Let's Talk About Social Media.

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Hey everyone!

This topic is one that is sensitive, so I'm just going to say TRIGGER WARNING!!! I'm not talking about anyone in particular, so please remember that not everything is about you. ***Smiles to show indication of no sarcasm and all love.

I wanted to talk about social media because one, that's all I do pretty much... just scroll for hours on end. Not only that, I run a couple of accounts as part of my business.

I wanted to share a few things I noticed about it, as social media is a huge part of this generation. The digital age is the dynasty that we live in, one run not only by technological advances, but social technology as well.

I started getting involved with social media truly around 2013, when I started doing makeup. Yes, though I opened my Facebook account a year earlier, I had no idea of the power social media would have over the next eight years. It was in 2013 that I discovered YouTube, Lauren Curtis being the only person I would watch. I learned some makeup skills from her, then found Zoella, Alfie Deyes known as the Pointless Blog back then, Jim Chapman and Tanya Burr. They were the ones who truly made me aware of the power of social media, Zoella being on of YouTube's highest holding subscriber count.

When I was 14 is when I discovered Instagram, right before my first boyfriend. I posted constantly because I felt like I had to. Same with Facebook. I posted random stuff that literally no one cared about, and posted the worst photos of all time on my original insta page, which no longer exists but was once called @balletismydream2000. Yeah I know, it's a stupidly long handle.

I watched Zoella and Tanya Burr constantly, learning about their lives in doing makeup, fashion, and the industry of social media. I learned about blogging and design aesthetics from them mostly, and they were the biggest influences on me starting LIFE ON POINTE. Interestingly, they led me to the possibilities of this world.

And here is when things got interesting.

I realized that for most people, including myself after starting the original Sung Eun Rose Blog, that it became about likes and followers. It became a popularity contest, it became a narcissistic place where people could be selfish, and don't get me started on cyber bullying.

My first threat that someone would kill me flew into my inbox at 14 years old via Facebook. I remember my dad talking with a police officer as we knew the person doing it, but nothing could be done, as empty threats of cyberbullying was becoming a regular thing. Since that time, I've gotten many of those types of messages, disgusting and vile. Thank God for the block button.

From a business and marketing perspective, which is what I use majority of my social media for, Social Media is a powerful tool to reach people. For this reason, Social Media can be used for wonderful purposes, like bringing awareness to certain justice issues, spreading world news, all the way down to supporting businesses and micro-businesses and small dreams of individual people.

Here's what I say to a lot of clients I have consulted with in the past:

The world is going digital. No one cares about a billboard, people don't look at them. People barely read the flyer pinned to the Starbucks board or plastered on the street poles. No, you have to get in people's faces, and their faces are in their phones. So impress them. Your social media profile is like a resume- you're putting out your best work, your best foot forward, showing your successes above your failures. People in any industry care about social media, following, and engagement. If you don't have those things, it's not likely your business will do well, and it's not likely that you'll be anything especially in regards to the Arts & Entertainment industry.

I have had conversations with people who don't think they need social media to become models, actors & actresses, and even dancers to be successful. News flash: people care about those things. Why do you think people go on reality TV shows like the Bachelor & Bachelorette? They reach people. and if they're interesting enough, people go find them on Instagram or Facebook and give them the attention they desire.

There are so many great aspects to social media. Social Media gives individuals a voice to share their stories, to share their memories, and so much more. However there are concerns I have with it. It can be the bane of people's existences, leading them to wish they were more like that person or look more like her or have what he has, etc. Body image, mental health, identity, and everything beyond those things in the mind of an individual can be rewired to have negative thinking habits because of social media, and here's why.

Back to my last post on the journey of knowing who you are, people have their identity not in themselves, but in social media. Heck, I even struggled with it for a hot second, when I wondered why my posts weren't getting enough likes on my personal page. I felt self-conscious about myself and how I looked because of my horrible acne. I wondered how people would see me or what they would think of me if I posted this photo or that photo or said this in the caption, etc. When I was seeking validation from other people, it nearly destroyed me. Thankfully, I never desired it from the realm of social media, which was a blessing.

However so many other people do. Their identity is in Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. And frankly, it's not healthy. YouTube is a great space, however there is SOOOOOOO much toxicity there just as there is great advice. Kids are watching God only knows what, and at such an impressionable age, where peer pressure reigns over them, their brains become wired by the information they're being fed, false or true, wrong or right, moral or immoral. Some kids choose to go to YouTube and Google over talking to their parents. Some kids turn to social media and shut their parents out. I've seen it happen, and sometimes, the result is heartbreaking.

Can I challenge you people as someone who runs social media for others? The constant question I get asked by customers is, "Why aren't my posts getting enough likes? Why isn't my following growing? Am I not pretty enough? Am I not good enough?"

I'm going to be frank, questions like that make me so angry. Will I lose business for saying that publicly? Maybe. But as I promised, honesty. Look, you are not your social media. You don't need to become Instagram famous to be somebody. Social Media is setting the standards for beauty, the standards for how you should live your life, and I look at what's being put out there sometimes and I become fearful for the impressionable generation that we have.

I'm not being judgmental. I'm not even bashing social media. I love social media, I love sharing my life with people. Without it, I wouldn't be able to write this to anyone, and you the reader certainly would not be able to read it.

I wrote this because some of my friends were getting discouraged because of their engagement, people weren't even working for. People think that the more followers and the more engagement they have, the more authority, the more power, and the more favor they will have with and over others. Is this the case? Here's my answer: only if you allow it. Only if you choose it.

My biggest issue with social media is how abused it has been towards the individuals that are under its spell. How many of those followers can you call genuine friends? How many of those comments are actually true? How many of those likes actually saw your photo? I'm guilty of it, I like and scroll so fast sometimes I don't even see the post or capture the caption. I'm too busy liking things I can't even see or can't even take two seconds to look at.

Good in the world has been done through social media. People have spread good news in times of trouble and heartache. People have raised awareness to social justice issues and through that, we actually can have the power to prevent and end the world's evils with social media. Petitions are made and signed because of social media, whether they're stupid or not is a whole different story.

Sorry GOT fans. ***I'm smiling.

Here's my advice to the individual building their profile or building their brand: be who you are a thousand percent. Be imperfect. Heck, majority of my insta-stories are me looking "ugly." Know who you are and don't get discouraged by numbers of likes and follows. People want to get to know people they can relate to. Like I said earlier, kids these days will go to Youtube, Google, and social media over their parents and sound adults. Be a good influence so that maybe you will be someone a kid who is desperately lost turns to for help in their time of crisis.

Be kind. Be good. Be gentle. Be bold. Be strong. Let your voice be heard, because whether it's positive or negative, everyone has their individual story, so don't make a profile that looks like Zoella's just because she's got half the world following her instagram. Be you, and tell your story, because your voice needs to be heard and thanks to social media, you've been given a platform to speak.

So what do you want to say?

Xx, Ellie

Hey! You can now listen to this blogpost on the LIFE ON POINTE RADIO! Click the link below to listen!



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