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 Eunseo. Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!
Social media has been a part of my life since I was going into 7th grade. That summer, everyone was on Instagram and Snapchat, and I decided to get it. I was very easily drawn into social media. I still use Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat is probably my favorite social media app today. However, along with those two, I have GroupMe for communication with friends, Twist to keep up with ambassadorships, Twitter for my fan account, Wattpad for writing, Pinterest for saving my favorite pictures, Facebook for my family, and VSCO for sharing my photos! It sounds like a lot of apps, but I honestly couldn’t live without most of them.
The next summer, I decided to start going to a summer camp in California. The moment I got my phone back, I followed everyone on Instagram, and until the next summer when I see them again, social media is my only method of communication with them for 51/52 weeks of the year. Over the past two years, it feels like I have been with them for their biggest accomplishments, even though I haven’t actually been with them in person for those accomplishments. When I get to see them again, it also acts as a conversation topic when we don’t have anything else to talk about. I’ve watched those friends go through boyfriends, graduate middle school, get pets, and go to school dances! It makes the distance feel shorter when I get a funny Snapchat or text from them.
One moment that I thought social media was amazing was when I applied to be an ambassador for a brand through Instagram. I didn’t hear back for five months, but I learned in September that I had been selected from over 200 people to become an ambassador! That program led me to apply for more ambassador programs, and I landed at Everly Mag as well! These kind of ambassador experiences, as well as getting to look inside a small business and see how they advertised and grew their audience through social media, made me realize that my passion was marketing and business. I also run my church’s social media, so for me, staying active on social media is literally my life.
One moment where I felt like social media absolutely sucked was when I let social media affect the perception of me. I started to shape myself into someone that was completely different from the real me, and when people met me in person, they would say things like “Wow, you’re so different from your Instagram!”. These things made me upset, but eventually I realized that social media should be an extension of yourself, not a whole new person.
I think that for teens that are first getting into and getting used to social media, they should remember to stay true to themselves! In the beginning, it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and do things that you wouldn’t do in person. One rule of thumb for posting and commenting things on Instagram is: If your parents were looking at everything you said and did, would they be okay with it? If they wouldn’t be okay with it, you should reevaluate why your actions might not be okay. Your social media should be a place of happiness and fun, not a place of judgement and bullying. Follow accounts like @everlymag that promote kindness and inclusivity, not accounts that promote judging and rudeness.
How do you use social media to keep in touch with people far away? Comment below!
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