I often hear how toxic and bad social media is, so I’m not going to try to change your mind if that is your opinion, but I am going to challenge you to look at social media from a different point of view. For me, social media is a way to show who I am and where I am at in life unapologetically, which basically means I post about all aspects of my life, whether they’re positive or negative, in an attempt to make myself understand where I’m at emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I think of my social media, specifically Instagram, as a photo-blog/journal of my life that is simply just in public view. Tiktok is where I mentally recharge and deal with my anxiety and depression. Snapchat is where I show my very quirky side of my personality and my academic struggles as well as successes.
I try really hard to have transparency with my friends, family and even complete strangers, not only in my day to day life, but on social media as well. This is in an attempt to show that while social media is filled with a lot of people just showing how great their life is, that’s not all of what social media can offer. It’s really hard for me to go to my friends when I’m in a really difficult spot in person, but through apps like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat I can share personal aspects of my life easier, and it has always helped give me a community that will love and care for me. I believe that that’s one of my top reasons that I will always post on social media often. It’s given me so many great opportunities to connect with people who are going through similar things as me, share the same hobbies as me or even just have the same “vibe” as me. I found the place where I bought my roller skates using Instagram as well as a community to roller skate with on Instagram. I found communities on campus like my Christian organization I am a part of called the Navigators through Instagram, which brings me so much genuine joy. I’ve also found a body positive community on Tiktok that I can share my journey to self love with.
One of my favorite compliments that I have ever been given is that my social media doesn’t feel like a filtered version of me, and that when my friend saw my Instagram it felt like the real version of me. This made me so grateful that the work that I put in to be truthful with the world was paying off. I’ve also seen so much good come from just approaching social media like this because it helps show that humans aren’t perfect and everyone has problems, which is a difficult, but wonderful, thing to realize from seeing it on social media, and even implemented into real life. Our social media shouldn’t be a snapshot of just the good things that are happening in our lives, but a collection of snapshots of all things happening in our lives because when we achieve that, we can really start to understand each other’s points of view better.