There are so many great things that we can say about growing up and being alive during the new digital age, but I've got beef with it too. If you're interested, I have the video format of this available on Youtube:
Anyways. Let's begin.
I just find it so frustrating how our entire identity is attached to the cyberspace in one way or another. I can't even work for clients or apply for jobs without having to attach a link to my Instagram profile, Twitter account, and Facebook page. WHY do you want to see my Facetuned selfies so badly? What does me raving about Wonho on my Instagram story have to show about my character or work ethic?
Please just look at my résumé and CV and keep it moving. I BEG. I hate that we have to curate this online persona of ourselves that doesn't TRULY reflect the type of person we are because we know that people are always watching, whether it be future employers, sponsors, or stalkers.
There is no privacy online no matter how many devices you use a VPN on or DuckDuckGo for. Everything we do, at all times, is always up for review by someone OR something. It's a double edged sword honestly because I'm totally okay with racists being aired out because who wants to work with a cretin like that? But, then what happens if you're on the receiving end of that online scrutiny for doing some clown shit like recording yourself at a party or calling your irl a dizzy bitch on Twitter? Unfortunately, that's just the way social media is and you can either get with the program and shape up, or risk getting dragged and/or blocked from future opportunities.
I say this from experience too. When I was in grade 12, I wrote an article about the Black Lives Matter movement and submitted it to the school newspaper. They told me to make changes to it because they didn't like my "tone" so I was like, "AIGHT. BET." I made changes to it and they still didn't like it and they said I shouldn't focus on anti-black racism and that I should instead write about racism against EVERYONE, including white people. Bitch, HUH? SO, I took to Twitter and was like, "Man.. The school newspaper will write about the school lunch, but they said "racism was too much of an adult topic for school" despite the fact that protests against racism were taking place at lunch, students were hosting "white power" rallies in the front rotunda, people were hacking into the projector during assemblies and writing "NIGGER" on the screen etc. Tell me why they called me to the principal's office the next day WITH MY TWEETS PRINTED OUT ALONG WITH the Squidward meme I used, called my mom (rip to that legend), and they tried to say I was being irresponsible with my social media and asked that I shut it down. My mom dragged EVERYONE in that office for filth, but it's just one of the many examples of how people in positions of power are constantly monitoring our online activity whether you like it or not.
This is how industry professionals must see me because of my Twitter
Another thing I don't like is how hard it is to navigate these current times WITHOUT social media. For example, there are so many issues taking place in the world right now and I literally would not know if it wasn't for the God forsaken application that is Twitter. Twitter is a cesspool for racism, abuse, and harassment and yet - it's a central news media source for SO many of us. How many of us would know about the atrocities taking place even within our OWN communities if it wasn't for people recording it and uploading it on Twitter for everyone to see?
Whether it's about the protests against bad governance in Nigeria or the cyberterrorism attacks against Black women on Twitter, there never is enough coverage about it outside of Twitter. Isn't it sad that we can't even rely on the ACTUAL media to give us the reliable, unbiased information we need? Why is the power of information solely in the hands of random strangers on the internet? How can we even believe all of THAT is true? We often see people recirculate older videos or videos from entirely different countries to try and build up fear and panic about a certain issue even when it has NOTHING to do with it at all. This constant exposure to trauma and pain has made me want to delete Twitter so many times, but each time, I end up reactivating because I know I'll feel so out of tune with what's going on around me.
Lastly, being a young person during the digital age comes with the pressure of trying to stay on top of the trends and even try to monetize off of them. For the past couple of months, I've used this time to learn about digital marketing, influencer marketing, and online advertising strategies. It's one thing to learn about online content creation, however actually applying it to my OWN social media pages has been kicking my ass. Always trying to find ways to be creative, come up with new ideas, improve my social media interaction and engagement, increase the number of followers, etc can be really numbing. It makes you feel like your worth is attached to your online social media presence. It sucks trying to get a bag doing the things you're interested in and it doesn't really bring about the results you're looking for (or ANY MONEY).
I don't even watch this anime and yet - here I am trying to spice it up for the gworls.
I'm at the point where I wonder if I should just shut everything down and flee to the woods like those Cottagecore girlies. Who gon bother me when I'm out here hitting the whoa and eating worms with grizzly bears and raccoons? Absolutely no one. However, how can I pay the bills, show off my ever-growing list of skills and marketing portfolio if I have nothing to show for it? How can someone survive during these times without being dependent on social media? I have no idea. All I can hope is that future employers do not see this article. 🙂