So there was an image some time ago that revealed exactly how messed up social media is, and one of the biggest problems is that most all of us are part of the problem. The image I saw was on Instagram, it was of models who had phone cases that said something like “Social Media Causes Mental Illness”
In this article I want to hopefully inspire people and educate them with tools that can truly change their life for the better, and maybe save them from, essentially, themselves. But this isn’t your typical article from your average person, in fact, I’m pretty much better than everyone… ha ha. No, no I’m certainly not… but I am quite confident in my experiences over the years, so let me tell you about that real quick.
Fun fact, most all the plaques below have been destroyed or sold as a result of me losing faith in the YouTube system as a whole. But maybe the system isn’t faulty, maybe, I am truly to blame for it all, maybe, I did it all to myself. I hope I did, as it being my fault means I actually still have power to change my circumstance.
So… I am the YouTuber, Patreon-guy, Twitterer etc. who obsesses over social media and has been for some time. I started a YouTube channel in 2006, my Twitter in 2009 and my content has literally been seen by over a billion people, and that is no exaggeration. Before “adpocalypse” on YouTube (what was that… late 2016?) and before I deleted half my videos, UhOhBro had been watched by a quarter to a half a billion people, and my other channels were right there with it. I was, emphasize on the “was”, very popular.
Now, with a lot of social media interactions, comes a lot of both positive and negative encounters, the problem with human beings is we typically tend to focus on the negative… which is really truly unfortunate. My theory? I think we focus on the negative because what nature intended was for us to overcome it, to learn from it, so that negative aspect of our life can be eliminated, yet somehow many of us simply have not caught on, so instead of solving the negative issue/problem that we are addressing, we instead internalize it, almost subconsciously validate it, and as a result, deeply hurt ourselves, quite literally voluntarily so.
The concept of bullying involves one person picking on another person, let’s get the exact definition:
A lot of people seem to think the solution to bullying, is to stop the bullying… just poof, magically bullying just stops… and it’s a wonderful thought. Wouldn’t it be great if people just stopped insulting each other? Started being nice to each other? No longer pointed fingers and judged each other as if we’re not all human? Well… this is not possible with humans, bullying will always exist, there is no way around this fact.
An example I like to use a lot is let’s say there’s a girl… and she reads every single thing that is negatively said about her online… now let’s say there is a boy, and he reads nothing that is negatively said about him online. Think about the path they both willingly chose… which of the two do you think will feel more bullied? Which of the two do you think will suffer more?
Let’s go a little further, let’s say the girl starts to harm herself, and that the boy goes outside his little self-obsessed world and begins to get into basketball. Over time the girl keeps reading what people say about her online, and the marks on hear body spread, one slice into her skin after another. Now the boy continues to focus on playing basketball, practices every single day, and eventually, finds himself getting a scholarship into the college of his choice, all-paid.
Let’s jump forward to 10 years past the college age, the boy is now a pro athlete, making millions doing what he loves. Never paid attention to all the people who said he was one thing or another on social media, just stayed focused on his own life… now the girl?
Let’s mentally dive into what her life looks like now… imagine an old window, a dark hallway, on the floor of the drafty moist and mold-covered room is a cell phone with a cracked screen that illuminates a tweet saying “You’re ugly, why do you even bother existing, everyone who sees you is worse off because of you.” Now pan up to dangling legs, pan up higher to a flowing dress in the narrow passageway, pan all the way up to see a rope tightly bound around the girl’s neck, her eyes glazed over…
Unfortunately, this is not a made-up story. This is something that happens to people all over the United States and other places of the world. What so many people fail to realize is that words don’t matter when they come from total strangers. Their opinion of you has as great of an impact on you as you let it.
We point at others, we blame the bullies saying they are why we hurt, when in reality we hurt because we walk into the furnace of our own free will all while screaming about how the fire is the bad guy, and we’re just delicate harmless flowers that never wanted to harm anyone… but there is a problem in that logic… you are harming someone, the most important person in your life, yourself. You are the only one who has been with you from the moment you are born to the day you die (in most all cases). You are your greatest asset, and you betray yourself like this? By subjecting yourself to hate?
When you read what people say about you on social media, the bad things, you are your own enemy. You cannot blame them as they are doing what comes naturally to people like them. Like a black panther snatching a baby pig up and running away as the mother pig screams in agony. These animals online, they do what they do because it is in their nature, and we are probably all capable of being just like them with the right influence and internalized justification. We all need to stop pretending that we have never made fun of anyone, that we have never said anything mean and we need to stop playing victim when we are the captains of our own ship, responsible for the impact of the waters we chose to sail into.
But you still want to use social media, so this whole article is useless?
Let me tell you what I have done, after many many years of wasting my time focusing on people I don’t even want in my life and I in fact want to be nothing like…
Secondly, Twitter in particular as a “Quality” filter, I have mine naturally enabled as well as these other features:
If you have all these features enabled on a site like Twitter, you no longer have to worry about anyone bothering you in your feed. But you should know, there is still a risk of seeing negative messages if you click on a specific post of yours, as this system does not filter out the replies under each individual post, only in your feed.
So naturally, a much more effective option would be to quit social media altogether… but that is simply not practical for people who want to be a part of the online world, so, you are left with an option like this.
But what can you do now that no one can tweet at you who you don’t follow?
Twitter is not all about you, I know, this sounds crazy, but we follow other people to see what is up in their life, not always what is going on with ourselves. I lost a huge chunk of my fan-base just obsessing over my own life, not thinking about the world around me, and when you start to look around you instead of only inward, you may find there are a lot of interesting people, a lot of cool things being done, and a lot of amazing things to engage in.
You are now able to focus on what people are saying about the world around you, rather than what people are saying about you. You can now focus on the Tweets of others in your feed that have nothing to do with you, you are free from the prison that is your self-obsessed world.
Someone called you ugly? Someone calls everyone ugly at some point. Stop pretending the world is centered on you, or even worse, the world is centered on the person who decided to say something mean that they themselves would never want said to them.
When the only thing you see is how people think you look, how your actions are perceived by people not in your life, what may or may not have happened in your past, how successful you are and other elements of your perceived life, you are locked away, unable to go anywhere in the jail cell that is your ego.
When you look outward, stop focusing on people focusing only on you, you find you can go anywhere, the limits are lifted and you can finally be someone adventurous, excited and far more capable.
What unpleasant opinions people have about you is none of your business, because what they say about you does not benefit your business. Your entire life is an investment, your time is precious, so invest wisely, and stop voluntarily hurting yourself.
I have seen so many people say if you do something like this you are willfully living in an echo chamber, they claim that unlike you, they can handle criticism and that they just laugh it off/are better for how they deal with it – yet those same people wind up losing their minds when the real heat is turned on them, I’ve seen it happen countless times, the big bad bullies immune to insults crumbling and begging for mercy and why?
Because we are all human beings, we think things are so simple when looking at the lives of others, then we live it ourselves and we don’t like being on the other side, facing the same faulty logic/over simplified rhetoric we once ignorantly cast on others.
If you feel like normal human beings do, harsh criticism is not something you enjoy forever, it is something that eventually gets to you, and holds you back from being the greatest version of yourself.
No more blaming others for your pain. It’s time to stop putting your hand over the flames. You did this, and you can fix this. Grow up, and smile, because you finally have control over your life.