It is so difficult to be on social media and be a teen in the world today. The pressure to find just the right picture to post, to make sure nobody else posts something embarrassing, to be in the spotlight and on display everywhere you turn. It sucks. I didn’t even have a flip phone until I was like, 18.
I have had Facebook since college, and I prefer Instagram above all the others. I still can’t do Snapchat, but I’m hilarious on Twitter. I also know there are other social media outlets I don’t even know about, or care to know about frankly.
But when it all began, it was simply innocent pictures of weekend parties and events where you had to dress up. People posted song lyrics and when you started job hunting, you removed every picture in which you were holding a beer and most of the cursing on your wall to present your best image. You liked wedding pictures, then baby pictures, and now some of you like your teen’s pictures as well if they’ve reached the Facebook age. Lately my newsfeed is flooded with bad news and bullying, and while I’m all about sharing opinions and dialogue, some of the comments I see are just plain mean.
I noticed a trend on my teens’ Instagram pages awhile back that I really wish adults would buy in to. If you have the chance, look at a teen girl’s Instagram page. It might look a bit like this:
[Insert Photo Here]
JanFriend: Grrrrrrl, you look HAWT!
SueBoo22: Hot mama! #perfectskin #jealous #youroutfitOMG
SarahSS3: Um, why are you so gorgeous?
SallySue12: Daaang girl! [Insert fire emoji here]
LaLa09: [insert 3 fire emojis here] [thumbs up emoji] [heart eye cat emoji]
And the list goes on and on and on.
I know it’s all a bit superficial to give compliments solely based on how ‘hawt’ someone looks. But these comments are all from female friends, praising another girl’s hair, outfit, hot bod, glowing skin, makeup on point, whatever. And I think it’s one of the best things I’ve seen on social media since well before the last presidential election.
How special to have friends to reassure these often insecure young women that they are looking great in a picture? This is really missing from my Facebook comments. Again, I know its superficial, but woman are the best at supporting one another. We can do this as adults and know it would make someone’s afternoon to get a fire emoji because they look daaaaaaang good while juggling their baby, being a boss, running a marathon, lounging on the couch, whatever it is you are doing. And I love that our teens are lifting each other up because sometimes that’s just what you need.
So, let’s do this. Go scroll through your newsfeed and compliment five of your friends. Tell them they look hawt, that they’re killing it, or that you feel whatever it is they are saying or doing. And keep it up. Let’s spread this teen emoji hashtag love among one another.