Recently I’ve been writing quite a lot on social media and my opinions on it. I am always very upfront that I don’t love to write about these topics. That said, once I get started, it’s a kind of cathartic experience that usually requires a good deal of trimming in the aftermath. However it’s more about hitting the “publish” button that makes me nervous. Why? Well, because of the very topic we’re discussing today. Already I’ve written to some degree on cancel culture and my opinions, but now I want to focus more on social media pressure and mistaken assumptions.
I’ve had, in different forms (Blogger, different names), my own space for ten years now. I’ve been on Twitter since 2015 and on Instagram sometime after that. Twitter once was a good space (for me) where I “met” many likeminded fan girls. And that’s what we were, fan girls. We didn’t impress a political agenda on others. We didn’t try to make someone think they’re evil if they don’t adhere to what is pushed by celebrities or the media. And unless responses that weren’t prompt did the trick, we didn’t make someone feel they couldn’t be a part of any conversation.
It was the best of (Twitter) times and some of the best kinds of conversation (silly though it may be).
There’s this impression that seems to be or has gained momentum that if a person doesn’t come on social media and take a “stand” on how they believe, they’re tone deaf. This, to me, is very harmful and an ill-informed opinion.
Just because a person doesn’t write something on social media, post a trending photo or come on Stories to state a leaning, does not mean they’re uneducated. This just means they’re choosing the who and where they share.
I take this personally because of a few reasons. Here are four of them.SOCIAL MEDIA OBSERVATIONS & ITS MISLEADING ASSUMPTION OF THE USER #SOCIALMEDIA #OPINIONS #THOUGHTS #SOCIALMEDIAALTERNATIVES #CELEBRITIES Click To Tweet
DEAR CELEBRITIES, NO THANK YOU
The first is, in no way, do I or will I take advice on how to live, social issues, health or anything else from celebrities’. Are they people whose Instagram Stories I follow? Sometimes (though rare), yes. Do I agree with some of the things they share or say? Sure. Does this mean it’s them who changed my mind? 99% of the time, no. Do they sometimes expand my perspective? I’m comfortable with saying yes. Or at least they give me something to think about. However, these people I’m talking about are not the kind of people I define as celebs (actors, directors, popstars, musicians, Hollywood elite).
I also don’t think any celebrity (meaning those I ascribe the term “celebrity” to in the above sentence) should come on social media and tell followers how to vote. Share why you vote; share what it means to you; share who you’re voting for and why (if you want); and remind us to vote. BUT, don’t tell us HOW to vote. That’s for US to educate ourselves and to decide what vote best represents our values. Same goes for social issues or health.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
In line with our first bullet point is personal accountability. Another thing I see (sometimes) is that it’s a social media’s personality or responsibility to tell someone who to believe or what’s going on. IT’S. NOT. That job belongs to YOU and in part to the people in your life who know you, love you and support you (because they LIVE life with you).
It’s NO social media personalities (favorite author, actor, and influencer) job to validate your beliefs or give you the “answer” of what or who to support. It’s YOUR job. If you don’t like what someone says, that’s fine. You have that right not to like it. But instead of constantly following someone to send unkind messages, UNFOLLOW them, move on and enjoy life.
YOU DON’T KNOW ME
Additionally, social media doesn’t mean you know the person. Sure some share more personal stories than others, and that’s their right. But it still doesn’t mean you know me in the way that your sister, parent or an IRL friend does. Just because we follow an influencer or celebrity doesn’t mean we’re entitled to know everything about them. We’re not.
And as Sweet Sequels (from Instagram) says, “social media is not reality.” Simple and to the point, but heavens, this is true.
YOU’RE NOT IGNORANT
In saying or promoting that anyone who doesn’t give their opinion on a hot topic or a news headline is wrong and invaluable, you’re suggesting that they’re ignorant. As someone who chooses not to blast everything on social media, I take personal issue with this. Please, do not tell me I’m ignorant of the world. I’m not. I listen to people I believe give facts and truth, I discuss (guess what, there are PEOPLE in my actual life; I don’t LIVE by or on social media) and I write. These are some of the ways I process what goes on, some of the ways I further think about things.
I’ll ask again, for us (myself or anyone who feels similarly), please don’t make anyone feel like they MUST come out with an opinion. If they want to, go for it. If you don’t, that’s also ok.
If you find yourself feeling lost in this muddle of social media hypocrisy or unkind messaging, just know you’re not alone. People, human beings have more in common than we’re being told. What’s sad is we’re allowing what we observe (which isn’t always truth) and a narrative to define how we feel and act. That impression is one only we can change.
What are your thoughts on these topics or social media pressure and mistaken assumptions? Do you like the direction or social media or find it repulsive? Do you see “bad” on your feeds? Have you ever been part of any drama? If you don’t like the direction, what do you do to combat it? Comment all of your thoughts down below!
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