Last week I really wasn’t happy with the outcome of my blog because of how much was going on; school officially ended June 26 so that meant I had to start getting rid of the papers I had, the organizer I ordered came and I had to assemble it, I also had to start getting rid of clothes that were too small because for college I want some new outfits.
Long story short: I had a lot to do
I’ve actually been planning to do this blog for a long time because of a conversation me and my friends had. To be specific, the two friends I was talking to one barely go on social media and the other has Snapchat and Instagram but didn’t post on her snapstory (mostly texted) until now and she uses Instagram to follow people but not post.
The one that had Snapchat and Instagram recently made a Facebook. The conversation started when I asked her why she got Facebook. She said that she hates social media but wanted to use it to connect with people from her college.
She feels like social media is bad and I understand her perspective of why she feels like that but I was on the other side of the debate. From then it got me thinking about social media because our generation is the one who really uses it, we were born into it. The internet was made in the 1980s and even in the 90s, it was a struggle to use it. My older brother complained about it all the time. It wasn’t really until the 2000s that it became necessary.
Social media has it’s good and bad qualities like everything else in life but overall I feel like the good outweighs the bad because social media isn’t bad, it’s certain people that make it more negative than it needs to be but it isn’t always like that. So in this blog, I'm going to talk about the good as well as the bad parts of social media.
Connecting and Finding a place
Social media made the world more connected. We make tons of Internet friends and sometimes those people are closer to you than people in your everyday life. I remember when I was just starting middle school. I talked about in the previous blog, how difficult it was to make that change in the environment but I didn't talk about the very few good parts. One of them was my internet friend who I call my twin because we have so much in common and her birthday was only a day before mine. We met because we both love the same show (The Total Drama Series that was on Cartoon Network). When I was younger I was total nerd for cartoons especially that one but it was very rare to find someone who loved that show since in 5th grade that was when everyone was slowly watching adult-like shows. So I went on fan sites like Fanpop and Devinant Arts to make up characters, Join clubs about things I was major fans of, read fanfiction, etc. I ended up talking to different people but she was the one who stuck. There would nights I would be very upset and she would the only person I could turn to because honestly I wasn't close to my family and my friendships at the time just didn't feel genuine.
Even though we don't talk as much as we used to, I am so thankful for the times we did. We were over 4,899 miles away but with the help of social media and facetime, our friendship was able to stay alive and it is the reason it came together in the first place.
Not only it helped me build friendships, it gave me a place. Being an outcast is a lonely path and in a way I guess I was always more afraid to be myself, to be judged. I was more soft-spoken and tend to hide away from people around me which is why when I allow people to get close to me and they leave, it's just something hard for me to take (but that's a different story for another time).
Once I fell out of my obsession with cartoons, another world opened up to me: Fashion. I always loved clothes and because of a Nickelodeon show called True Jackson VP (which was very underrated), I knew from 2nd grade I wanted to be involved in that world. At the beginning of 7th, I made a secret Instagram and it was exciting because my identity was a secret and I was just free to post pictures of what I like and things I thought looked together. It was up to about 2,000+ when it got hacked and I tried to start over again but I guess my heart and my energy wasn't fully in it and I ended up starting a quote account called _you_dont_know_me_xx and that was the account that changed it all for me. I had that account that changed it all for me. It gave me something to put my energy into and gave me motivation to keep going forward. It also helped me realize how I wasn't alone and there are more people who felt the way I did. It may have started with me hiding but it grew to help me come forward. Before that, I wasn't even able to take picture of myself but slowly it gave me the confidence to do that.
Giving up that account was one of the hardest things I had to do but I had good reasons to do so. Even with the amount I had people were starting to get inactivity especially because something really bad happened in my personal and I just didn't have the motivation to do anything. Also, I had a lot of memories that I could never bring myself to delete. Starting a new account was more symbolic to me because it just meant I was done hiding and it's less about doing things for the approval but doing things simply because I like it and it makes me happy.
Raising awareness and Bringing information to light
Since in the last part I mentioned it helped grow confidence I thought it would be smart to talk about the awareness it raises. Every day someone struggles with some form of acceptance. One thing that is a huge topic was body positivity. People come in all shapes and yet the acceptance of all bodies still isn't the norm.
I was on Snapchat just going through those random news things when a story about a woman who got kicked out of a restaurant because she "dressed too sexy for her body type". After hearing her story that made me sick to think people still do things like that. I can go off about this but I think I’ll save it for another blog but one thing I can’t STAND is someone telling a person how to dress because a person should be allowed in their own skin... what gives someone else the power to take away something that makes them feel confident/comfortable?
Even though we aren't completely there, social media allowed progress to change things because it starts conversations. Not just about body positivity but other movements like the “me too” one, discrimination issues, environmental issues, etc.
Not only that but it gives us information that the world doesn’t cover. I remember once in 9th grade my history teacher taught us about different sources and how it can be biased because depending on the source things can be left out. I didn’t realize that so much back then but as I got older I began to see it more: how I won’t hear about something on the television but I will see it all over social media.
One example is Sudan. There were a lot of terrible things going on there and yet most people didn’t hear about it. In my case, I saw people changed their profile pictures and I got curious. I asked my friends what it was about and they explained highlights of the issue but social media is the reason I learned more in detail. One thing that’s really messed up is how the news picks and chooses the tragedies that happen which isn’t okay.
Bullies and Braggers
People could be really cruel especially on social media. It gives them a chance to hide. I used to hid too but not to spread negativity. Cyberbullying is a huge downfall of social media but I think tend to forget it’s a person behind the screen. A person who is bored and who has nothing better to do with their lives besides making someone feel bad about theirs.
I used to get bullied in middle school and of course, I was hurt by the things said about me. However, it wasn’t social media that ruined my mental health... it was the people who believed rumors were fun to spread around.
Another reason people claim social media ruins your mental health is because some people will see someone who’s wealthy with an expensive bag, on vacation, etc. The truth about is yes there are some people who like to brag and that’s their choice. You can choose to enjoy your life instead of wanting theirs. You also have a choice over what you see because if it’s ruining you, you have the choice to unfollow them, to block them. Also, you have to remind yourself people show what they want people to see and how they want people to see them... sometimes it’s just half the story. We can never really tell what a person’s going through but by an image.
I used to do that, post happy things even when I was completely depressed, overwhelmed by the world around me. As my first big account grew, so did I. I grew to know it’s okay to not be okay, to be more vulnerable and outspoken about the way I’m feeling. If I’m sad or upset, I’m not afraid to say it because it’s human to not be perfect and living in a happy world. If I’m a mess I’m sure there is more people who feel the same.
Overall, I feel like social media does more good. In my case, it helped me grow and just figure out who I am. It taught me things school doesn’t. It open my eyes to different people and parts of the world. If I lived in a time period where I couldn’t make friends all over, I think I wouldn’t make it because of how alone I would actually be. It reminds me there is more out there than what I see and that keeps me motivated to keep pushing myself.
Yes it has it’s downfall but that’s under other people’s control. I do agree sometimes it’s good to take a break from it. Somethings you can’t capture, you just got to live in the moment and those are the things worth than a picture that will get a certain amount of likes. However if you ask me if I think social media is bad: the answer is no, it may have bad parts to it but what doesn’t? Life is all about the pros and cons, it up to you to see which one weighs more.
Anyways I hope you enjoyed this blog. I really missed doing these and I felt like it was just what I need to get back into the pace of writing. If you have suggestions, requests, or collaboration ideas please contact me. If you enjoyed this blog, please don’t forget to share it with friends and family, and be sure to check out previous posts. Thank you for reading and be sure to subscribe for updates.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋