For the majority of college students, social media platforms are used more often than they care to admit. Not only are they helpful in keeping up with current friends, events that are happening at school, and what's happening in our country, but they are also useful in catching up with old friends. It gives the ability to keep an eye on the past, see how people are changing, all while allowing you to grow into the new life you're making for yourself. The biggest, and perhaps most overlooked, tool that they give you is the power to affect your followers, whether you mean to or not.
Recently, I was perusing my Twitter feed during a particular boring lecture on the history of teddy bears, and I came across a tweet that essentially said "if you're fat, you need to have a good personality". Typically, when I see a post that I don't like, I just scroll a little quicker and move on. However, I couldn't get this one out of my head. Not only was it a sensitive subject, but I was shocked that they would be so blatant about this. When I questioned them about it, they said that it was something they had heard on campus, and thought it was "funny", but it's okay because it wasn't their words.
This is where the idea of holding a sense of power comes into play. Too many times we see these people, no matter how many followers they have, throw out jokes about topics that many people struggle with. Body weight is a big issue for many people, especially girls in college.
Just because you didn't say it, it's not okay to put online. Just because you think it's funny, it's still not okay to put online. Putting something like that online is never okay, because it's hurtful. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone deserves love. You, along with everyone else, do not have the ability to judge others based on their body weight. That is their body, not yours. By saying something like that, it makes your personality appear ugly, rather than those you deem "fat".
Oh, and one more thing. With recent events that have happened in the U.S., now it is more important than ever to unite, not only as a nation, but as females in general. We need to stop putting each other down, and begin building each other up. We are beautiful, we are strong, we are special, and we are worth the love of others. Just because you're able to hide behind a screen, or type out a couple of words, doesn't mean that you won't affect someone. With the growing popularity of social media, this power to influence others will only grow bigger, and the words will only grow harsher. We can make the world a beautiful place, but to do that we need to start with us.
So here's my challenge to you. If you're walking around campus and the person in front of you has on a cool pair of shoes, tell them! If you're standing in line, and you see an outfit you really like, tell them! You never know when someone could use a compliment, especially from a stranger. Yes, it will feel weird, but I promise you, it's worth it. You never know what can happen!