There’s something about this whole Essena O’Neil thing that makes me very uncomfortable and uneasy. Her intentions are honorable and admirable, and I wish her the best in her moving forward to advocate whatever she wishes to, but I cringe at yet another opportunity for people to bash on social media. I’d go on about how those despicable Baby Boomers insist on calling Millennials the “selfie generation” in an attempt to trivialize and separate us to take the heat off themselves for basically ruining the world. Am I exaggerating? Probably not, in all honesty.
People frame social media as a sentient life force that dictates how we use it. I think that’s the thing no one seems to get. WE choose how to use it. The solution to “social media disconnecting us from reality” or “destroying the youth’s self esteem” isn’t to abandon social media, it’s to create a revolution within it.
It’s pretty obvious and common that people only share their best moments on social media. It’s the ones we want people to know, the ones we want to look back on and smile about. It’s the ones that get the most traffic. But doing so only creates nostalgia, romanticizing the past. Social media is a form of communication with the people we care about, so why don’t we communicate the bad along with the good? And I don’t mean this in a ‘take a glimpse at the INNER me and tell me how brave I am for it’ bullshit kind of way in the form of makeupless selfies. I don’t mean sharing your low points only after you have finally overcome them so they can serve as an “inspiration” to us all. I mean sharing your daily goddamn sadness. Or your fucking anger. Or your shitty jealousy. And don’t make a joke out of it. Don’t soften it so that it can be more palatable to the masses (unless the joke is REALLY good). Show us your “ugly” side, your human side. And this has to be a two way street guys. Double tap, retweet, favorite those shitty moments, because everyone knows it’s not out of pleasure for someone else’s pain.
One of the biggest complaints about social media is that we share too much of our lives on it. I don’t think we share nearly enough, at least not the stuff that really matters, not the stuff that makes us who we really are.
Overshare. Overshare shamelessly. Overshare your feelings, your passion, your rawness. THAT’S good content. That’s the kind of things that will take social media out of the power of companies trying to sell us happiness and into ours.