Social media has officially made us part of her Regina George-esque clique. I am going to spare you from the redundant consequences of engaging in social media, but we all do it. Scrolling through a string of posts, and re-scrolling with the hope that something interesting will finally grace our timelines. There is no denying the hilarity of memes and those outrageous yet relatable word graphic instagrams (has anyone coined a term for those yet? I’m just going to call them “wordgrams”), but where do we draw the line?
I laugh at posts about how I need 2 business days for fun plans with friends because I have strict parents, and how I, along with millions of other people have no idea what Rihanna is saying in her “Work” song. But sometimes, I hear how people talk about other people’s selfies and how they are “trying too hard” or how “that filter makes her look sick”. Who am I to critique this individual who only posted a selfie because they felt good about themselves that day or actually had the perfect natural lighting to exhibit their strong features?
Although we stand proud and tall as millennials attempting to prove that we are somehow “better” (I use that term loosely), our social media posts, and excessive likes say the polar opposite.
Are we just plain mean now? At that moment I criticized another girl’s instagram outfit as “basic”, I became everything that my old elementary self didn’t want to be. A bully.
The fact that Jimmy Kimmel even has a “Mean Tweets” video segment starring various movie stars, musicians, and public figures is incredible, but next time, pay a little more attention to the content of those tweets. Hilarious segment yes, but is this what the future of human character holds? Simply cursing someone’s name for no reason? Or even saying someone is too fat or that that a skinny girl needs to do more squats only to give us temporary satisfaction about ourselves?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and we are all critics in one way or another, and three words: freedom of speech. Some posts are undeniably hysterical from memes of Kanye West’s face on North West’s body walking alongside Kim Kardashian to our society’s strange fascination with cats and sloths with sassy captions. Are we influencing new generations to be bullies, and to laugh at other’s flaws and weaknesses instead of practicing kindness or self-improvement? Are we as millennials giving the green light to young nuggets around the world to use social media as a violent weapon towards others?
A different individual may deconstruct what we perceive as funny in another way that could be hurtful. I remember in my elementary school days, there was a strong emphasis on “no bullying” or “treat others how you would like to be treated”, but as the Black Eyes Peas once said “Where is the love?”
By no means is this encouraging others to be a Sally Sensitive all the time, but damn, let’s be a little bit nicer to each other, and basically, not be assholes. Be tough, but not so tough on others that we forget that they have feelings too. Change may come our way with a kinder approach.