By Jordan Doww
This past week, 18 year-old Instagram star Essena O’Neill publicly announced that she is officially ending her time on social media. She even went to the extremes of going back through her older photos and re-editing the captions to express how much work and time was put into each photo to make them absolutely picture-perfect. O’Neill explains briefly that social media does nothing for anyone but cause self-hatred and judgement. Although there can be some validity behind this, this isn't exactly the case.
Yes, social media can indeed cause issues with self-confidence ONLY if you let it get to that point. Social media can indeed turn into a non-enjoyable branded job ONLY if you let it happen that way.
The bigger picture that I am trying to express here, is that literally anything you do in life can turn into a negative, staged lifestyle only if you are allowing that pressure get to you internally. I, for one, absolutely love the idea behind social media and have nothing to hide from my followers. As a result, you can expect me to post almost anything to everything.
Yeah, I may spend too long choosing the right filter for my Instagram photo so it matches the rest of my “feed” (what the kids call it these days). However, I do it because I love photography. Just like any photographer would, they would spend quite a bit of time editing their "work." My Instagram is my visual diary. I like to take my followers with me on my journey because I genuinely want to. I’m not spending hours Photoshopping my dimples away or trying to thin out my body just for a selfie. Why would I? Where would be the reality?
O’Neill made me realize a few things -- one being that I genuinely love social media and the things it can do for us. In turn, I gathered together five reasons why you shouldn’t quit social media.
Social media allows you to connect with millions of people across the globe and more importantly, loved ones. With just a tap away, you have easy access to speaking to all of your family and friends. We get the chance to see what our loved ones are up to on a day-to-day basis, which isn't easy to do in-person these days -- especially with how busy life can get. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with everybody. Social media is the answer.
My favorite part about social media is that it gives you a voice. Normally, you’re just an average person lost in this pool of millions of other civilians. But with social media, you always have the power and right to truly express who you are, how you feel and what you stand for. Speak your mind and be creative!
3. Community and Support
Another big reason I love social media is the community and support it can bring. Like I said before, millions of people across the globe are easily accessible with just one tap. With this "voice" you have on these platforms, someone is bound to agree and support you for what you have to say or the way you are living your life. It’s also an amazing place to make new friends. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who are now some of my closest, dearest friends just from social media alone. It brings people together in more ways than not, whether it be collaboration, friendship or dating. #TeamInternet is a family.
As a young businessman at heart, I like to use social media as a tool of networking. Again, with just a tap away, you are easily accessible for all types of communication. Today, you can simply just "follow" a fellow colleague or company and connect and stay in touch on levels you normally wouldn’t have had the chance to. I can easily follow my favorite brand and simply send them a DM (direct message) and ask if we can collaborate. It’s literally that simple. How cool is that?
This last one may be a bit specific, but it’s extremely important nonetheless. Bouncing off the previous idea of networking, I should express the importance of branding yourself. Social media allows us to post whatever we want, whenever we want. It also allows us to show off our talents, our hobbies or just genuinely what we do as people.
Use this in a way so that your social media almost acts as your resume/portfolio for showing off what you naturally do best. I mean, it makes sense! If you head to my YouTube channel, you'll find comedy, lifestyle, singing, directorial debuts and more. These are all vital things that could be pitched to potential employers for future collaboration. It can work with anyone, too! Whether you write, cook or even teach fitness, social media can ultimately be the portfolio of your work.
I could go on for days about why social media is so important, especially today. Don't forget: #TEAMINTERNET RULES.