I went about this assignment with a more serious approach and addressed the increasingly important topic of mental health awareness. With this internet performance, I highlight how people perform in real life to contrast it with their performance on the internet, when internet anonymity is in effect. To do so, I posted this anonymous survey in various places on the internet (Facebook and Reddit):
When you pose this question to someone in real life, they almost always respond with “I’m good.” In order to see how people really feel, I eliminated the real life pressure of opening up to someone with personal information. People were able to vent about their current happenings, whether they were happy, sad, or in between. Some people gave one-word responses while others gave me their entire life stories. The longest response I have is over 1300 words.
Over 900 responses later, I have a window into personal feelings of elation, indifference, struggle, depression, devastation, and countless other emotions. On one hand it’s saddening to see that the majority of the people who answered my survey are depressed or largely unhappy – a handful of who even elaborated on their suicidal urges. On the other hand, I’m glad I was able to give these people an outlet to organize their feelings. Some of the responses even thanked me for hosting this survey.
There is an immense amount of people in this world who are so incredibly depressed that they can’t motivate to get the help they need. I hope this survey provided a therapeutic effect for those who need it, and at least helped them get closer to finding treatment for themselves. Whether it’s mental health treatment with a professional or it’s just coming to terms with how they truly feel, I hope expressing their honest feelings pushed them in the right direction.
The image you see at the top of this post is a word cloud made with all 900 responses.