By: Bree Smith, IATG ContributorJanuary 15, 2016
Facebook: What’s On Your Mind
“another Facebook drama. I should comment and state my argument because, you know, freedom of speech”
“ohh lemme tell her what I think”
“aw why is her life so perfect. I wish I was like her”
“she’s so pretty, I want my hair to look like that”
“she’s perfect and I love her”
“I’m like, obsessed with your life”
“she’s literally the worst”
“but why would you even post that picture, that’s awful.”
“She just wants attention.”
“gah that depressing”
“Those can’t be real.”
“what a freak”
“I HAVE TO SHARE THIS. THIS IS SO ME RN”
“You don’t even know what love is. You’re like 12”
“WHY DID HE LIKE HER PICTURE?!”
“I hate her.”
“She’s always so happy. It’s kinda annoying”
“IF I SEE ONE MORE GAME REQUEST IM GOING TO FREAK”
Odds are you have thought at least one of these things while scrolling on your social media sites. I know I am guilty of a few.
Behind our screens we have this weird feeling of power and privilege to say whatever we want to say.
If it sends a powerful message and falls into the “right hands” it spreads like wildfire whether it be positive or negative in nature. We scroll on our news feeds to find positive quotes and motivational mantras mixed in with death, depression, hostility, and an occasional video of a puppy kissing a baby. We compare our lives to what we see in a, “it could be worse” or “why can’t my life be like that” way, without fully knowing what is really going on behind the screen. You see happy posts from depressed people trying to cover up and live up to their online personas. You see people harnessing their privilege of “freedom of speech” by attacking people and their personal beliefs. When your online persona doesn’t match who you are in reality, you become the newest member to the pack of Cowardly Lions. You are fierce online, voicing our opinions and standing up for what you believe in, but when a call to action arises to actually do something about it, you scamper away with your tail tucked between your legs. We have awesome and inspiring people mixed in with cruel and demeaning cyber bullies. You can say things with no real impact, because you can close the browser and walk away.
Walk away. That’s the thing. You can leave behind this virtual world, but you don’t. You stay and keep scrolling.
You post to your heart friends, the people you don’t see everyday, your social tribe, but forget the very people who are actually there for you.
The people who would be physically standing by your side when you need it, not the people who “like” or comment their support your way. You forget the very people that matter. You forget yourself a little too.
I will leave by saying that I believe social media has this huge potential to make a great difference in our world. I truly do. I have connected with some awesome people online and I in no way hate social media. In fact, I love it. There just comes a point when you need to step back and realize what matters. Realize what’s real. Unplug and unhinge. Step away and find yourself. Hug the people you love. Because they are real, and so are you.
How do you feel about life on the social media screen? Are we making meaningful connections or too preoccupied with comparisons? Tell us below.
Bree is a recent graduate from Texas A&M and works as a Marketing Coordinator at #besomebody. in Austin, Texas building the World's First Platform for Passion. She is a dog mom, pizza lover, photographer, crafter, and life enthusiast with a passion for empowering young girls to be themselves on purpose. Follow me on Instagram: @frebrees Spark with me on the #besomebody iPhone app: www.besomebody.com/bree
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