The Mask Of Social Media

The Mask Of Social Media

What people are posting on social media is what they want us to see; it is an edited, small moment of their life, not their life story.
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Social media has become such a huge part of our generation. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, VSCO, Pinterest, the list goes on and on. Every day we see people who seem to have the perfect lives. Their Instagram feeds are ideal according to society’s standards nowadays. We see a girl in her twenties flaunting her perfect body in a bikini, happy as can be on a beach. Or we see the most perfect "candid" picture of a beautiful young girl laughing. Maybe we see the cutest couple kissing and exhibiting the so-called "couple goals." Or sometimes we see a group of guys out at a party having the time of their lives. But what we don’t realize is that these are just pictures; they are only small moments of someone’s life.

Maybe that girl in her twenties with the "ideal" and "perfect" body has been battling an eating disorder for years, and is more insecure than ever. Maybe that beautiful, young girl in the candid picture is battling depression and wants everyone to think she’s happy as can be. Maybe that cute couple fights every day and breaks up at least once a week. Or maybe that group of guys abuse alcohol every weekend because they don’t know how to have fun without it. The thing is that you don’t know. You don’t know someone’s life or what they’re going through just by following their social media accounts.

As a society, we choose what we post on social media. Yes, I know that seems like an obvious statement, but really think about it. We choose what we want our peers and other people we may not even know, to see. A majority of us, even myself, want others to think we are happy, stable, and content with our lives. And to do so, we "prove" it through social media.

Just over two years ago, on the evening of January 17, 2014, 19-year old, Madison Holleran, took her own life. Madison was an absolutely stunning, young girl who ran track at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). Madison seemed like she was having the time of her life during her first year at UPenn; her Instagram feed was filled with pictures of her out with friends, running track at school, and beautiful selfies of her smiling so brightly it’d be impossible to think she was unhappy with herself. In an ESPN article about Madison’s life, posted about a year and a half after her death, it stated that she was, “someone who was aware of the image she presented to the world, and someone who often struggled with that image conveyed about her, with how people superficially read who she was, what her life was like.” Madison, like many other people, wanted everyone to think she was perfectly content with her life even though she wasn’t. She had been seeing a therapist for a couple months and was having a hard time; she was battling anxiety and now looking back, is thought to have had depression.

After reading Madison's story, it's important to realize that we need to take the time to actually get to know people and see how they are. Ask your friends how they're doing. It is so important to make sure your loved ones are okay because our time with them is limited. One of your closest friends could be struggling and you may not even know it. Asking someone how their day is going or just simply smiling at a stranger could make their day. The smallest act of kindness could turn someone's whole day around and you might not even know it.

Stories like Madison’s prove that we do not know someone’s life based on their Instagram feed, or social media account. We never know what someone is going through or what their home life is like just because we see their posts on social media. So next time you judge someone based off their Instagram feed or their Snapchat stories, think. What people are posting on social media is what they want us to see; it is an edited, small moment of their life, not their life story.

Cover Image Credit: The Lance

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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