The Missing Link: Why Disabled People Can’t Afford To #DeleteFacebook

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By Frances Ryan in The Guardian.

 

Revelations about internet companies being negligent with our data have prompted a backlash against social media, but for many people in marginalised groups these networks are a vital lifeline.

It’s 10.32 on a Friday night and I am staring at the glow of my iPhone screen. It is almost three hours since I checked in to social media. It is also more than two months since I left the house. After falling ill with flu complications in January, I have been at home recovering, too ill to go outside or even to have visitors. Everyday social interactions – going to the pub with friends or chatting in the office – have become phantoms, replaced by four walls and my (disappointingly dull) inner monologue.

Instead, I have turned to the internet: browsing “wish you were here” photos on Instagram; reading the details of a friend’s week on Facebook Messenger; keeping up with news on Twitter; receiving “get well” emojis on WhatsApp. When it comes to my mental health, social media has been invaluable.

 

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