With my friend group everyone knows that what you put on the Internet always stays on the Internet. I really wish I didn’t have to grow up in a time period like now.
I feel like a lot of people blow teenagers off — “It’s just high school, you don’t know what you’re doing” — but social media makes our lives seem more serious, in the public eye. I saw Amanda Todd’s mother at our school, and even if it happened in B. You have Beyonce and Kim Kardashian and girls try to be like them. I see the same pictures on Instagram all the time: girls take a picture in the bathroom with one leg on the bathroom counter that makes their butt look bigger.
On Twitter it’s usually relatable funny stuff — everyone sees it and says ha ha and they share it. If a person’s popular, they can use social media to change everyone’s perceptions. The kid still showed up to school on the Monday, and he didn’t really say anything to anybody, you could tell he was trying to be pretty tough.
At school, there are always rules about what girls can wear and how high their skirts are allowed to be, because they assume all guys are always staring at girls. Most of the time on social media I’m talking about homework. Guys don’t really do that — they fight it out instead of going on the Internet. There was a picture of this one kid on Twitter and it said, “ugliest kid in Winnipeg.” It got literally like 100,000 retweets over a weekend.
And I’ve never personally seen any bullying online. People post stuff because it can get them more popular — smoking, going to parties. I didn’t think that was possible in Winnipeg unless you’re Jonathan Toews.
I try to show myself as a real person online, as much as I do offline. But I’ve never seen a really bad episode of bullying. To bully someone from behind a computer is something you don’t do. Like, you shouldn’t post pictures of yourself because that’s what girls do and you have to be strong, and very independent and macho-ish.
I have photos of me skiing and running and hanging out with friends, which is what I do mostly. I haven’t dated a girl who was risqué on Instagram and I don’t know if I would. I’ve never gotten a nude photo, nor have I sent one.
There’s physical life — school, sports, exams, dating, jobs.
And there’s digital life — Snapchat, Instagram, Whats App, Tinder.
Most days, it’s difficult to say which consumes more of their attention, and which shapes more of their future.
There is plenty of handwringing hype about the impact of social media and technology on the lives of teenagers, much of it focused on bullying and the exploitation of girls.
I can speak for the people I’m friends with, and I don’t think that’s a common thing — it’s outliers.