You’re at a party. You have a couple of close friends there but most of the people you don’t know that well. You would hardly get up and announce to the crowd everything you had done that day.
You might tell people one on one, or in a small group, but if somebody took the floor and started banging on about something quite personal happening in their lives, it might get a bit awkward. And yet this is what we sometimes do, at the party that is social media.
Where to begin with social media?! It’s a jungle out there! It’s a place to share a photo of the burger you just ate, the workout you did, the selfie you took, the newest quote you found… and the brilliant day you’ve just had. Am I right? Also useful for venting, ranting and spitting venom about all the stuff that hasn't gone your way recently. Yes? Well, maybe.
I love social media. Honestly, sometimes I think my food looks rad and the world needs to enjoy it too. The result you just got on your assignment, you share it to look smart right? And you can’t be getting fitter if you don’t share a photo of your sweaty post-workout face! That’s a joke people, I’m sure you’re getting fitter, but please, go have a shower!
Social media is brilliant, I love it. I post on Fb a couple of times a day, share on Instagram frequently, Snapchat my random adventures to my friends and reblog on Tumblr for hours. But how much is too much?
Are we putting so much of our lives on social media that we forget who we are when our phone battery dies? Sisters please, don’t get so caught up documenting your day you forget to live and breathe it!
Social media is a neat way to connect with others but do people really need to know who yelled at school and the expletives they used? Do people really need to know how awful you feel because your boyfriend just dumped you? In the heat of the moment it’s easy to hit ‘post’ without thinking it through.
Doing life with people is important, but rather than sharing every emotion you feel on Fb and ranting for the world to see, it might be a little better if we find a few safe people in our lives we can talk to face to face instead.
Find people you can go and vent to who accept you as you are, will walk the journey with you and who will give you their honest opinion, even when you might not want to hear it.
Social media can enhance our lives and we can share the highlights and fun times with others. There is a flip side though, and we can hurt ourselves and others by posting without thinking, by leaving ourselves exposed or humiliating someone else.
Let’s try and use the platform to encourage and build up others, to support people, to love people. Show some class in the online world as well as the real one ;)
Enjoy the online space you have but use it wisely and use it in a way that makes it a pleasant place for everyone to be. xox
by Hannah Mason, Gen Z