Social Media: Friend or Foe?

So often, I hear negative stuff about social media: it tears people away from the present, there’s cyber bullying going on to the extent that people kill themselves, some become depressed from comparing their “normal” lives to full-time bloggers’, and people are generally meaner to each other due to the screen between them that creates a sense of distance.

While all these things are true, my personal perception is predominantly positive. Sure, a few people that I know personally don’t interact with my Instagram profile or comment on my blog; out of indifference, principle or other reasons, one can only guess.

I’ve also noticed that a few girls who don’t follow me repeatedly watch my Instagram stories, so, they must look me up quite frequently without wanting to openly admit their interest. At times, it seems like everything’s a popularity contest and no one wants to support the other.

With that being said; never has anyone been mean to me on social media.

Social media was my way of coming to terms with my own personality

In fact, without social media, I don’t think I’d be who I am today. When I was fifteen, insecure and ridiculously shy, I learned how to express myself, discuss and argue, joke and even flirt with people through conversations on MSN and other fora. I wasn’t popular in school, so social media was my way of testing out opinions, finding my strengths and weaknesses and coming to terms with my own personality.

I must admit, however, that I feel like social media has made relationships harder to maintain. We live in a “swipe” culture where cheating has become easier, as temptations are only a click away. And, in my opinion, cheating is categorized as any activity that you don’t want your partner to know about.

At this point in time, it seems to me that people are constantly on the lookout for something different, something new, perhaps waiting for something that might be more interesting or better. The danger in that is that those people may keep chasing a “better” that will never turn up. But that’s a totally different discussion.

Okay, so I did have something negative to say about social media, but I hold on to my statement about my predominant positivity towards it.

One of the reasons is that people I’ve interacted with on social media, but never met in real life, have reached out to show their support in light of me starting up my blog and sharing my struggles with mental illness, while people I haven’t seen in person in years are offering their help through Skype calls, coaching and long text messages. That’s more than about 90% of my real life “friends.”

Let’s make social media a community, where we can support each other

In the same way that people have reached out to me, I’ve reached out to others to offer my sympathies, compliments and encouragements. In a world with so much negativity, it’s so refreshing and life-confirming to receive support from people who, by no means, have to say anything at all.

Another reason I like social media is that it’s enabled me to connect with people from so many different countries who share the same interests, and I’ve been inspired to be more creative, to share more, get out more and, most importantly, to keep improving my photography and writing skills.

So, I think it’s time to think of and utilize social media in a more positive way, altogether. Let’s make social media a community, where we can support each other, uplift each other and spread positivity, rather than competing against each other and tearing each other down.

Finishing off, as usual, with a cliché quote: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind.’

Love to you all xoxo

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