How To Navigate Social Media Without Losing Your Soul
The internet is a tricky place. With the gross, pretty, and weird, it can be hard to find “your place”. For me, personally, it was especially hard. As a young blogger (I founded Crybaby Zine when I was super young) I tried changing myself to fit into specific groups that were popular on Instagram, Tumblr, and the other big social media platforms. Throughout middle school, I dabbled in all different types of angsty, conceptual photography, trying to gain the approval of a certain group of cool internet it-girls. I’ve since given up, probably in part to reading this essay, and found myself much happier. Does the internet stress you out too? Here are my three biggest tips for making the best of this resource without compromising your integrity—in other words, don’t just do it for the likes.
Post what you want!
I know that seems like an obvious one, but if you are always trying to go for the aesthetic, then are you really having fun? If you took a nice photo using your iPhone when you usually only post your photography don’t fret about posting it! The two people who unfollowed you are probably lame anyways.
Realize that social media isn’t everything.
I personally struggle with this one. Social media can seem like it is super important when you are trying to get noticed—try to remember that life exists outside of social media. While I will never commit social media suicide (as some magazines have been putting it) because I am not where I want to be yet, I also can have fun without it. Not everything needs to be documented, and your ratio of followers-to-following really does not matter.
Make friends online. If you want.
I’ve met some of my best friends on the internet. It’s the 21st century—meeting people online isn’t taboo anymore. When I travel with my family, I usually end up meeting someone from Instagram. It’s also super nice to have friends that have similar interests to you besides just being from the same town. If I hadn’t met an awesome community of people online, I definitely wouldn’t be as interested in social media.