Social media is evolving all of the time but so is the way it gets used. I absolutely love social media but there have been so many times when I haven’t and times when I’ve shut down all of my accounts in a desperate panic to block out the negativity.
They say that social media is harming teenagers health and I couldn’t agree more. I’m not going to sit and preach to you about how social media hasn’t impacted myself and my life because it really has, it’s been a huge factor in parts of my life and also on the person I am today.
Social Media Envy
Us teenage girls, we see Kim Kardashian looking glamorous on Instagram so we too want to strip down and look like her to get the same attention and appreciation, we can deny it to ourselves but it’s the truth. We see Tammy Hembrow and her perfect family and we idolize them and wish for the same; but the truth is -we don’t see the struggles behind her perfect family, her perfect body, her amazing lifestyle and her self confidence. What we see is rich girls, amazing bodies, beautiful families, perfect relationships and fancy houses but we don’t know the struggles these women have gone through to get to that point in their lives. We don’t know the apps they use to edit their bodies in photographs or what surgery they’ve had. We don’t know what they’ve been given and what they’ve worked hard for. All that we see is the perfect airbrushed life where everything looks amazing – you’ve got to remember that we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors.
Social Media Bullying
What I see day in and day out is bullying on social media that ruins lives and I too have been subject to this. When I first moved to Worcestershire I downloaded Twitter because everyone here had it and used it but they didn’t in Lincolnshire so I felt I needed it to keep up with it and to fit in. I saw girls getting bullied and bitched about and of course I felt awful for them, but I kept quiet and didn’t get involved.
One day it was my turn to be the victim. What shocked me the most about my turn, was it was mostly boys who did the posting and weak girls just hopped on the band wagon so they wouldn’t be victimized. I have had rumours spread about me all over Twitter, I’ve been called ‘Slag’, ‘fat’, ‘whore’ and I have been ripped in to beyond belief. I have received death threats, I have been tagged in awful posts and I have been made to feel suicidal, alone and in danger by low life children who thought it was fun. For the first time ever -I’m going to admit that 4 years ago, those bullies on Twitter caused me to self-harm badly, they caused me to cry myself to sleep every night and they caused me to skive off school because I was scared of what other people would say. It got so bad that my mom took me to the police. I hope those people who did that to me (they will know exactly who they are) are reading this and I hope that one day their daughters will never have to go through what they did to me.
The problem with social media bullying is that things get passed around and shared so easily, people soon join in without realizing the devastating consequences. I hope that anyone reading this blog would never consider using social media negatively against someone.
Since using social media a lot for work, I’ve realized that there are great uses for it and it can be really beneficial. As a teenager you have to be careful not to get sucked in to it and depend upon it, you also have to learn to block out the negativity. I hope that in the future I see teenagers using social media in a more positive way and see less hate and less negativity posted. Remember that not everything you see and read is the truth and social media masks things well.
There are so many social media channels that can be used beneficially to help people, to post interesting updates on your life, to connect with others and to enjoy. Think about what you post online, even if you ‘delete’ it – it’s never truly deleted, even if it doesn’t hurt you – it can hurt someone else.