Social media is often the first thing we blame when we’re feeling like shit. People love to bash social media because they think it’s responsible for causing anxiety, depression, and insecurity.
The evils of social media are always mentioned in productivity listicles, self-help books, and blog posts. Even in captions on the social media platforms themselves. How ironic.
You should spend more time in real life and less time scrolling.
Social media is the devil.
You’re only insecure because you use too much social media.
Social media is distracting you and ruining your productivity.
Delete your social media and your mental health will be so much better.
Social media makes you stupid and shallow.
Cue the eye roll.
Guess what? You’re not insecure because you use social media. You don’t automatically become more enlightened than everyone else after deleting all of your social media accounts and vowing never to use them again. You’re not above everyone else just because you choose to abstain from social media under the guise of self-care. You’re not a deeper thinker than everyone else if you believe that social media is only for shallow people who need constant validation to feel good about themselves. People use social media because, gasp, they actually like it. Admit it, I’m sure you do too.
It’s not Instagram’s fault if you feel unattractive. It’s not Twitter’s fault if you’re worried about not being able to keep up with the latest news. It’s not Facebook’s fault if you feel like you’re falling behind everyone in your class. It’s not Snapchat’s fault if you feel stupid and immature. If you aren’t secure with yourself when you use social media, what makes you believe that you’ll be more secure without it?
Social media is not responsible for making you feel bad about yourself. It’s all on you. While external things can trigger internal emotional responses, you’re ultimately responsible for what you feel about you. It’s in your power to take a break from social media if you know it’s going to trigger you. And that’s totally okay. It’s okay to admit that some things you see on social media upset you. But abstaining from social media doesn’t make you more intelligent, enlightened, or secure than everyone else.
Regardless of how evil people think it is, social media is here to stay for the long haul. It’s revolutionizing the way people live, work, and share ideas that aren’t always easy to talk about in public places. It’s the only way people can communicate with loved ones who live far away. It’s the only way for bloggers to share their words and images with people around the globe. It’s a major source of income for people who only work remotely. We’d do a huge disservice to many talented content creators if we were to delete social media and never use it again. There are so many people out there advocating for mental health awareness and equality, and they’re having the opportunity to be heard because they’re able to share what they think on social media and have their messages resonate with millions of people. Social media is a catalyst for change and a tool for connecting with people who have something insightful to share with the world.
Now is the best time to share your stories and raise your voices. Now is the best time to share your most authentic self with those who need to be inspired by your courage. Now is the best time to shine and take initiative on anything you’ve always dreamed of starting. Let’s stop blaming our problems on social media and instead start using social media to document all the things that matter to us. Let’s not take this opportunity for granted.
Because we’re all humans seeking connection. We want to be understood. We want to know that we’re never alone. We want to love and be loved. And if we use social media for those reasons, that doesn’t make us worse than those who don’t use social media.
So please, for the sake of humanity, let’s stop pretending we’re above social media and actually allow ourselves to enjoy it.