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Social media is not what it seems

By Nuraan Samuels, 18, Western Cape

Lockdown has been a very challenging time for everyone. My time during lockdown has been very challenging as well. Growing up, I honestly felt like I have been living in the dinosaur age regarding technology and social media. It has only been this year, my first year, where I have full access to internet and social media. My time spent on different social media platforms has been very informative.  The issue I would like to address is the use of social media. It’s something that’s extremely popular but it can also affect our mental health and self-esteem.

I thought I would share my recent experience on social media. During the lockdown I received a message from a girl on Instagram saying that an account did something to my pictures on social media. She sent me their account where I would have to login in but I was already logged in on Instagram. I knew it was a trap and decided not to follow the link she sent me because if I did, I would have probably been hacked. I blocked her account because who knows how that could have turned out for me? I was honestly so shaken up by that experience because that has never happened to me before.

Social media can be a real scary place but also a beautiful platform to share our feelings and emotions with others, connect with others especially during lockdown. I never share anything about myself or my opinions on social media because many already do and it broadens the variety to more opinions. These days many people feel opinionated and we are not having conversations.

During this tough time, I feel that we need to support one another even on social media. Before we can solve any problems we are facing, we need to take the time to be kind about it. What we say and post on social media can really hurt others and we need to be responsible when posting. Many lives were lost due to social media posts and it’s so unnecessary. I know personally that the youth of today can be so nasty because of personal experiences they went through and think that it’s okay. It’s not.

We need to stop breaking others down for our own benefit. Be a better person than that person who wronged you. We all have issues and I am sure many issues have risen during the lockdown and we might not have anybody to talk to at home during this time and social media might be our only escape. Let’s make it a positive environment to go to instead of another negative place. Let us build each other up and encourage one another. Your mental health matters and what others say and do to you affects that.

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