Does Our Social Media Presence Define Us?


Twitter . Reddit . Instagram
Facebook . WhatsApp . KIK
Youtube . Pinterest . Chatrooms
Skype . Snapchat . Imgur
...And so many others...

Social media is a form of self expression. Whether you use your online profiles to catch up with loved ones, to promote your work, or to simply socialise, it's a way of opening ourselves up within a privacy barrier. Many "online trolls" use this as a way of being anonymous solely to spread hatred. That's why so many comment sections online can be filled with homophobia, racism, hate towards females, weight shaming, and so on. People take advantage of the ability to hide behind a screen. But doesn't that still reflect on their true selves? Of course. We judge the person behind the screen, whoever they may be, as they still wrote the words they're hiding behind. And if that's so, doesn't that mean that we all are the people we portray on social media -whether good or bad? The confidence we can give off on a status that we may not actually feel within ourselves, has it actually been inside of us the entire time?

Are we all using the Internet as a way of showing who we truly are, without having to put ourselves out there and face the scrutiny of real life people?

I'll admit that I'm a social media snooper. If I know you personally, it is very likely that I've had a good stalk on your profile and if on Twitter or Instagram, I have probably taken a glimpse at your following list. Call me crazy, but I find it interesting to know what people like to see on their own feeds. Heck, that's how I've had late conversations with Facebook friends after discovering that we both follow similar influencers. How else do we find mutual interests nowadays? (side-note: does it bother anyone else when you ask someone what they're up to and they say "watching Netflix"? It's like, tell me what you're watching! You aren't just watching the Netflix homescreen! Rant over.) But because of said snooping, I've had some disappointing outcomes.

I've had to unfriend so many family members on Facebook due to racist posts, all of which I very much doubt they'd have enough strength to say to anyone in real life. I followed one guy who is a father and has a loving wife, and all-in-all leads a normal family life, only to soon discover that he spent his free time liking images of girls no older than 16 in skimpy attire on Instagram. (It later came out that he had once cheated on his wife with a girl on a chatroom, but in his wife's words "at least he didn't do anything physically". To that I ask, isn't virtually cheating just the modern way now?) I unfollowed an older family member not too long ago who spent her free time telling people with chronic illnesses that they're likely making it up. There are so many other examples I can use, but alas, I'll get to the point.. Would they of shown that side of themselves outside of social media? Probably not. Yet they're willing to be that kind of person if hidden behind a phone or if they're able to just "like". Two peas, same pod.

In a similar sense, if you follow a lot of Youtubers or celebrities on social media you may notice a vast difference between their personalities on screen versa their social media presence on, say, Twitter or Instagram. How many Youtubers have had to put out a public apology for making an offhand written comment or a rude reply to a fan? Too many. And though they say they just didn't think - that it was an innocent mistake - is that really the case? Think about it, when we speak out loud to someone, our words can come out automatically and that's how idiotic things sometimes come out of our mouths. But writing it out on social media or in a message, at least for me, makes me rethink what I'm "saying". It takes more time to choose whether or not to click the go ahead to send something than it does to verbally reply to someone. How can a mistake be made online when we are actively choosing what we're doing the entire time? Is social media that easy to get sucked into?And if so, isn't our instant responses a glimpse into who we really are? As surely we're replying as our brains would - not thinking too deep into it.

The bottom line is, if you're a douchebag, perverted, cruel, or a bully online, guess what? That is very much reflected in your character offline. If you're known to be funny, kind, friendly or outgoing online but hate yourself once the phones go off, you need to realise that everyone likes you for you. You're still the person behind the words. They like YOU. We haven't got a switch in our brains that allow us to swap complete personalities when we untouch a keypad. If you're racist online, you're racist. If you're hilarious online, you're hilarious. We aren't boxed in by our social media bubbles and I really think we need to realise this. The personality you portray when behind your phone is the personality you have inside of yourself. You don't have to live vicariously through the Internet to make friends that you think only like you because you "aren't you" online. You're always you. Every single thing you do - online or offline - define you as a human. So choose carefully how you want to be seen. Nothing online is ever gone or forgotten, same as the real world.

So yes, I do believe that our social media presence defines the real us - good or bad. We all stalk each other and either discover how awesome someone truly is, or we get smacked in the stomach with a feeling of disappointment after finding out that someone we once admired is actually kind of an a-hole.


What's your answer? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your views!

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison [spoiler-free review]


I was extremely cautious when picking up "The Book of the Unnamed Midwife" for the first time. My partner actually pointed this dystopian novel out to me at his local library, and if it wasn't for that, I can hand-on-heart say that I wouldn't of picked it out for myself. In fact, even after reading the summary, I grimaced and slid it back onto the shelf.

A woman survives a deadly plague that has wiped out most of the nation. Very few woman, hardly any children, and countless men are all that's left standing. Due to the men far outnumbering the remaining women on Earth, a battle of power comes into play and many females find themselves at the mercy of gangs. They are forced into acts that are unspeakable and those that are still lucky enough to be with their chosen partner find comfort in intimacy, and as a result, many end up pregnant. But the babies aren't surviving and the mothers aren't doing much better. Our protagonist decides that the only way to survive in the new world is to hide herself in plain site as a man, and travel through the US in search of supplies and if lucky, safety. Along the way she encounters trouble, various women needing help, and communities. She keeps account of it all in her journal.

If you're like me, then you may be thinking what I did "Rape? No, thank you." This books seems to be following in the footsteps of A Handmaid's Tale, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as such stories do have to be told given the state of our world right now. We have taken so many steps over the past few years when it comes to feminism and standing together, yet the world and the hierarchy seem to constantly be trying to pull us backward - and frighteningly, they are succeeding. Some men have yet to grasp the respect they ought to have for women that aren't their mothers (in other words, they have yet to grow out of their teenage perverted stage that goes hand-in-hand with dominating tendencies), and those that are the exact opposite sometimes get the wrong end of the stick by the women who can't fully understand the way of feminism being about equality and not being above the opposite sex. It's quite a muddle. But alas, this is a book review so let's move on. (Though I'm open to a discussion in the comments.) The plot of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife made it sound as though rape would be heavily involved throughout this story, I just didn't know how graphic it'd be and that put me off big time. Rape is a difficult topic to write when it comes to having to be accurate enough to not make it seem belittled, but without making it overly difficult to read. Don't get me wrong, a good book ought to bring out all sorts of emotions out of you, but there is always a fine line when the emotions aren't pleasant. Did this novel succeeding in riding the line? I'm still unsure.

Within the first few pages, there was an attempted rape and I would go as far as to say that it was the most graphic out of the entire book. At least in the way of the writing and experiencing the act with our main character. Throughout the remainder of the novel, we mostly get informed about such violence through either side characters or comments made by the rapists. It's unsettling and though not out of place given the story's plot, it can be sometimes sudden.

I did enjoy reading this book as I did want to see where the story was going, I will say that. I just had some problems and as someone who usually looks on the bright side of things, it's difficult for me to write my thoughts down without feeling as though I'm complaining. I'm not. I found the novel interesting and it was most certainly a different take on a dystopian world, there wasn't a huge romantic story which I was originally expecting, and that was hugely appreciated by me as it would've undoubtedly felt forced. Our protagonist is a strong-willed woman. But...

I don't think this is a female empowerment book. It isn't necessarily marketed as such, but given the overall story, it's what one might expect going into it. Our main girl was great, as I said, she took care of herself and didn't take any crap from anyone. But she was cold, ice cold if anything. You could argue that given the world, you would be cold. I get that, but hear me out. The moments that we actually saw some humanity light up within her, it was when she was thinking of sex. Which, meh, really? I get it. A year or two spent mostly alone with no one to scratch your, let's say, itches. It'd be frustrating and your sexual drive may be on the greedy side. But it felt like a slap in the face when you'd go from reading about how a woman was taken by a gang for years and used repeatedly, to how our protagonist is missing sex. Maybe the author was simply trying to include a positive outlook on sexual activities to not make the entire act seem tainted by the new world, I don't know. I just couldn't personally wrap my mind around it.

My other problem was our protagonists way of being a "strong female". She dressed as a guy, which yeah, smart. But that was the only reason she seemed strong to both us, and the other characters. I may be thinking too much into it, as I often do during these reviews. But she rarely fought back as a woman, and I think that leaves an unsettling aftertaste seen as this book ought to push "girl power" on you. The side characters weren't much better, in fact, I don't think there was a single strong-willed woman other than our Midwife. They were all meek, bar one who basically stuck with the mentality of "I'm a tough woman but I'd rather be with a guy who could potentially hurt me as I most definitely wouldn't be able to protect myself. I'm just a woman!" I mean, really?

Sigh. All in all, this was an interesting story but it severely lacked depth for the female characters. I turned the last page of this book feeling a little discouraged as a woman.

What female empowerment books have you recently read? Let me some recommendations below!

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