It’s 2018, and it’s safe to say we have officially launched ourselves into an entirely new way of living. Our everyday lifestyles are now heavily influenced by technology, along with a gift and a curse known to us all as the internet. With online platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and more, our lifestyles have changed in response to the glamorous, laid back and fun lifestyle that is so commonly broadcasted by celebrities and popular individuals with large followings for no clearly credible reason. It’s hard for anyone to argue that the internet is a place they know nothing about or don’t visit often, especially when it’s so easily accessible and undeniably mind capturing. With so much of our time and energy being devoted to either indulging in the online world or creating content to feed to it, I wonder: how do we all cope with this new lifestyle we have effortlessly adapted to, and how does it impact the way we identify with ourselves, and maintain our integrity?
If you’re anything like me, you can’t help but keep your cell phone in close range to you throughout at least 90 per cent of your day. Even though you aren’t thrilled to know the latest thing Kim Kardashian posted on Instagram, or the new drama being discussed in the Shade Room- once you open your Instagram app and begin scrolling, you can quickly find yourself grasped by the sight of cute new fashion trends, flawless makeup looks, celebrity news or indulging in silly memes or videos that realistically insult the average person. I admit that all of these things catch my attention and are truthfully entertaining. But, at what point do they become a distraction? I find myself wondering, is it possible that I am subconsciously influenced by the things I constantly see online?
After thinking long and hard about it, I finally decided that yes, I must be influenced by all of the things that are constantly broadcasted to me online. A few years ago I was against the idea of drowning my face in too much makeup and took pride in barely ever wearing it. But with time, I’ve opened up to and embraced the idea of enhancing your beauty and having some fun with different makeup looks. Can I realistically say that the internet had nothing to do with my shift of thoughts? I don’t think so. I don’t think any of us can say that the internet hasn’t had any influence over our way of thinking, the way we identify with ourselves, and the way we decide to live our lives. The internet has such a strong presence in the majority of the populations life, and it’s changing the way that people think, and what people are willing to accept or deem appropriate. The internet is changing the world, and in such a subtle way we aren’t even noticing it as it’s happening right under our noses.
I don’t want to give the internet a negative representation and blame it for all of the new issues that society faces today such as bullying, racism, body shaming, self-identity issues, depression and more. But, I want us to wake up and realize how much power the internet truly does have over these issues. The internet is such a powerful tool, and it’s amazing that it has given so many great people, businesses and ideas a platform to stand on. Yet, I worry that we aren’t being responsible enough with the internet and aren’t careful with what we give our attention to. I worry that we are so caught up in enjoying the content that is provided to us that we overlook the truth about the way that content can impact any individual. Where is our integrity when we are giving thousands of views to videos that make fun of people getting beat up? Or, where is our integrity when we praise women who are posing in half-naked skimpy clothing, while simultaneously bashing women for the way they choose to carry themselves? Do we ever stop to take into account how these things can influence the way women identify with themselves? Or, do we consider the way the internet impacts men and their identities, when it seems as though the world is only attracted to or accepting of men who are flashy and rich? Where has our integrity as a society gone to? Are we behaving responsibly, are we caring for one another?
This is just the simple start to a deeply complicated, and significantly important issue I believe the world faces. Just think about it, how many times have we discussed the President’s tweets this year? We are living in a completely different time, and the internet is in more control than we acknowledge. I want to encourage us all to be more aware of the content that we entertain and the content that we provide to the internet. I want to encourage people to create content that is authentic and raw. If we are all a little bit more bold with what we put out there, with thorough consideration of how true it is to our personalities, the way we identify ourselves and the way we honestly live our lives, wouldn’t that open the door to a new society? One that is proudly diverse, and unapologetic about who we are? Don’t we all crave an online community that displays integrity, compassion, and understanding? We need to encourage the world to embrace everyone equally, no matter how they identify with themselves or how they live their life. It’s time we take responsibility, and take back our control, rather than continue to allow the internet to control and influence us.
Author: Alexis Harris
Author Bio: Writing is a form of art that allows thoughts to be put into words and transformed into stories that spark a feeling within a reader. My name is Alexis Harris, and I have an intense passion for writing and creating content that speaks to the reader in a way that they can’t ignore. I’m an individual that is constantly observing, exploring and craving deeper meaning in life. My writing allows me to share some of myself with others and help them experience some of my thoughts, observations and feelings about various life experiences and topics in their own unique way. I aspire to tell my story with the world and encourage people to look deeper within themselves. Life is a beautiful thing, and it’s even more enticing when we dare to dig a little deeper. As a writer, I am constantly digging deeper and searching for a story that creates a vibe.