Illusion (n.) A false idea or belief // A deceptive appearance or impression.

No such thing as a life that's better than yours . - J. Cole

There’s something bittersweet about a time without apps. You almost feel like when we didn’t have it everyone was more socially aware. Which is completely ironic, considering that social media connects us a lot better these days. I’ve always for the most part, tried to stay away from the pull that social media has. I don’t let likes consume me and I don’t let other people’s “internet lives” affect my real life. I do however, take into consideration that these apps in all of their downfalls, help you figure out who you want to be as a person. You can choose to be a troll and spew as much hate as possible before you either drown yourself in depression over the things others have or you can try to spread as much positivity as possible in hopes that at least one person catches on. I spend a lot of my time on social media because it’s interesting to see what other people define as happiness. Appearance, likes, and money seem to be the standard of satisfaction. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out what makes people happy, until I realized that a lot of these people aren’t really happy at all. Social media is an illusion that we’ve accepted as a principle in our society. We always hear people say, “If you surround yourself with good people and don’t constantly stress over uncontrollable events in life you can be happy.” The problem I have with this statement, is that everyone is flawed. I like to think of myself as a good person and that I bring nothing, but positivity to people’s lives; truth is I have a lot of bad days. I spend a lot of my time fake smiling to keep others from worrying. A lot of the time I’m scared and insecure, but you would never know because on social media you get to see the, “real me”. The me that always has something positive to offer you if you need it, the me that can joke around with you until you’re done feeling bad for yourself, the me that even though I’m breaking inside will always tell you yes if you need me. I know that a lot of you are reading this like, “okay we all do this because nobody wants to see you at your worst.” To me it’s like if that’s how you feel then why bother making friends or any connections really? I don’t need your likes at my good times if you aren’t comfortable enough to support me at my worst. If I post a video on Instagram of me crying, yes, you’ll comment and ask if I’m okay and for that moment you’ll care. What happens when I log out of Instagram? Are you going to call me and check on me everyday after that or was it just because I had to expose myself? The idea that social media has us so detached from real life is what I miss about a time without apps. During that time, we went to each other’s homes and ate dinner and played board games. We stayed out until the streetlights came on talking about everything in our own lives. We picked up the phone to actually speak and heard voices on the other side. I’m not trying to bash apps because in all reality they’ve helped me grow and socialize with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’ve made friendships on all of your favorite apps, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Bumble, and even Pinterest. Older generations cannot comprehend meeting other people online for the sole fact that it’s not what they were raised on. Being an adult in this weird time where I’m experiencing the world change has me excited and nostalgic. I’m realizing as I accept the change, the people around me are having a harder time doing that. People I used to think had the answer to everything are finding themselves stuck. Meanwhile, I’m finding out what kind of person I am and who I want to be through these apps. For example, on Twitter I’ve found that I don’t always need to fake a smile because shit is messed up for everyone, and I can say how I feel and someone will relate to it. On Instagram, I don’t have to look like Kim Kardashian or Beyonce to get the recognition I deserve. Through Bumble of all places, I found myself making the first move and met someone who has been such a positive friend and support system. As fast as 2019 feels to be going, I’ve realized that social media is impactful more than it is negative. We sometimes focus on the unfavorable aspects rather than focusing on how we can influence a change. As I’ve said before we do not need to reach everyone, but there is always one person listening. Whatever app you choose to preoccupy your time, make sure you find at least one person to connect with. That one person that you can listen to and reassure them that they are not alone. That one person that will pick up the phone and listen to you. That one person that reminds you to say “no” when you’ve already said “yes” a thousand times. That one person that at the end of a long day makes you laugh, because that one person most likely needs you to make them laugh as well. Finally, as we are introduced to more apps that deceive us and pull us away from reality, remember that the person you want to be is not defined by a downloaded form.

-T

If you or someone you know is battling depression or suicidal thoughts please contact the suicide hotline:

1-800-273-8255

Someone is always listening.