It’s complicated: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps breaks up with Facebook

“I’m quitting Facebook so I stop contributing in any way to this cycle of psychological violence where fear and anger get more air time than joy”

As the region gears up for the October municipal election, one candidate, incumbent Mayor Lisa Helps has announced she won’t be using Facebook on the campaign trail – or at all.

In a post published on her blog today, Helps starts with a disclaimer that reads, “Tech is the number one industry in Victoria with amazing, innovative and entrepreneurial people working in that space. This post is not a rant against technology; it’s about putting social media in its place.”

Upon announcing she will be logging out from the social media giant for the last time, Helps reminded Victorians there is no shortage of ways to connect with her.

She listed her e-mail, cell and office phone numbers, directed people to her blog and reminded folks of her weekly hour on CFAX (every Friday from 3-4 p.m.), the lunch time lectures she holds at City Hall, as well as the Community Drop In, her personal favourite.

“Sometimes it’s hard and people come in really angry,” Helps said of the biweekly open house. “And through conversation and connection that anger fades to understanding.”

Facebook was still a civil place when she first took office, Helps explained, saying she appreciated the way it allowed ideas to be shared and feedback to flow.

But, this has changed.

“Facebook has become a toxic, echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger,” she wrote.

RELATED: Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

The post goes on to detail the research Helps says has informed her decision, and while she doesn’t cite the recent controversy Facebook is swirling in, she does call the whole operation “psychological violence” given the way algorithms are designed to perpetuate negative messages.

As a result, Victorians sometimes show up angry and outraged before they’ve even received any information and the community is unnecessarily divided, she wrote.

“This isn’t good for the state of our democracy in Victoria where what we need is to be able to talk with each other and listen to each other about the challenges we face as a community.”

The mayor says her plan is wean herself off Facebook slowly, “just like when I quit coffee” and is looking forward to improving her focus, engaging in more face to face conversations and “keeping her noodle intact.”

In the meantime, Helps can still be found on Twitter @lisahelps and Instagram @helpslisa.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Tilray CEO talks about medicinal marijuana company’s future in Nanaimo and globally

Brendan Kennedy discusses Tilray’s opportunities through new markets and investment.

Closing arguments complete in trial of Nanaimo man representing self in fatal crash case

Judge expected to render decision Monday, July 23 at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP look for missing 19-year-old

According to police, Kelsie Boutilier has not been seen by her family since July 7

Editorial: Be a fan of our unofficial civic sport, bathtubbing

Nanaimo’ Bathtub Weekend starts today, July 20, and culminates with the great race Sunday, July 22

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

Beefs & Bouquets, July 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Sr. A Timbermen can clinch a berth in WLA playoffs

A Burnaby loss tonight or a Nanaimo win on Sunday would put the T-men in the post-season

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

ZONE 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Most Read