Social media. What am I going to do with you?
Our relationship has transformed into a complex one. I love you because you oblige proud parents and grandparents the ability to bestow family pictures in their virtual brag book. You encourage us to celebrate each other’s accomplishments; assist us in sharing laughs through funny stories and memes; we are able to break real-time exciting news with friends; and we comfort each other through our heartbreaks. Social media can be the vehicle to mobilize and bring people together. I’ve been a part of some amazing endeavors in my community because of social media, and who among us doesn’t like a Facebook or Instagram birthday?
Yes, I love you social media, but in the same breath, how I loathe you. I seethe when I see hate-filled speech, cyber-bullying, pictures posted of poor decisions, and people who are trying with everything they are to be someone they are not. This is not an occurrence happening only among young teenagers, but it is a commonality among all age groups. For many, especially young teenagers, their social media self is only a shadow of their actual self. They publicly show only the very best, and sometimes begin to believe the lie they are self-perpetuating. The lie that their life should be envied, is all sunshine and teacakes, and no one and nothing can hurt them. It is time to stop and share the real me.