May 13, 2015 at 10:38 am
Today I was reading just a really sad article on ESPN about a girl, Madison, who committed suicide. The article really was so well written and captured so many elements. It just so happens that I am reading a book about a girl who committed suicide too so I felt like the message is just being dug down deeper and deeper. (And no I have no suicidal tendencies going on!) One of the things that article said was "Everyone presents an edited version of life on social media". I couldn't agree more. Now I am a big user of social media I will admit it. It is a great outlet to share life's moments, brag a little about your kids, capture a time line of your life and so much more. I feel like I now am able to continue friendships with people that I never would of. It is great seeing a sorority sister post a picture about their kid, their family, their life. We are ALL so busy and getting to see each other is just so hard but now I still have those great connections with so many people. But do you notice that everyone loves when you post the great things, you get a 100 likes in an hour and just hey life is so great. But then when you post the negatives or complain people automatically think OMG this person wants attention or you struggle with do I hit Like, because I don't like what they are saying but I get it. And sometimes you just have that one person, "friend", that always is negative, life is horrible, life is blah and your automatic instinct is to delete them or hide their feeds. Why is that? Maybe Facebook is the only outlet they have where they can just type it all out and go. It is reassuring to them when someone replies, oh that happened to me too. It lets them know that they are not alone. Other lines from the article that will really make you think:
"Young women growing up on Instagram are spending a significant chunk of each day absorbing others' filtered images while they walk through their own realities, unfiltered."
"In a recent survey conducted by the Girl Scouts, nearly 74 percent of girls agreed that other girls tried to make themselves look "cooler than they are" on social networking sites."
I have a 13 year old and 11 year old daughter and the sad reality is this is completely true. My 13 year old is somewhat grounded and not as consumed by it, but she holds things in until she just erupts. I spend countless hours talking to her on a daily basis asking her about friends and life etc, getting her to open up to me because I never, ever want her to hold in so many things that she feels suicide is the option. My 11 year old, I always think that I don't have to worry about her because she is confident and outgoing, wild and crazy. But you know what I do have to worry about her. She absorbs half her day taking countless selfies. Making sure the lighting is right and that everything just looks so great. Even though she is sitting in her room that is a mess with her mom nagging her to clean and help out around the house. Nobody looking at that picture sees any of that. Reading this article and them showing pictures from her instagram, you fall into the superficial of how great her life is and how happy she looks. It was all a façade. Inside she was crumbling and you don't always see the signs until after and that is kind of the sad thing about suicide. There are 100 signs but you don't realize them until it is too late.
I truly encourage you to read this article:
I also encourage you to take time and read this book: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
If you have middle school / high school kids you might want to share this book with them. It is a sad book but it opens your eyes to how cruel kids can be, which we all know, but even the smallest little thing that could impact a person in a negative and positive way. I constantly harp on my kids to be nice, even when their peers are not nice to them. Shower them with smiles and kindness, you never know when it will have the right effect is what I tell them. Of course not at all what they want to hear but it is the right thing.
Open your eyes to what lies around you, look into those pictures you scroll through on social networks. Don't dump a friend because they have had a bad week and keep posting about it. You never know but your one click of a like could be exactly what they needed.
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