by Courtney Watson

The influence we have on social media

With social media having such a large impact on our lives nowadays, it's very important to be creating and sharing positive and respectful posts. That can be difficult when every individual has just as much influence as each other.

Social Media is something that we are always surrounded by and it's daunting to know that each is in charge of our own profile, that there is no leader and no rules. 

It can be a great tool to share your ideas and creations, but negativity seems to pop it's head through the door no matter who it is that's sharing or what it is that is being shared. 

So how can we use social media for good, and why is it so important?

There are a LOT of sites that will tell you about how things such as 'lack of sleep' or 'anxiety/depression' are all just negative effects of social media, but I don't believe that's true or fair. 

Social media is not the issue, it's the way people are using social media that is hurting themselves and others. 

We all need to realize that we have control over what we put out there, what we want to see from others and how much time that we spend on social media, so my question is whyWhy do we feel that it is necessary to post about the small things that upset us? Why do we feel the need to post rude or hurtful comments? Why do we lose so much sleep over it all? 

Think about this; if I were to add up the number of minutes that an individual with a private account on Instagram spent on posting in a negative way, I'm sure that it would not be a small number. Statistics show that 88% of teens have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person or themselves on a social networking site. Does that surprise you? Because unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me. 

I have a challenge for all of you. Whenever you feel the desire to post anything that could come across in a negative way to anyone or about anything, don't. Instead, do the opposite and post something positive. It's so much easier than people make it out to be and we can all do it effortlessly

Instead of posting about things that upset you, post about something that made you feel good, or something that you're proud of accomplishing, and don't be embarrassed about sharing it. 

Instead of commenting something rude or hurtful, either say something nice or just don't say anything. Listen to your mother and think to yourself: if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. 

And instead of staying up all night and feeling absolutely dreadful throughout the day due to lack of sleep, when you hop into bed at night, put your phone down, close your eyes and have wonderful dreams about how much happier you are now that you're a positive posting person!