Social media offends me, makes me aggressively defensive, makes me feel so vulnerable I want to cry. And I’m not even a teenager. My friends say I should write a bit about this. It’s possible they are bored with my rants on the subject when they try to persuade me to engage with social media, bully me into writing blogs and even suggest I join Twitter. They have GOT to be joking.
They reckon there are probably heaps of people out there who feel the same as I do. But like me, they feel they are the only ones and don’t make their feelings heard. Well, of course, they don’t! That’s a lot of the reason why they don’t like social media. . .this airing of one’s private thoughts and feelings to anybody out there who happens to read them. It’s an appalling invasion of privacy. It’s like ripping one’s innards out and putting them on display to people one often doesn’t even know exist. Why would one even WANT to make one’s self so vulnerable to the opinions and probable judgement of everyone you know and everyone you don’t?
Then there is the other side of the story. Do we really want to know what Jayboy had for breakfast? How all of Sukie’s children passed their exams, marvellous little wonders? Whether 5 or 60 people turned up for Amy’s morning boot camp? Do we really? Really? Aren’t there zillions of more uplifting and useful ways of spending that time? And then there is the hardcore stuff – the stuff that breaks our hearts and self-esteem. Especially if we are very young; the highest users of social media. Try telling a teenager that what they see on social media is just the cherry picked high points their friends choose to make public. The ordinary everyday struggle that the teenager is battling with is not out there for comparison. Because we do that. We compare all the time.
It’s how our minds work. So in comparison to the carefully edited lives of others, that teenager’s mundane life takes a real beating. And so does the teenager’s self-confidence. Trying to be liked and out there with the best, the teenager makes himself/herself available to “friends” on social media. The more friends the better. The number of friends = measure of popularity. But often these so-called friends are just as insecure as the teenager and take this insecurity out on each other, bullying and undermining. It’s much easier to say something ugly to a screen than to a live face.
I could go on. Oh goodness, I could go on. Because I see the fallout of social media in my therapy room more and more. I expect I could find lots of truly valuable aspects of social media to put in here, you know, to give this blog balance and depth. But I’m not going to. I’ve enjoyed this rant far too much.
Thanks for reading it if you did. You have my full understanding and approval if you simply skipped or deleted it.
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