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I’m so glad social media didn’t exist when I was younger because it didn’t corrupt or destroy my childhood. I played outside, I took real pictures, I had pen pals and wrote notes to my friends. I saw my friends to know what their newest hairstyle and relationship was, I spoke on the phone when I liked someone. I turned my thoughts into poetry, not Facebook statuses. I didn’t obsess over someone’s comments or likes. Jealousy never coincided with intimacy because I didn’t have to deal with conniving girls commenting or liking pictures with flirty remarks – getting under a female’s skin to the point that they’re stooping to their level and acting ignorant and childish also. We didn’t have this even ten years ago when I was graduating high school and I’m so grateful for that because we interacted with people and communicated and lived our lives not through our phones. Sure there’s some great marketing and benefits of social networking, especially for businesses and artists and writers trying to make a good name for themselves but I’ve also been exposed to all of the negative things it brings along with it.

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve fallen into some of the social media drama and it’s so petty and silly. You risk losing friendships and relationships and good people who you care for because of something misconstrued or intentional because we’re all human and sometimes let other peoples words and actions get to us. And I realized I never had some of the stupid issues I have now and it’s because of social media. Unfortunately there’s so many instigating individuals and there always have been and that’s something you have to ignore in life and everywhere to change with the times and move forward with technical advances.

I wanted to write a blog about this because so many people I know go nuts because of a like or a comment -men and women alike – embarrassingly and regrettably so have I until the other day when I had to say goodbye to a lifelong friend who’s moving out of the country and I was surrounded by my best childhood friends and it was like therapy for me. It was such an eye opening discussion. people say words don’t matter (as a writer, obviously I disagree) but then they read into every word on social media platforms. I watch people fight, I watch kids not lift their eyes off their phone, I watch adults not lift their eyes off their phone, I watch people get bullied and made fun, I see people hide behind a computer screen and write words of violence and hatred, and you’re going to be so sorry one day, when you realize the monster you could become if you’re not smart enough to figure this kind of stuff out. No one has to be a victim don’t let someone or something make you feel like you are, especially an app. Social media becomes a problem when we make it one and we’re making it one. So just stop. If you’re with someone that’s for you and that person, not for the world to have to see and accept. People who don’t post certain things on social media are thought to be keeping a secret or lying – no and that mindset is a fighting way of thinking. stop focusing on social media and start focusing on your actual interactions with people because that’s what actually matters. unless there’s an intentional and outright portrayal of disrespect- what people do when they’re with you is what is significant, not someone’s posts, comments, likes, hobby when they’re on the toilet or bored and eating. I truly hope people read this and stop fighting and getting jealous and feeling insecure and obsessing and start living and focus on people and real communication and enjoy their youths and the company of family, friends, and significant others. The extent of truth in this is remarkable and life changing when you open your eyes.

-Allison Ryder

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