Dear Social Media Users,
I have a couple questions to get you thinking about this technological world of tweets, likes, and snaps.
How many times a day do you check your instagram feed for likes?
How many selfies have you posted in a week? (Go through your accounts and count).
How many streaks on Snap do you have going right now?
Does the "about me" section of your social media reflect who you truly are or who you wish to be?
How many of your followers on any of your accounts do you not know personally?
Social media has made it much easier for humans of all sorts to connect and talk.... and stalk and bully (I can guarantee that pretty much everyone reading this has had some sort of negative feedback on a post or picture or tweet). Social media isn’t a new thing either. In the 90s it was MySpace and Chatrooms. Social media is great when it is used correctly! But when it is used incorrectly, it can be really damaging. There is this whole era of people who don’t know who they really are because all they want to do is create a persona that will be liked online.
Do you know who you really are?
Or do you only know the person you want to be? Media today depicts what the “American Dream” is, and instead of it just pressuring your parents, it is now pressuring you. Social Media celebrities are becoming younger and younger, wanting to make money for whatever, creating their own American Dream. Now, whether you realize this or not, each person is made for a purpose, but that purpose will never be followed if we continue to put on a mask you think society wants to see.
First, you need to find your true self. For some of you, that might be exactly who you portray online. When social media is used correctly, it can be a great place for you to express yourself and be the real you! I know I try to show my true self online, keeping the mask off. There are several real people who don’t try to make it seem like everything is perfect, but some do put up that mask. Take a hard look at how and what you post online. Is it the real you?
Second, what are your hobbies outside of the perfect selfie? Is it photography? Or playing a sport? Do you enjoy writing? Or maybe you have a heart for travel and adventure? Instead of pouring all your energy into social media, pour your energy into what gives you fire! Try out for a team, take a class, write a short story, or take a day trip with a friend or parent--find your passion. Then share it if you so desire, but don’t fake it. I love photography and I love sharing that on instagram, but there is more to it than a selfie!
Third, once you find your true self, look through your followers. Do you know them? Do they have your back? Would they support you in any situation? As teenagers this is crucial, because there are some sick people out there and we don’t want you to compromise yourself. Find the followers you have never met in your life and take them off. Find the ones that have made trouble for you and block them. If you can’t delete them, then delete the account and start over with it private! If you haven’t made your accounts private, switch them now! PROTECT YOURSELF! I am not writing this to make you cynical, I am writing this to make you aware, and to help you keep social media fun and being used in the correct way.
Guys and gals, when social media is used correctly, it's a great thing! But when used incorrectly, it can be very destructive. Sometimes social media makes you feel like you just have to keep conforming to what society wants and I hope you don’t trust that society has your best interests at heart! Instead see social media as a way to express the REAL YOU! I hope you enjoy these years as teens and find your fire! Don’t ever let today’s trends snuff it out.
WRITTEN BY AshleyDannie