christina Garnett, who is quoted in this article. Many social media managers understand their profession to be “a hazardous job that should be paid accordingly.” I only occasionally and briefly spend time in social media comment sections and I couldn’t agree more.