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The Problem With Social Media
By: Alexa Witcofsky

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As much as I don’t want to believe it, social media rules our world. Instead of enjoying the moment we are in, we think about how we can show other people what we are doing and how much fun we’re having. Okay, I admit it: I’m very guilty of doing this. Whenever I go to some place new or have a nice outfit on, I feel a need to snap shot the moment and share it with my friends.

Now we all know the old cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” However, I don’t think this really applies here at all. Pictures don’t show character. Pictures don’t show personality. Pictures don’t show who a person truly is. The picture simply shows a two dimensional portrayal of whoever is in it. Which means as you scroll through the comments of these pictures, the only comments applicable contain words such as pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy being called beautiful, but I am so much more than that. This obsession with “likes” and “favorites” puts our focus on the physical appearance of the people in the pictures, NOT who we truly are.

           Untitled1I don’t know if you have seen the stories, but more and more teens are getting plastic surgeries to look like their favorite celebrities. They have been bullied for their appearance and believe the best way to stop things is to change how they look. Some people think this is funny, but it really shows the fault in a society that highly values appearance. We value what can be seen before even getting to know who a person truly is, and that is a shame.

            When I was in treatment, we rarely had access to social media, weren’t allowed to have fashion magazines, and could only watch approved television or movies. At the time, it was a really hard adjustment and I felt so out of the loop. But after a while I realized how freeing it was. There was nobody else to compare myself to, no magazines flaunting diet secrets, and no Joan Rivers mercilessly mocking women for not being society’s definition of “skinny”. Instead of all of this, we focused on our soul self. The part of us that no matter what we looked like always remained the same. The part of me that loves art, dancing like a fool, and Harry Potter. I learned more about myself in this time than I ever had, because it was the first time I could be completely alone with myself.

So the best advice I can give here is take a break from it all. When you notice that your mood changes, when you’re thinking about ways to compare to someone, deactivate. Take a moment without social media to be you and not care what other people are doing. Pick up a cheesy teen book that will make you smile, do the wonderful art projects that Dawn posts on this site, or simply go for a walk and take in the fresh air. Whatever feeds your soul self should be all that’s on your agenda. There is so much more to you than your appearance, and there are so many ways to realize this. People love you for who you are- your personality, your humor, your grace.

The trick of being a truly beautiful person is not doing your makeup perfectly or having the most toned body. It’s showing off your soul self and the amazing qualities that you as a person have to offer. When I am an old woman, I want people to look back on my life and think that I was beautiful because I made a difference. I helped people who needed it, I laughed and loved life. I don’t want to be remembered for simply being a pretty shell of a human being. I am so much more than that, and so are you.

My name is Alexa and this is Where I Stand