“Yes, you have thousands of followers on Instagram, abundant friends on Facebook, but how many of those have you had an actual, face-to-face conversation with?”
According to a report by CNN, a typical teen can consume 9 hours a day looking down on her phone, skimming through that endless news feed.
That’s sixty-three hours in a week and eleven out of thirty days that our eyes are glued to those multi-colored, “soul-absorbing” screens. So, 36% of the year we’re on our phones or computers – no wonder people have been reacting.
I have read and watched advocacies on these, constantly stabbing social media in the back, claiming how it has made this generation –egotistical and narcissistic, to say the least. That the thing supposed to connect us more has now managed to disconnect us from reality.
However, I hope you recognize the irony in this.
We have been steering the direction for it yet simultaneously criticizing its consequences?
I too have been a victim, many times. Seeing the profile of that girl my ex is now dating and thinking, “Is she really prettier than me?”. Attacking my self-esteem because of all the flawless celebrities I follow. Feeling bad because I got only X number of likes on Instagram. Posting something and then raping the refresh button to see if anyone has noticed it yet. Crying about a nasty comment someone made about me. And the list goes on.
We all have had our share of negative experiences, but what we fail to realize is that social media would not have become what it is if not for us. I wanted to write this article because I hope you, you who are reading this, are able to recognize that power that you have over social media. Appreciate the part you played in creating this world and know that it can never truly make you feel inferior without your consent.
So many amazing stories have been shared because of Facebook pages. Undiscovered talents have been recognized because of Instagram. Countless accounts are dedicated to inspire and motivate people to be their best selves. Admiration and credit are now easily given to and received by those who well deserve them. And positive encouragement can come from literally anyone and anywhere around the world.
As the cliché goes – with great power comes great responsibility. I hope you see the major impact that your choices can have on every person with a Facebook or Twitter account. If you are one of those girls who has ever felt bad about something you saw online, then please be sympathetic and responsible for other girls like yourself.
Choose to give love instead of hate, choose to admire beauty instead of envying it. Choose to be inspired rather than discouraged.
It is the blood line of social media to continuously share individual influence virtually. But please, I hope you choose to share it with your reality as well. Choose to be the connection between your screen and your loved one. And for every reaction and post you make on your wall, I hope you choose to participate positively.
The most important relationship that you will have is with yourself. Boycotting social media will not cure the girl who is now struggling to love herself, but you can. Social media did not ruin your relationships, simply because it cannot.