Social media is 100% fake
Social media is 100% fake. Yes I said it and The sooner you realize your friends online are not really your friends offline, you will be better off. Don’t learn the hard way by trusting people who don’t care about you or what you need.
I recently watched two video’s from Essena O’Neill who spoke about her experience online and how she tried everyday to get people to like her and accept her because she didn’t like or accept herself very much. One day the bubble burst and suddenly this brave young woman faced a reality she may not have been prepared for. She states since the age of 12 she has strived to make a name for herself in social media and every like was supposed to make her feel better about herself but even at over half a million, this young woman didn’t feel very good about who she was. She states that she did things to get the things she needed. She modeled and kept her body toned and fit. Not bad except that she appears to have gone overboard at times, trying to look like someone she thought she should be.
Essena had an Instagram account which has since been deleted per her words in the video below. She began changing many captions to state the real truth behind the seemingly perfect images. In one she stated that she didn’t eat that day for the shoot, the dress was not hers and it took hours to get the perfect look.
Her final YouTube video about why she was quitting social media:
I have to ask where her parent’s were in all of this? She has been doing this since the age of 12 and just turned 19. Her parent’s had to have known something about what she was doing online to get the attention she craved. They must have seen the money coming in from the sponsors and others. They must have known about her other social media accounts and that she made money from them. How could her parent’s not have known? I don’t think that is even possible. So why did they let it go on and on? Why didn’t they see their daughter was an image online and not a real person in her own eyes?
Too many parents have no idea about what their kids are up to online. I’ve written many blogs warning of the dangers of social media and teen web cam chat rooms filled with child predators but yet parent’s still say they had no idea their child was doing anything online or their self esteem was measured by how many people liked them. Parents can’t keep using the excuse that they didn’t know what their child was up to. Parents need to parent online as much as they do offline. It kind of makes me angry and sad that parent’s can figure out how to use any of their own social media yet say they have no idea how to open a web cam chat room their child goes to all hours of the day and night.
So what do parent’s do to keep their kids safe online?
Go where they go. If they go to a chat room, then you go in the chat room too, to ensure it’s safe for your child. You wouldn’t allow your child to take a bus to a strange city and meet a stranger in the middle of a huge park and the internet is no different.
If your child has social media accounts which allow to be friends or followers or subscribers, then be a friend, follower or subscriber. Think of this as your child going to a new friend’s house and that you want to ensure they are safe by meeting the parents. If your child says you can’t connect with them on social media, ask why. If your child is concerned you may post on their page where their connections may see, tell them you won’t. In fact, never post on your child’s social media, with the exception of special days like birthdays. Most parents are on social media so there is no excuse as to why they are not part of their child’s online life as well.
On social media, check out their contacts to ensure they are real. There are over 1 billion accounts on Facebook, for instance, and there are a ton which are fake, made for the sole purpose of harming children online. Want to see how bad Facebook is? Do a search on “Incest” and see what comes up. According to Facebook, Incest is okay and not in violation of their community standards. Many predators pretend to be around the same age as the victim they are seeking online. They take a fake image from the internet, create a fake name and add fake info. Your child has no idea that this person is fake but you will if you check them out. Talk to your child about any questionable friends they have on their contacts. It’s not snooping, it’s parenting.
Most importantly, talk to your kids about social media including the benefits and down side like that of Essena O’Neill. Don’t just talk to your kids, listen. It’s amazing what your kids will tell you if you just open your ears and close your mouth. You are teaching them as much as they are teaching you. Today our kids know far more about a lot of things which parents don’t. It’s hard to keep up but we have to, to ensure our kids arrive as adults, whole and healthy.
Adults know better though, right?
You would think so but in the case of social media, some adults are not aware of the good, bad and ugly of social media. I know of men and women who were scammed online by people they met on Facebook. The victim gave money and items to people who claimed they had nothing. Too many scammers on there doing that even today. I know of people who were or are being stalked by their former partner and have no idea how they seem to know their every move. The answer is simple, social media. People lay their whole lives out on a status or post or video or image and wonder why they are so easily tracked.
There are ways to stay safe online and that is to start learning about ways to stay safe. You have to want it to do it. If you think social media is safe and that the people who are on your contact list, and you don’t know offline, are all real, you need to wake up and see that the people who will be there for you when you need them will be the real contacts. Want to find out who is real and who is a fake friend? Disappear from social media for a few days and see who noticed. Real friends will ask what happened and do anything to find you but the fake friends will do nothing until or if you resurface.
Your life is not measured by your popularity online, it’s measured by who you are offline
Are you a good person? Do you act the part of a friend? Can you look in the mirror and see the person you are, with love and acceptance? Do you have social outings with people offline? Do you know that you are not the most important in the world and no one owes you a thing? It’s up to you to make you happy and not others. It’s up to you to protect you. Don’t change to be someone you think others will love. Love you first. Accept you. You are an amazing person.
My final thoughts:
I cried when I saw the video’s of Essena O’Neill and thought of my own kids growing up. I’m so glad the internet was not an active part of their lives when they were teens. I am tired of seeing people of all ages be harmed online. I just wish people would face what they fear so they can help their kids face it too.
I don’t want to be popular. I never have. I do what I do because I feel like I should. I live by the wiccan creed and harm ye none. I believe that the way to heal is by talking about what is wrong. I’m terrified for the new group of kids who will be using social media without their parent ever knowing where they go.
Thanks for reading my blog today and my hope is that it makes you think about what is out there in the great land of the internet. Stay safe.
Please visit Essena’s site for change: