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RBHS students use their phones during a lunch period.

Internet strangers show love

Freshman year, I sat with a group of friends, talking about our Instagram pictures and the number of followers each of us had. One of my friends brought up how she wished she got more comments on her pictures because compared to ours, she had less. I really realized the impact on how those strangers that saw my account were giving positivity to me just out of kindness.

There are so many negative thoughts about social media that we forget about the positive things followers comment and respond on our posts. Although there are many hate comments on social media, there are good people that may barely know us who give positivity on our page anyhow. On Instagram I first noticed the difference between critical comments and encouraging comments, especially on celebrity photos and then on my own. When I would post a cute selfie there would be other girls that I only knew their first names that would comment sweet compliments to me. This encouraged me to do the same to them and other people.

We have been taught all of our lives by our parents and families to stay away from strangers on the street or from cars luring us in with candy, but I think strangers on the internet are a little different. Yes, everyone should be aware of spam accounts and dangerous people that want to do harmful things. But I also think meeting strangers through our same interests such as same style or music it is a great opportunity to meet new people around the world.

On my own accounts, I would get comments complimenting my hair or what I was wearing from girls that followed me and who I had never met in person before. Just the support I get from others online gives me such a happy feeling because I also am aware of how nasty people can be on the internet. I never have experienced cyberbullying but I always have heard the horrific stories of that hate happening to students my age. There are many pros and cons to social media,which is why it is a debatable conversation between people.According to Brainwatch.com, there are 3.03 billion active users on social media. But the one great thing of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is that you are able to connect with people all around the world whether they are family, friends or strangers.

I strongly believe older generations devalue millennial’s because we spend a lot of time on phones and social media. Although I think we spend the majority of our time using technology, there are great perks in this,as well. The internet has helped educate us more than other generations who didn’t grow up with informational sites such as Google. Forbes states that technology learning sites have reduced student failure from 31% to 7%. Not only has it given us more information to use in our everyday lives, it has given us an extra advantage in small comments on our social media accounts that can help boost our mood or self confidence. Not all things about social media is harmful to people as some think.

This topic makes me notice how just a simple compliment or like on a picture can show appreciation to someone. Stranger love might even be the next new act of kindness for our generation.

How do you feel about social media? Let us know in the comments below.

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