Social Media, What Are You Doing To Us?

“How are you? Wow, I haven’t seen you in a long time!”

“Wow. Do you remember when we were in Mr. Omar’s class in 9th grade?”

“Oh here you are! I’ve wondered what happened to you when you moved suddenly!”

I’m sure platforms such as social media started with good intentions of connecting people together. Whether it is an old classmate from middle school long ago, or a co-worker you used to make jokes with during a rather slow day at work. Maybe it was someone you knew when you served in the military together or someone cool you met during vacation.

I’d like to think that no one intended social media to be an actual life… outside of life.

Who ever knew it could be somewhat of a silent killer, really? I don’t mean to be a Debby downer or someone who likes to point out the negative, but in life I think we have to be honest with both the ups and the downs, the positive and the negative to be fully aware of what we might otherwise deny nonchalantly.

As someone who’s in her mid thirty’s (yeah, wow) I initially was introduced to social media from AOL. If you don’t know, my young one, that stands for America Online. Was that social media or just a chatting and news platform? It was fun as a middle schooler to converse with friends outside of school without actually leaving the house.

If your parents were like mine, then stepping outside the house to hang out with your friends is a lot more troublesome than just sitting in your room chatting away. If you’re a descendant from Asia, then you might have also heard of asian avenue. Yes, you better believe I knew my HTML codes to make my page look pretty darn amazing.

Soon after that, it was myspace… Whatever happened to that, anyway? Somehow Facebook was no longer for college students and that was also added to my social media resume. Then it was instagram and twitter. I actually tried to get into what google circle is all about, but realized it was too complicated to even figure it out. What’s next again? Snapchat? It is pretty darn impressive how all these social media platforms begun to surface so quickly.

Truth be told, as a child and teenager, I (and maybe you) did not grow up with social media

There was blogs like xanga or whatever the heck tumblr is, but it could not be brought everywhere we go like we can today on our phones. This was merely our “young adult life”.

Our generation and before was pure,

lively,

in the moment,

and we spoke face to face most of the time.

We used eye contact and words. We watched and thought about what we say because we can see and hear the other’s response to it. We rarely get into anything or in each other’s business unless we are physically around it.

first lie.

Nowadays, we frequently “stumble” into internet wars whether we like to or not. Most of the time, it’s not even our own arguments. We read as keyboard warriors who will say the utmost terrible things to one another that they know they will not say in person. Social media helps people think they’re tougher than they really are. The truth is that they’re just behind a screen.

Young teens who will bully another online because it’s easier. Soon after, the result of it will creep into to the poor victim’s daily life without warning. Minds who hasn’t fully matured in this case might join in because it might make them feel more secure about themselves.

Sometimes we won’t admit the subtle,

yet terrible outcomes of what social media can do.

It’s a silent killer because it really is.

We are all technically quiet about it in a technical aspect because no one is opening their mouths to make a sound and no one is hearing anything.

But the really silent killer of it all is that…. the eyes are the windows to the soul and however many times we choose to read something (good or bad), we may become accustomed to it whether we like it or not. We often don’t realize it until it’s somewhat too late. It’s a slow ride.

a second clue.

That’s one painful thing about social media, but a second clue is how much we can falsify ourselves OR how much we can assume about another’s life, even if we don’t intend to do it. I post photos many times on my Instagram and it can literally be a picture perfect photo that a viewer may receive differently. I post a lot of home decoration ideas with my face all done up with makeup.

I am someone who’s a perfectionist and love, and I mean love to create. My intention of sharing these photos is to help other moms or other homeowners who might be needing these ideas for their own home. Whether it’s a birthday decor idea, or how to make a small bathroom more organized, or even how to fill a house with Christmas spirit to make children happy.

But someone on the other end who’s NOT looking for these ideas but just stumbled upon it because hey, it’s time to scroll and scroll… might receive it as something entirely different. They might think of me of someone who’s too clean and house is always perfect and decorated, and how does she have time to put makeup on with all these kids in the house? They might start to doubt themselves and ask, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t do the same?”

The assumptions are real. But just because it’s assumed, does it make it real?

The lies of social media is powerful. They say a picture say a thousand words, but no one ever thinks twice to see if those words are true. The truth is that my house is 90% messy. just ask my family. I just clean them up so viewers can see the purpose of the photo without being distracted by all the mess.

After all, who looks up ideas on how to be messy if they’re looking how to be organized? Being messy is easy and being organized is not. I put on a full face of makeup because I literally look like a zombie mom without it and no one needs to be distracted by my baggy dark circle under eyes. It’s hereditary, so yeah, it’s bad.

the final lie.

Finally, the third lie of social media is how much a person can depend on it to feel loved, important or successful in life. Those numbers. Numbers of likes and followers somehow made itself so important to a person that it takes over their daily life.

It’s somehow important to feel satisfied of seeing at least 100 likes on a photo. Just the other day, I found out that young teens call it “the hundred club”. Yikes. It’s that important that someone might tell their own friends to go like the photo they just posted.

What’s interesting enough is that social media has become the news outlet. If you didn’t read it in their social media platform, you wouldn’t have known otherwise because apparently that’s the only place you could ever know about something new about someone. You would feel like a fool because they would say to you, “I posted it on facebook, you didn’t see?”.

“Well, no…”, you would say.

Let’s twist on it a little bit. As someone who’s actual job depends on these things on social media platforms, it takes a toll. It isn’t natural for me, especially as someone who did not grow up with these platforms. As an adult to care about some of these things is beyond me. Yes, it’s my job to care to impress brands I work with… but at what cost?

I will open up my instagram app fifty times during one day just to see if my post was successful. Did I post the right photo or write the perfect caption? How embarrassing would it be if a brand partners with me, but the actual post doesn’t do well? Surely this isn’t healthy. And with Instagram’s wonky algorithm, I’m done with! I did a test on myself to see if I am actually addicted to social media.

Surely I was.

See, during this time I was fasting and during a spiritual fast, I made it a goal to read the bible everyday. I find myself in the middle of reading bible verses,

I would suddenly hit the home button and open up instagram like I’m taking a breath of air.

I deleted all my social media apps as part of of my fast. Do you know the first thing I did after I deleted those apps? Well, I was confused for a second why I couldn’t open up my instagram app. Mind blown.

It took me fifteen days to let go and forget the importance of it. Day by day, even though it was hard, it somehow went easier. I wont lie and I did struggle. Come to think of it, it really is silly. It’s an online thing. It hurts the way you think, it tells you lies and tells you no one cares about you or that someone is way better than you.

What harm can these do to a young child?

Their minds are still growing and to be polluted by the harsh words online will surely shape how they think and act in the real world.

They might grow up thinking that it is all about them because social media teaches you about selfies and that likes are important and how many people follows you tells you how important you are.

Will our children fall to these lies of social media?

Being off social media for a few weeks was enough for my eyes to be opened. To remember what life is and what it should be about. We may differ on life’s purpose but we all can agree that it’s important to be a helper of another, to watch out for one another.

As a mom of three children, I want to remind them that it’s important to watch what we say no matter how we may feel at the time.

I want to make them feel loved by my “smiling” eyes whenever I look at them, and not by the number of a social media account.

I want them to remember that they must choose to be kind even if it’s hard because our Father in heaven teaches us to be kind to all.

I pray that my kids and all the kids in their generations will not be desensitized to emotions, positive or negative.

That they will look up as they speak to one another instead of giving half attention while they’re on their phones.

I write this post because I have many flaws and I, too, have fallen to the lies of social media. You’re not alone in it no matter how silly we may feel or how much we hide that it affects us. I write this so you can see the real me, I never want to seem perfect because I’m not.

Anything that is considered good that becomes excessive will turn to be something that’s actually…. well, bad. I drink wine from time to time, but what happens if I become addicted to it and drink it everyday from morning until night? It’s no longer okay. Likewise, while social media is nice from time to time, but too much of it or if it starts to change us… then it might be a sign that something needs to change.

Let’s remind each other to get back to life, love, and laughter.

To hear our friends and family’s voices,

the delight we see as we talk face to face to with loved ones

without the distraction

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