How do you feel about your online self?

by Kerry & Stacy of SociallySafe www.sociallysafe.ca

GGC JanuaryJanuary brings with it the opportunity for change. Change in your daily routine, change to exercise and eating habits, as well as the chance to change your digital footprint and how you view yourself and others online.
Social media is a relatively new experience for most tweens/teens and you have embraced it whole heartedly. It’s fun and an awesome way to connect with your friends. However, it can also affect how you view yourself and what images you post of yourself. Images that encourage thigh space or are ‘thinspirational’ images that are actually a negative to your body image and how you see yourself.

The world of technology encourages you to be ‘bikini ready’ 24/7. It changes how you feel about yourselves and your body image. You are encouraged to only share images that you look good in or have touched up with any of the numerous apps that allow you to do this. There are even social platforms and apps that encourage you to post images and ask questions about yourself… Am I fat? Do I look ugly? Do you like my hair? And wait for the response. But when you post on these platforms, how are you left feeling about yourself? There are apps and games that don’t let you change the size of the people/characters. Everyone tends to be straight and skinny. But reality shows when you walk through the halls at school or the malls this is not the case. Everyone comes in different shapes, sizes and colours and you are all beautiful!
This year we are encouraging you to not get caught up in it all. Post the selfies and images you like and don’t let the responses and the number of likes, shares, or comments affect how you feel about yourself. Don’t set yourself up for failure by posting on sites and asking if they like your hair or if they think you are pretty or worse, do you have ‘thigh space’. Avoid platforms that focus on self-image. Know who your online friends are and only connect with people you know in real life. When you see negative posts, change how you respond. Don’t use put downs or negative comments yourself. Be positive and encouraging to your friends. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, why would you hide behind a screen and write a rude or negative comment about someone.

Don’t get caught up in the number. If you post a picture and wait for responses, in your head we know you’ve got that ‘magic’ number in mind. How do you react or what do you do when you see someone respond with a negative comment or if you post a selfie and don’t have 50 friends like, comment or share…do you delete it? Why? Embrace it! You liked the picture, be proud of it and remember that the image doesn’t go away just because you deleted it.
This year we encourage you to be positive in your posts, comments, responses and shares. Be the trendsetter! Remember you are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you different.
#sociallysafe

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