The mask of social media..

Love it. Hate it. Social media today is as much a part of our lives as the very air we breathe. Not to imply that it is essential to survive, but remove a teenagers phone from them and they will get withdrawals. Just like they would if you were addicted to smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. I know this because I am a teenager. As we speak, I am portraying a message to you over the means of a computer screen. Where are the days where one would simply hold a conversation with somebody in the flesh? How have we let our world be consumed by the beautiful monster which is social media itself? It’s simple really; we can all be someone different online.

I’m not talking about being a catfish; pretending to have a completely different identity than what we were born with. I’m talking about the mask of fake confidence we can slip on as soon as we log into our account. You can be witty, talk to thousands of people and share your stories proud and true, no matter who you are. But when it comes to people with anxiety, not is all that it seems. There is no simple way to put it.

The silent sufferers of anxiety can act in either two ways (everybody is different, but to reduce to ambiguity of this post lets settle for a brief generalization.): First, you can pretend to be proud and confident in front of your family and friends, then in a moment of solitude you take of that mask and pour your true heart out to the to the millions of people who do not know you online. Second, you can active and positive and the poster boy (or girl) for socialism online, and as soon as you close your computer you sink back into the pits of wallow and pity we call anxiety. Either way, the birth of social media gave the mental health community another source of therapy. It is hard to pull negatives from this instance as there are so many positives; the internet has allowed the previously unspoken vocals of a silent sufferer to take to the stage, and allow one to express themselves in a unique and beautiful way. However, it so often acts a another source of delusion and denial.

Take it from a boy, talking to you through a screen, who cannot express themselves like this in person. It is not the only way to be true to yourself. The people around you will happily listen to you if you tell them that you are not okay, and you will get a much grander alleviation of repressed feelings telling them to a real face, than you would sharing it with thousands of people behind a screen.

So here is my message to you. Use social media to express the real you. A message which is true from the heart deserves to be out there for everybody to see. But do not hide yourself from the people who really matter to you. The pain from the silence increases with every second your voice remains unheard.

As always,

Peace.

Francis

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15 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this because I can relate to it. For you to be so young I commend you for even being able to expand your mind and emotion into so many avenues, It’s really something. You are very enlighten and self aware at such a young age, EVEN being you are going through your mental illness. I have very bad anxiety and I escape in a positive way through social media. While I cannot be as social as I am on social media in real life, in some way it is therapeutic to me and I truly feel it is helping me grow through my mental illness.
    My new found way of coping is to first accept my mental illness and then secondly to understand that it is NOT a disability, more less a CAPABILITY to grow outside of my means.
    Good post, wishing you peace love and light 💫
    -Dolce
    therawdosage.com

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. I have been contemplating the question you have invoked – why don’t we converse IRL anymore? I think you’re answer is a very true one indeed, and well written. Personally I am faced with a different but similar problem. I live in an area where I am a social pariah, but online I can interact with people from all over the world that share similar ideas and feelings as I do. I am an outcast because I do not agree or abide by the same ideals as the majority here. I have never and will never agree with these people, and as a child before the internet I was alone and upset constantly. So while I do see how the internet has affected a lot of people negatively I would say for others like myself it has been a positive experience. One could say I am being dramatic that it is possible I have a group of people IRL to connect with. This would be true if I lived in an area with a large enough population – My residing town has less than 500 people.

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  3. You’re right. We must be true to ourselves even behind the screen.

    But, what I’ve experienced from being on the social media for three years is that people online appreciate you only when you’re not yourself. They appreciate you when you pretend to be someone else.

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  4. Hi Francis I like your style 🙂 simple and straight, direct… let me tell you, I am no more a teenager, unlike you, and I say “happily”. I feel safe. Except, social medias are made to amplify reality, and nobody anxious can feel at ease to be his or her true self. Forget it. It’s a life’s work. Personally, I use Facebook because I live in France, and my family and friends are in Italy. Most people that I know use it to check other people lives and posting photos of their holidays or delicious food. More scary, to me, are those who don’t post anything at all. They ask for adding and give you the illusion to be interested in your profile, and you don’t get even a “hi”. So, what? Is this generation ready to face this social media era? Of course, they are not. Since there will be a father who give an Ipad to her daughter to calm down, or fall asleep, instead of using his voice, then … what would you expect from a teenager to do? Peace xx

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  5. Oh my goodness, this is a beautiful message. And it’s very, very true. I’ve seen it, I’ve been it (though less so now–I tend not to shut up no matter where I am these days) and I think you hit the nail on the head for a lot of people. You wrote this in a very gracious way, because it didn’t point fingers or accuse people of being false. Thank you for that tact, and for sharing this with us, Francis.

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