How I Feel About Social Media

Brace yourselves, guys. I'm taking a break from my normal, upbeat, lifehack articles to address a more serious topic. We're in rant mode for a sec. Normal programming will commence momentarily.

So. Social media. It is all around us, all-consuming, everywhere. And it has certainly gained a reputation. People constantly slam social media for being destructive to us both as individuals and as an entire culture. And yet, it is still on the rise. The job market for positions related to social media continues to grow. More and more teens are beginning their social media journeys at a younger and younger age. My little brother is 14, and he has an Instagram and a Snapchat. When I was 14, I was just getting my first iPhone. So what’s up with this weird juxtaposition?

Social media has certainly become an integral part of my life. I have a blog, I keep a consistent Instagram feed, and I check Snapchat several times a day. And yes, I have felt the pressures that these platforms bring to the table. I have scrolled through the pages of Instagram models and influencers and thought, “Wow, I really wish my body looked like that. I wish my life looked like that.” I’ve felt compelled to update Snapchat stories because I see something that other people might think is cool. But I never reached a point where I hated it so much that I felt the need to delete accounts or write long Facebook posts about the damaging atmosphere of it all. Over the past year or so, as my social media use grew, and I began to hear more and more people bear their testimonies about the horrors of it, I wondered why I wasn’t having the same mentally degrading experience that so many others were. I thought about it a lot and I realized: it’s because of my mindset.

For me, social media is a source of inspiration and empowerment. I scroll through Pinterest and VSCO daily, pinning and favoriting girl power posts galore. I find outfit inspiration, travel inspiration, décor inspiration, you name it. Instagram is my way of sharing my favorite parts of life with the world. Snapchat sees a goofier, carefree side of me. VSCO sees my *artsy* side. And sure, my Explore page is still flooded with images that have the power to make me wish my life was different. But the key here, I’ve found, is to simply not allow them to have that power.

Social media is what you make of it, people. If you really want to believe that it is a terrible creation that’s sole purpose is to tear people down and make them feel bad about themselves, you are fully entitled to that opinion. I get it, it’s valid, and there is definitely a side to social media that functions like that. But you can also choose to look past all the negativity that is inherent on these platforms. Look for the good stuff, the content that inspires you, that makes you laugh. Social media can be such an empowering, uplifting place if that’s what you choose to gain from it. Follow accounts like @girlboss or @bossbabe.inc, or find influencers that inspire and encourage you. Life, in general, is largely in your control. How you feel, how you act, how you react to the things that happen to you, are all up to you. So choose to see the positive side of things, choose to feel empowered, choose to be inspired. Choose to be happy!!

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