> Let's Talk - Social Media! - Its All Zara

Let's Talk - Social Media!

July 08, 2017

Hello all, welcome to this week's Let's Talk segment! Unfortunately there wasn't a segment last Saturday as I was out of town all day on a fabulous shopping trip with my boyfriend and got back late. This week I have 3 amazing guest writers sharing their thoughts on Social Media, so give a warm welcome to:

Laura from http://www.insidemymindxo.com/ OR @Insidemymindxo on Twitter

Lucy-Kate from http://lucykateburton.blogspot.co.uk/ OR @Lucykateburton on Twitter
Megan from http://the-writeblog.blogspot.co.uk/ OR @The_WriteBlog on Twitter

Each lovely lady has written a short segment discussing Social Media and its impact on society as a whole:

Laura's thoughts: "When it comes to social media, there are plenty of positives! A lot of people are able to connect with friends and family that they may not see very often or live far from. We have a chance to be a bit nosey and follow our favourite celebs and see what they're up to! I know that keeping up with my favourite bands and artists on Twitter has helped me not miss the chance to see them live! Nowadays it's a wonderful way to learn about and keep up with a wide range of social and cultural issues. From feminism to racism, mental health awareness and LGBT+ issues. It's this way that we realise that there is always someone, somewhere in the world that feels the same we do and will be at some point be going through the same situations we are. It can be a positive place where we can come together, be supportive and bring awareness and change to make the world a better place.

On the contrary, social media can all too often be a place of isolation, hatred and negativity. With websites and apps such as YouTube and Instagram becoming ever popular, we're seeing more of a 'look at me' society. We see it all the time, those who will only post the positives and the finer things in life. We will only see the expensive clothes and shoes, the luxury cars and holidays, the false 'I woke up like this' selfies. Someone will post when they're getting a brand new car on finance but wouldn't have shown their first car because it was an older model and 'uncool'! This leads a lot of us (me included) to feel inadequate and start comparing ourselves to these people. We begin to obsess and cannot stop thinking about how we will never be as wonderful and successful as these people online. Another thing that comes with social media, while it can connect millions of us for the right reasons, there are a lot of people who will use it simply to bully, antagonise and torment. It's become incredibly easy for people to hide behind an alias and a screen name. A lot of times as well people will see someone being cruel, and feel it gives them a free pass to join in which only adds fuel to the fire.

While there will always be good and evil, I feel that individually we can make the internet a happier, safer and more inclusive place to be for everyone. We must always be kind, accepting, understanding and thoughtful towards one another. It's also important to remember that everyone is human, and those that seems to have the most perfect lives will all have bad hair days, their shoes will scuff and I'm sure they don't start EVERY day with a green smoothie! It's important to find a healthy balance of social media and living our life away from our computers and phones!"

Lucy-Kate's thoughts: "The internet can be a scary place. There's people who will call you every name under the sun, and threaten something worse than the worst thing you can think of. I've seen it, luckily, I haven't received much. I had a comment on one of my YouTube videos calling me a bitch from someone I went to school with, and it shook me up quite a bit that they'd go that far to reach out to me and insult me. 

What people have to remember is, it's just letters typed on a keyboard by someone who'd walk past with their head down. If it was real life, they'd be too cowardly to even look you in the eye. Trust me, the guy who called me a bitch won't even look at me when I see him in the canteen at college. 

The internet is full of abuse, but it's what you make of it that matters. You could fill you timeline with negativity, abuse, and what else just to make yourself feel anxious and worried to log in, or you could follow people that inspire you and encourage you to be better. 

My Twitter timeline was once full of people who I'd walk a different way round the city to avoid, just in case. My journey walking to college would be 20 minutes longer just so I could avoid walking past someone. It's now a place where people share their stories without fear. I can Tweet without worrying I will be called a name. 

Abuse is unfortunately part of the "job description". It's cliche to say it but, just block it out. Focus on the positive. Change what you see to what you want to see. 
Megan's thoughts: "There is no denying that social media has become deeply integrated in our everyday lives. It plays a vital role in the news industry, the blogosphere and, of course, our social lives. Social media continues to expand and assert its influence in many aspects of our lives and, whilst it does have its many uses, do you think we are relying on it too much?

Instagram, for example, is an excellent social media platform for both bloggers and influencers alike. We take pictures, we edit them, we post them. There is something quite satisfying about seeing consistent themes, inspirational quotes and bright, vibrant snippets of individuals’ realities… but are they real? Mostly, no. So what is the point?

The unfortunate truth is that, although none of our lives are perfect, we like to pass them off as if they are in any way we can. You don’t get to choose all the good and bad that happens in your life but you have full control over what parts of it you allow others to see. You have the choice of posting about your brand new eyeshadow palette that everybody wants or your horrible break up that has just happened. Decisions, decisions!

Social media brings out the narcissistic streak in a lot of people, yes, but there is a point where this starts to take a harmful turn. Scrolling senselessly, seeing snap after snap of smiles and sumptuous surroundings, you start to question: How? Why is my life not perfect like theirs? Why am I not always happy like they are? The all too familiar but incredibly underrated form of self-torture: comparison.

It hurts our egos sometimes. Big deal. What if those comparisons turned into: All I’ve got to do is follow her diet and take those pills and I’ll look like her or That game they’re doing looks dangerous but everyone is doing it at the moment so I’ll join in too.

You can layer filter on top of filter on top of filter. People die. This is real. When used correctly, social media is one of the best resources in the world. You get to share your content on an unfathomable scale, you can be self-published and people even build their businesses using it. In the wrong hands, however, it becomes a weapon with a nuclear magnitude. It’s a false illusion of free speech. Heavens forbid, you state an unpopular opinion and suddenly you’re the target of a worldwide witch hunt.

My personal views of social media are not all doom and gloom. I have an intense love-hate relationship with it but, if you were to take just one message from this post, let this be it:

Be wary of what you promote. Scrutinize every trend before you allow yourself to be a part of it. Spread positive messages – things that will help others better themselves instead of being more like others. Most importantly, don’t rate your quality of life by comparing it to others.

Heed this advice and social media will have nothing but a good impact on you, no question about it. "

My thoughts: "Social media can be both a blessing and a curse, I've met some amazing people via blogging, Twitter and Facebook but I've had my fair share of cyber bullying also. I've had anonymous posts calling me names, saying nasty things and gossiping and at the time I had low self confidence so it led to a lot of hurt and upset, nowadays you could call me what you want and I wouldn't give a toss because hiding behind a computer or phone to be abusive is more sad on your part. I worry sometimes about young people on Social Media because even as young as 13 I was being picked on via the internet and I dread to think about someone that age being made to feel how I did, I know with each generation there are more and more social platforms on the internet and I only hope they are all safe for young people to enjoy. Having said that the friends I've made via the internet have cancelled out the drama as I get to interact with people all over the globe who share my interests and hobbies. Blogging is one way I've met a large variety of people who have helped me and my blog grow in the best way possible, the biggest example are these Let's Talk segments as each week I get 3 new awesome people to discuss a topic with! I wouldn't say fear Social Media, just bear in mind there are negatives as well as positives!"

For a chance to write for my Let's Talk segments you can find me at Itsallzara on Twitter OR alternatively email me at Zaraanne@hotmail.co.uk


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