social media: a love/hate relationship

This is the story of a young adolescent female who owns an iPhone, is constantly on her MacBook, and gets sucked into buying multiple five dollar magazines in a single-errand run. One who gets lost in catchy titling on various webpages, most of them shopping-related, bringing her into an abyss of complete and utter nonsense. While common sense may win a few battles, it is curiosity that wins the war. Still, this girl is different.

Yes, she owns multiple social media accounts, but not every one. And she wastes money on the fads just like everybody else, unless it really doesn’t work with her wardrobe. She is, in many ways, you. She cares about likes even if she says she doesn’t, although it won’t break her heart if she doesn’t meet her “quota” of public acceptance. She posts to feel seen, to prove her place in the world, and to show others she has a life. And yet, even when the quota is met, she does not feel accepted – rather, she is challenged by the posts below and above hers that were somehow more loved three times as much by more-or-less the same audience.

It is unacceptable to rely on acceptance.

She knows this, like most do. But society has taught her nothing if not that what you publish is your life. You are who we see that you are. Your digital memories, candid and forged alike, tell your story, allowing others to get to know you before they decide to let you into their life entirely.

She struggles between what should and should not matter. If she cares about what the world thinks of her, she will have many people she can call friends. If she cares more about what she thinks of herself, she will be alone. Digital representation has become the new presence, the new living. If you’re not on a screen, how can you expect to be found? Being picked out of a crowd is not something that can be done in person, nor can you visually see people and simultaneously make snap judgements about them (sarcasm, dear readers). These are things we need lights and colors and buttons for. We need to swipe someone’s face away because we no longer have the human decency to start or end relationships in the real world.

Oh, but the silence is nice. She has found a happy medium between showing her face and posting it online. Hell, she made an anonymous blog just so she could share her thoughts and expressions; there was simply no other way to be heard in the land of the breathing and the emotional.

This life is the result – one lived with fear of judgement and failure, as many of her millennial brothers and sisters can agree. Where imagination and creativity are poached for their rarity. Are her words even hers? Is there anything different about the way she thinks and the formula she uses to structure her sentences?

She is trepidatious because there is too much noise in this time of digital silence. There is simply too much.

This is her quest for simplicity. An outlet, as is commonly expressed, to do as she pleases with the flexibility of returning to her offline life. This is the happy medium, for there does not a name need to be attached to one’s work for it to shine as a newfound creation.

MORAL OF THE STORY: This is the basis for the Incognita Chica.


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