My mother constantly questions why I use my phone and laptop every day. Any time something bad happens (for example, if I do poorly on an exam), she postulates that it's because of my phone. "You kids and those damn phones," almost every adult mutters as they see as Snapchatting our friends or on FaceTime with our dogs. Recently I received an anonymous message that asked me why I "always post so much on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat." It made me start to think: Why do I maintain such a strong (and frequent) presence on the Internet?
One might describe what I do as "posting my entire life online" from the minute I wake up to the second my head hits my pillow at night. Though not as extreme as this allegory, my habits could be described as true in that context. When it comes to Twitter, I love posting jokes and sharing memes and videos with my friends. However, my focus in this writing is not the funny side of my social media.
Many times I have tweeted about my workout progress and overcoming general adversities. Posts like these tend to receive a good amount of feedback. While I appreciate said feedback, my intent is not to "go viral."
By posting about my progress (in any aspect), I am therefore holding myself accountable in continuing my success. I am by no means an Internet celebrity, but I have a decent amount of followers that view my content. If I post about how well I'm eating and exercising just to gain back the weight I lost three months later, then everything I said about improving would be invalid. I would be letting myself down and would come across as unreliable. Having that hanging over my head motivates me even more, almost as if I have something to prove.
The other reason I post "inspirational" or fitness posts is because I want to help and inspire others. I open up about my failures and weaknesses then proceed to explain how I would not let them hold me back. Yes, I had brain surgery and was almost medically disqualified from pursuing ROTC. Did I quit? No! I kept on pushing until I was finally granted a waiver. My point is: If I can do it, anyone can. I know I'm only one person, but if I have impacted at least one person's life, then I can happily say that I've fulfilled my purpose. I want to change the world.
While a lot of people are somewhat old-fashioned and aren't really familiar with the Internet or don't like it at all, it is the way of today. It's almost unheard of to find a person without at least one form of social media (typically Facebook at the very least). Studies have actually shown that too much screen time can be harmful to young children. Despite this, I feel that social media is extremely essential and is a great platform to spread positive messages and stories like mine. Yes, I post on the internet practically every day. Will I ever stop? Maybe. But I really think that I can help people by sharing my narrative, so I'm going to continue to do so.