Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked to think about their social media journey. We asked them when they started using social media, which sites they use, and how their experience with social media been. We also asked our Writing Leaders to think critically about how social media could be improved, what life would be like without social media, and what they think the future of social media will look like.
This article was written by our writing leader Kathryn. Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!
In fourth grade, I first got Instagram. I used my mother’s phone to get it… without telling her. Of course my mom found out, and at first she wanted me to delete it. However, she changed her mind and she told me that I could either keep it with the conditions that I had to let her look at what I was saying and doing any time she wanted, and that I had to ask her before I used the app (which was still only on her phone).
Having Instagram was both good and bad. Instagram was good because it helped me see what my peers were doing, but it also gave me an opportunity to get myself into trouble. I did some pretty strange things including posting pictures about “fandoms” I was in at the time (mostly Divergent posts) and searching the hashtags for things like #ducksarecute.
When I was almost in fifth or sixth grade, my mother loosened the reigns for my Instagram account. This was really when the problems started. One way using Instagram got me into trouble was that it opened me up to cyberbullying. I know, it gets repetitive to always hear people talk about cyberbullying, but it really does happen. I saw many of my classmates’ posts where they would say something mean about me, and then people I didn’t know would comment something like it. I didn’t know what to do. I ended up reporting it to my teachers and people stopped in fear of getting in trouble. Since then, not only have I learned what to say and do when people are mean on social media, but I’ve also been very careful to be kind to everyone on social media. Nobody wants someone to be rude to them!
Now, I use the social media platforms of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Wattpad, and YouTube. The one I use most is Wattpad, which is a website for people to write stories and others to read them. I currently have a story in the works, and it’s really fun to see how everyone likes it! I also use Instagram a lot. Many of my favorite Broadway celebrities are on Instagram and it is fun to see what they post from backstage. I use Twitter the least because I just don’t like the layout. I mostly use Twitter to see what people mean when they talk about Twitter posts.
If I had no social media, my life would be very different. My life wouldn’t necessarily be better or worse, but very different. I wouldn’t know how to handle rude people very well, I wouldn’t have found my love for writing, and I wouldn’t be in contact with some of my old friends that moved away. However, there are things that I wish I knew before I got online. For one thing, I wish I knew that life shouldn’t revolve around social media. Social media is to share what is going on in your life, not to be your life. Instead of your first thought being “I need to get a picture for Instagram.” think “This looks like something I want to remember.” Later of you might want to post that picture, but that should be an afterthought rather than a priority.
I hope that the next generation gets away from the “I need to impress everyone on social media,” because I feel like it puts pressure on everyone. It puts pressure on the person posting it and worrying about what others thing, and it puts pressure on the people seeing it because they feel like they need to measure up to that. One thing I’ve learned is that people usually only post the good parts of their life on social media, not the bad. We only see the glamorous side that we feel like we need to be. This sets standards and causes a rise in discontent with people. Once you learn how to be content with who you are, you can learn to just have fun in life, and that’s what matters! All-in-all, social media can be good or bad, depending on the way you use it. If you use social media the right way, you can stay connected with friends and have a lot of fun.
What are some lessons you’ve learned during your time on social media? Comment below!
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