The Internet and social media are powerful tools. They can do so much good, but at the same time can be so destructive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet. I refer to Google as my best friend because I ask it questions multiple times per day. Heck, I wouldn’t have my job or be able share this post if the Internet didn’t exist.
Out of the all of the reasons that the Internet is amazing (thank you cute puppy pics and silly children videos that lift my spirit), I, personally think the most importantly reason is that the Internet/social media is a great place to connect with like minded people that can give you the encouragement you need or be able to relate what you are going through. I have been able to connect with other bloggers who inspire me to continue to dream as big as I can for SGSB. I’m not kidding when I say there is a Facebook group (or other social media platform) for any hobby/interest that you may have.
But (and this is a big but), the digital space can have some major pitfalls, if we let it. Two of the major ways I have seen it impact my life and the lives of those around me is through cyberbullying and falling into the comparison game trap.
Cyberbullying and negative comments towards others irks me to my core. Just today, I heard a story about a site where bullies (I mean that’s what they are – even if they don’t show their face) go to negatively post/talk about bloggers/influencers. Yes, we put our lives out there for a variety of reasons, but that does not give you the right to talk negatively about me or anyone else. It’s scary being vulnerable to people we know – let alone the people we don’t know. And this isn’t exclusive to bloggers. This happens ALL the time, especially to those still in the formative years of their lives where this bullying and negativity means so much more because they (myself included) can’t escape school or avoid the places where the negativity is occurring. I strongly believe bullying, in general, needs to stop!
While I don’t believe in saying anything negative about others, I still struggle with being judged. For the longest time, you would not have caught me sharing a photo of me in a bathing suit or shorts because I was afraid of what people might think of me and how I would feel if they ever said something to me. After A LOT of soul searching and surrounding myself with people who embrace their bodies, I 1000% will put on the shorts and wear them all summer long in the Houston heat. This pair of plus size mom jean shorts are my favorite jean shorts of 2021 because they hit about mid thigh, are super comfortable because of the wide leg fit, and they look great with just about everything.
Moving on to something that has recently been difficult for me….the comparison game. With the digital world, it can be so easy to fall into the comparison game or have FOMO because of all the wonderful (and “perfect”) images we see when scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Going through intermediate and high school, heck, even most of college and at points throughout my adult life, I felt/feel like I don’t belong. But definitely during those teenage years, I felt it. And Facebook only became a thing when I was 16. I can’t imagine growing up with social media all around me and having to always comparing what my life to the highlights of others. Personally, I struggle with this by being a blogger, where social media has become a pillar in my life and the number of likes and comments or the number of followers indicates your success in this industry. It can be hard not to compare myself to others and what they are doing. But y’all, life can be messy sometimes. And it’s OK to be a mess. Everyone has their burdens to bear and most likely we aren’t seeing them on social media. I know, I don’t share all of my issues. And real talk – the images/videos we often see are heavily curated to show how awesome or amazing something is. (Blogger confessional – I take anywhere between 150 to 200+ photos per outfit and I share less than 20 with all of you. Seriously.) I think think short version of this rambling is that we (myself included) need to take social media with a grain of salt. And know that these are the highlights of lives that we are seeing.
I don’t think we are going to be able to fix any of these problems easily. And it’s going to take a lot of people to move towards this utopia that I have dreamed up in my head, but, first and foremost, we need to be responsible consumers and users of the Internet. We should try to put less value on the things we see on the Internet and know that it does not influence our worth or happiness. We should be happy for those who are successful or happy. And we should start sending LOVE and compassion in to the cyberspace. My hope is that the Internet continues to be a force for good – to inspire us, lift our spirits, connect us with those we might not have met otherwise and help us to find the answer to the pesky trivia question we can’t seem to remember.
What is your mom jean shorts? Aka – what piece of clothing do you struggle to wear? Is it a bathing suit? A sleeveless top that shows your arms? Whatever it is, I hope you know that all of us struggle with something we’re insecure about. And life is WAY TOO SHORT to not wear the damn shorts!
Sending y’all lots of love!!