The internet is one of the biggest mediums that mankind has ever invented to connect all people around the world and along with it are growing numbers of social media tools. Social media could help us be more efficient and effective, which is good, but somehow it could turn the other way around depending on the people we follow.
Have you ever experienced being insecure or a lil little bit envious because people kept on posting about their almost–perfect lives? Have you ever experienced feeling degraded because of other people’s posts? Have you ever felt bad about yourself for feeling ugly, or for not having the #bodygoals or the riches that could make those #travelgoals, #relationshipgoals and all those goals (which are sometimes aren’t really the so-called ‘goals’) into a reality? Have you ever asked yourself why you aren’t living the good life like the people around you?
When I was in my second year of highschool, I was a total Facebook addict. I would take a ‘just woke up’ selfie and upload it right away. I would always check who would like and comment on my posts. I was happy earning likes and comments that would appreciate how pretty I was in the picture. I would also post my rants, jokes, quotes and a lot of nonsensical stuff that I thought was really so cool of me to do. A lot of people would then add me and I would accept them even though I really didn’t know them in person. Eventually, they spread false rumors about me, shared my pictures without any permission, and would even use them as their own. Thanks to my friends who discovered the fake accounts, we were able to report them right away.
Then there was Plurk, a platform that had the same characteristics of Twitter but the difference was being able to earn karma points with every post. You can also earn karma points by being active, replying and engaging with other users, and changing your theme. It was fun being a member of Plurk especially since only a few knew me there, so I was able to express my feelings freely. Then, I got tired of it because it seemed like a chore of to be always be active just to earn Karma points.
Then Twitter came into my life. I felt cool when I told my classmates to sign up so that we could talk there. My goal was to increase my tweets and of course, my followers. In hindsight, it was a very petty goal. I had a very good circle of friends there but there would be times that a part of me would tell me to stop tweeting because it wasn’t worth it. It was nonsensical stuff. There were also times that I would post a tweet just because I wanted the person I was mad at to feel bad. I realized how pathetic I was to do it when I could have just told the person face to face rather than making the situation worse.
And then came those posts that made people feel bad about themselves and what they didn’t have. There came a day when social media turned me into a person whom I didn’t want to be. It was a good thing that I was awakened by the truth. So I slowly started avoiding checking my accounts, especially Facebook. I used my time to do productive and worthwhile things like reading a book, studying, and talking to people who mattered the most to me. I don’t know about you, but it feels good catching up more with someone when you can share your adventures and stories with them in person other than just posting it in on the web.
I deactivated some of my online accounts and through my social media cleanse, I was able to grow and mature. I was able to open my eyes to the truth that social media shouldn’t take over me. I recently made a page that would help students ace their subjects, or could at least contribute to their success.We have our own purpose in this world and we have the power to use the resources available to us for the good. If we are to use social media, let’s use it to boost more of what’s needed, and not let the talents of the youth go to waste.