There are a lot out there who are against how often people are using social media lately, saying things like kids aren't spending as much time outside or exercising. That's all true, but there are also a lot of good things about it in my opinion. Since my first MySpace page when I was fourteen, there are many things I've learned about people and myself just from using social websites.
1. People don't all fit neatly in a box.
Something that sounds like common sense, yet so many people still stereotype and assume things about others, just based on one single thing. When I was younger, I remember thinking things like, "gosh I'd really like to have tattoos, but if I do people will think I'm trashy." That thought has changed 100% since discovering how many people out there have body art and wear them in such a classy, confident way (not that it matters what people think of you, it just changed how I saw people.) I guess I only ever pictured tattoos that weren't done well and that people didn't take good care of because that's all I ever saw. After seeing more people out there online that didn't live in this small town, I realized getting a tattoo won't suddenly turn a person "trashy". It has nothing to do with it at all. And I'm so glad I discovered that because I love having works of art on my body and never being concerned about how people see me.
2. There is a huge world outside of this small town.
Again, obvious. But to a young girl who grew up in the same town her whole life and barely ever left, it's hard to understand. My town is a pretty conservative one, and there isn't a huge variety of people. When you are on social websites, there is access to every type of person possible. You learn more about different types of people and places. Not everywhere is like Prescott, Arizona. It's so neat to be able to learn more about people from across the country, or even world, from an actual human that lives there, not a textbook.
3. Photos can be deceiving.
A problem with so many young girls (and boys) out there is they see photos of celebrities and get upset because the lives they're looking at seem to be so perfect. It's not fair to them. But what so many people don't get is people aren't going to post photos of problems in their life. They will rarely talk about things that are going wrong. They want to come off as put together and happy. I know this because I have actually had someone tell me (based on only online profiles) that she's jealous of me, my life seems so perfect and I always look good and put together. This made me laugh a little because my life is FAR from perfect. These people only see a snap shot of something that I think looks good in my life, and the rest goes unseen. There are so many days I'm not happy with how my hair or makeup looks, and will hate my outfit certain days. But I'm not going to post photos of that! I try to remember that every time I feel like someones life is flawless based on photos.
4. It's okay to be different.
This one was always hard for me, and it's taken me my whole life to realize it. I just needed a few outsiders help. I always felt like the different one in my family. I have four sisters, who all have a lot of things in common with each other but not with me. I felt a lot growing up that if four out of five were this certain way, that must be the right way, so I should follow along with them. But I've made a lot of friends through social media, and so many of them dealt with the same thing as me. There are a ton of other people out there who also feel like the odd one out of their family. It's a little hard because my family happens to be pretty conservative, and slightly closed-minded, but I need to always remember it is ok to be different, it's ok to have different opinions than them. People are all SO different, we should embrace each other's differences and learn from each other, instead of all trying to be clones of the same type of person.
5. Your friends don't all live in the same place as you.
In fact, in my case, about half of the people I consider friends don't live close to me at all. I only know them because of the ability to communicate with people so far away. I'm so glad I've met so many nice people I never would have known if it wasn't for social media. I like being able to have friends I can talk to through blogging, Instagram, and texting. Some I even plan on meet soon in person. There are so many people out there who you could be friends with that, without technology, you would never have a chance of knowing.
I know it isn't for everyone, but I myself am I huge fan of modern technology and am very thankful for all it has brought to me.