Social media is a blessing. It can be used to keep in contact with people around the world, share funny things about life, discuss and debate, or just keep up to date with the family drama. Sometimes, however, it isn’t so great.
When I was 13, I joined a website called Tumblr. At first, it seemed great, I could interact with other people who had a passion for the things I did, everyone was funny and really nice. Then I came across a post about self-harm. Before then, I’d had no idea that it existed, but this world opened new doors for me, and not good ones. I found out a lot about self-harm, why people did it, how they did it, and how it made them feel, and I realised that I felt bad like them, so why shouldn’t I try it too? Had I not seen this original post, I doubt I would’ve learned about it for a few more years, and I wouldn’t have self-harmed.
Along with learning about self-harm, I also spoke to people who identified as non-binary, trans, genderfluid etc. Whilst this in itself isn’t an issue, when I told them I was sometimes a ‘tomboy’ and sometimes a ‘girly girl’ they all decided, unanimously, that I must be genderfluid, and this was a label that was forced onto me, without me truly knowing what it meant. It caused a lot of emotional distress for me, not knowing who I was, and it took me the best part of three years to realise that I am a cisgender girl, who is sometimes a tomboy and sometimes a girly girl.
On the flip side of all of this, I met my best friend in the world through Facebook, and have since met up with her a handful of times. Social media isn’t all bad, but nor is it a utopia. It needs to be treated with caution and people need to remember that there is a life outside of electronic screens, and if you don’t look up once in a while, you’ll miss it.