Essay Example on In 2015 I spent a year abroad attending an American high School









In 2015 I spent a year abroad attending an American high school Aside from the more obvious cultural differences such as language and food I experienced something unexpected that affected the way I started to view and feel about myself After a few weeks I started to feel that social media was the most important way to present myself to my new peers I started feeling the need to document every experience and share them online otherwise they didn't count If there was no evidence of the fun I was having I must be a boring person I began to let likes define my worth and I started judging those around accordingly It wasn't long before this mentality began to wear me down Everyone knows social media is fake but we don't act like it is fake And that got me thinking why do we feel the need to share and capture everything we do Why do we let this affect the way we feel about ourselves and others This mentality manifested itself in me and it was hard to change my perspective Because being around people who see social media as their number one priority affected my behaviour I never had the intention of letting my online personality define who I was Regardless of how cliché it sounds I never expected those little fearful voices in my head to branch so deeply Don t get me wrong social media sites can be useful to keep in touch with friends and family But people are not aware of the consequences of social media I obviously wasn't I felt the pressure of social media Our generation is the first one testing this fast growing medium 

But do we know what we are actually using it for Social media has had one of the most important impacts on how people communicate within the past decade We forget that it is a damaging and negative environment This can lead to a variety of issues including addiction mental illness and cyberbullying For example the National Alliance on mental illness states that suicide due to cyberbullying is the third leading cause of death This for young people between the age of 15 to 24 Unfortunately over 69 of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with mental illness From these statistics alone it is blindingly obvious that a huge amount of our youth can easily become victims to cyberbullying And worse they can become victims of depression and suicide Why would we let 69 of youth unnecessary end their lives Do we not have a duty to protect our upcoming generation from online insults and harassments It is crucial that we stand together against these terrible and hateful threats against our upcoming generation We are communicating almost all day every day through texting e mail and the ever expanding social media We take our phone literally everywhere It doesn t matter if we are going to get groceries visit friends have dinner or take a shower For some reason we must be online all the time When we go to events such as concerts and festivals most people tend to care more about how their snapchat story looks like Why are we not enjoying the actual event I mean don t get me wrong I am happy Facebook gives me a fast and easy way to communicate with friends and family I am happy it sends me a reminder of people s birthdays otherwise I would forget But this has eliminated the need to make a phone call or send a greeting card While receiving a birthday message from your friends online is okay but it feels impersonal The feeling of opening a greeting card and reading a message someone picked out for you fills my heart with warmth That personal effect is not felt from a message left on a page I have created online and in most cases I do not read them For example I love it when I see people taking selfies They have the confidence to find their right angle in public But for some reason some people still feel the need to make negative comments about it Sometimes we feel awkward about seeing it Which is weird because why would we like a selfie on someone's phone And at the same time dislike it when we see the person taking a selfie 

The only change I needed was to go back to the Netherlands It quickly made me realise that capturing and sharing everything did not defined my worth This made me feel internally grateful My friends would respond annoyed if I would make another snapchat with them They would enjoy my appearance without sharing the activities on social media As a solution for ourselves and the future generation I am not asking you to stop using social media I mean social media is part of our generation It is a consequence of our technological advancements But what would be wrong about giving education It won't harm anyone it will only benefit How many times have we been at school and thinking why do we learn this We will never have to apply this anyway Well let me tell you that this education will be useful Our technology changes quickly and to protect its users we have to understand the impact Think of all the lives that could be saved if we can eliminate mental illness cyberbullying and other psychological problems out of our society We can make a difference Our next generations need the knowledge and understanding of the consequences and effects from social media Because only then they would be able to see the potential risks They will be safer with social networks We are the ones that must take leadership and develop our future world This by making small decisions such as educating the correct and safe use of social media

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