Let’s Talk About…Social Media

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I would like to start a new series of blog posts called ‘Let’s Talk About…’ where in each one I will be talking about a certain subject and also encouraging you guys to join in. These can be quite relaxed or quite deep but I thought today I would start with quite a relaxed one to ease us in. I decided I wanted to talk to you guys about social media after completing one of my drama exams in the summer (it’s been building up for a while!) about the dangers social networking/media can have as well as the positives and I think talking about that with 20 15-year-olds can go one of two ways. As per usual, with me I couldn’t make up my mind so I had to compromise and that’s what I will be chatting you through today.

I guess we can all agree on one thing – social media was created to unite everyone around the world and connect people from every corner of the globe. I guess this is more applicable to certain forms of websites like Facebook and Twitter and it could be a bit more questionable with platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, but that is the primary, intended purpose. We were basically entered and, now, forced into a world where we are fueled entirely by status’ and pictures and comments and likes and what we’re doing at what time and what we look like and where we are. It was created to make us even more sociable and educate others but I think, if anything, it has only reversed that.

Social media, amongst other things in this day and age, is being abused and taken for granted. This isn’t said for everyone, of course, but the amount of hatred and egotistical being there now is due to these platforms is disgusting. I’m quite lucky to never have received hate on this blog *touch wood* and anything that happens in my personal life is quickly dealt with but there is always that fear and that’s something that kind of delayed me starting this blog, I suppose. Right now, we are more concerned about the likes we’re getting as oppose to who we’re connecting with – I will hold my hands up high and admit it myself. We are determined on our followers/friends/likes/how we present ourselves online and honestly, that is one of the biggest faults within our society.

The internet and social media can be used for a wide range of negative things. Cyber-bullying, trolling, stalking and harassment are just a few to name. I guess we are now more commonly acquainted with cyber-bullies through the term ‘keyboard warriors’ which I suppose it more appropriate due to the effect they have on people. I will admit something I am not proud of to you now and in that, I trust you simply respect me for doing so and even encourage you to share you’re experiences. As a child that was literally raised by the internet, I guess I was kind of overwhelmed and I would use it to my advantage and would say things to people I wouldn’t say to their face. Hopefully you see me as a nice, genuine person and I have changed a lot, but this was literally about 5/6 years ago when there was ‘nothing stopping me’. As I say, I’m not proud but I feel I had to include it in this blog post to make it 100% real and brutally honest.

I’m going to try to not be as cheesy as this may sound, but I do feel like this has shaped me into the person I am today and now makes me want to use the internet either for it’s original purpose or for more positive things, such as this blog. It has also made me really aware as to why people do it and the beginning stages of it. Now, I hardly upload on my personal Facebook unless it’s something huge and I am much more active on my Instagram. I will be uploading a separate blog post about my confidence on Instagram because it could help those of you who are quite shy like me so just hold on for that one. I personally prefer communicating through photos (not those kind of photos!) and love photography so being able to share my edits is much more me. I also find it much easier to share my different makeup looks on there without feeling constantly judged, and it helps me keep record of each look I do. As I’ve mentioned before with makeup, for me it’s not about vanity – it is about the creative side of it.

One thing I think we all unintentionally sign up for when we join a new social media platform is being able to be watched and judged by everyone. For some people that’s exactly what they want and their cool with it because it boosts their confidence and self-esteem which is absolutely fine, but for others it really becomes a nerve-wracking thing after something in particular happens that does knock your confidence. An example of that happening to me was in February when I had someone who was talking to me and was soon taking advantage of me. Luckily, I have a bright head on these shoulders and I didn’t fall for it, but even the people you ‘trust’ are a different person when they’re behind a screen. You can also never be 100% sure who you’re talking to, which I think about a lot if I’m not talking to my close friends/family. I will go into this experience more if you would like because it is a rising issue and it did knock my confidence afterwards, as well. I never want to do the whole ‘woe is me’ act but I will speak about these issues if they do help you. There is even a part of me that gets nervous when saying ‘happy birthday’ to people on their timeline so I just inbox them on Facebook (that is how much I think about things like that!).

On the other hand, I have had some super positive reactions to my social media, such as when I choose to document things like my Mum’s first engagement, my Granddad’s passing (which wasn’t great but the reaction to my Facebook post was) and birthday bits and bobs. This does boost my confidence a lot and I know it shouldn’t be used for that, but it really does help with my stress and anxiety and, as I mentioned earlier, I love posting my photography edits. If I could I would take Photography at A Level but I don’t have Art GCSE to back me up. I just think if you have good intentions in any form of life, that will shine through and it will carry you through, but if you constantly have bad intentions, that will weigh you down and you will probably get what you deserve one day. Perhaps that’s what happened to me.

And that’s it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – let me know what you think of this new series! Also, please share your experiences below in order to build up a proper conversation with myself and others; that was the whole point of setting this new series up! And please keep it nice – that would just be a little bit too ironic!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

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