The Positive Side of Social Media
Social Media is a blanket term for multiple highly criticised platforms that 67% of the population continue to use, despite the controversy. As someone who works in social media marketing, I may come across as biased when I say that I really do like social media and its immense array of capabilities. Now I’m not saying that it’s perfect, it is far from that, but it is not all doom and gloom like you see everywhere (mainly across social media, funnily enough). So, in the spirit of Christmas and happiness, I’ve compiled my favourite positives of social media.
Mental Health Awareness
Social Media gets a lot of stick for its negative impact on mental health, and rightly so. The Telegraph recently published an article stating that teenagers who spend more than three hours a day on social media may have double the risk of mental health problems. Despite this, it is clear that social media users and the platforms themselves are becoming more and more aware of this. Earlier this year, Pinterest launched their wellbeing campaign, where if you search #pinterestwellbeing you’re shown some mental health resources to help you improve your mood. Let’s also not forget the popularity of Mental Health Awareness Day across social media, or Instagram’s campaign to limit bullying and keep Instagram supportive. Social Media can make you feel alone, but it is also a great platform for you to help others feel supported.
There’s no denying that Instagram in particular is a huge platform for body shaming. Crammed full of “perfect” influencer bodies and faces, it can be difficult to feel positive about your own image sometimes. However, in the past two years we have seen a massive increase in body positive profiles. My personal favourite is Chessie King. She’s an ex bikini model turned body confident queen, who teaches her audience to love their bodies and not believe everything that you see on Instagram. If you want to love your body and realise that rolls are normal when you sit down (!!!), give her a follow.
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I was trolled about my body on the left. I was trolled about my body on the right. I was trolled when I had a few thousand followers. I’m trolled now I have a few hundred thousand followers. It’s #antibullyingweek & I feel a huge responsibility to use my voice to help & support anyone that’s dealing with trollymctrollfaces online AND offline. I hate giving them airtime because they thrive off of being heard, seen & recognised… but this week, people are rallying about, creating a support army against them. My 4 tips if anyone is being targeted: 1. Talk to someone you trust, don’t go through it alone & if you’re on the flip side & someone’s opened up to you… support them, listen to them, understand how much it’s affecting them. 2. If it’s online, impersonate the comments, pull ridiculous faces & make yourself laugh – take back the power. You don’t have the conTROLL over what they’re saying but you can conTROLL how they make you feel. (See my ‘What strangers say about me’ videos further down on my page) 3. Use instagrams filter keywords feature – settings – comments – manual – type in all the gross trolly words you wish. 4. DON’T BE A TROLL. There are so many other things to do in the world, to change the world. Don’t be a dick. No but seriously, there’s absolutely NO excuse. I can say “oh they’re going through a bad time, they’re unhappy, I feel sorry for them” that’s just bollocks… NO ONE deserves to be bullied; online or offline & I am so so sorry if you are or you know someone who is. It’s destroying It’s poisonous & it’s absolutely not tolerated here.
Online body positivity is also growing massively in the form of Lizzo, who recently won TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2019. Lizzo is the absolute queen of loving yourself, despite the constant criticism she receives for her weight, looks, ethnicity etc. Her Instagram is filled with posts of her simply loving herself. There’s even a picture of her naked in a bathtub surrounded by Skittles – amazing. Lizzo uses Instagram to show her followers that no matter what you look like, as long as you love yourself nothing anyone else says will ever matter.
Register to Vote
I’m a big fan of Chessie King and Lizzo, but I’m also a big fan of Stormzy. Earlier this year Stormzy used his huge following across Twitter and Instagram for good, and when I say good, I mean a 236% spike in voter registrations in 24 hours. By posting on social media about the importance of voting and which party he’s voting for, over 150,000 people under 25 registered to vote. If that isn’t using social media to its absolute best I don’t know what is. Well done Stormzy.
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It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote. The deadline is 23:59 tomorrow, the link is in my bio. Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation. Your “one little vote” means everything, there were millions of people who thought there “one little vote” didn’t mean shit and now Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU. So your vote really does count. I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him – I would be here all day if I began to list them…but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most. I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering. I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a “bunch of black kids” makes him “turn a hair”, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to blacks people as “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country. These are all MY views, I don’t care for your love or hate for them. I just think it’s important that we all register and go out and vote. And I think it’s important that we use our vote to make sure that the person who runs our country for the next 4 years is someone committed to doing what is right. GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRY YOUR BEST TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHO IT IS YOU’RE VOTING FOR. THE LINK TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS IN MY BIO. ????????
Obviously I’m not saying that these positives outweigh all of the negatives of social media, but what I am saying is that it’s time we start to appreciate the little wins. After all, social media is here to stay.