Internet Negativity

Jenna Lazaroff, Staff Writer

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As most teens are, I’m an avid user of the internet and social media. Every morning as I’m eating my breakfast I check Instagram for the latest post. I respond to my Snapchats, but just to keep my streaks of course, not because I genuinely care about sending my friends a picture of my face. Although this isn’t the end of my social media throughout the day, it’s become a necessity for my life, something I look at from when I first wake up to when I close my eyes for bed.

Social media is more than just a way to connect with your friends all the time. It’s something to put a smile on your face, when you come across a cat video or a baby opening an avocado present for Christmas. It can make you forget about your troubles, even if only for 30 seconds.

People are allowed to voice their opinions and shouldn’t have to worry or fear backlash. Saying that someone is ignorant or dumb for their opinion isn’t helpful and won’t make them spontaneously change their mind. Acknowledging their points and explaining to them why their opinion may not be the same as yours, respectfully, might be able to help them grow mentally and shape their mind. You could even try and understand why they might think this way. The endless possibilities for hate on the internet makes the online world less enjoyable and feel less safe for many people, including myself.

It isn’t just opinion hate that ruins the internet. We even have a word for it: cyberbullying. As a student I sometimes feel oblivious towards this and sometimes mistake or overlook what’s really happening.  But like I said, I recently have been seeing a ton. Part of this is to do with a semi-new craze called “finstas.”  A finsta is a combination of the words Fake and Instagram. When people have a finsta, they post pictures they only want their closest friends seeing instead of their regular Instagram followers. So people can post something on their finsta about someone thinking they’ll never see it and it won’t hurt them. But for obvious reasons that’s stupid, and very untrue.

The Internet is here to stay. As a younger generation, we have the power to set examples and put a halt to negative use. Finstas are supposed to humor others, not hurt. So don’t post what you know will offend or personally hurt others. If you have an opposite opinion, that’s okay! Just get your point across in a respectful way. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I understand it’s tempting to voice your opinion and that it’s easier to do through a computer screen, but if you wouldn’t say it to their face then it’s probably better left in your head. Even if it’s just a snarky comment you’re leaving on your best friend’s selfie, don’t. You don’t know the damage that can be done.

Overall, just be careful.  

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Internet Negativity