Social media and its many effects on mental health ft. hate comments, cultural appropriation, and more.
Social media is taking the world by storm, and it has for the past decade. Isn’t it strange to think that people used to live in a world without phones, texting, or scrolling through posts? I feel like our generation has become so disconnected with the world around us—and yet we act like we aren’t by expressing our beliefs through pixels on a screen rather than through actual movement and action.
Granted, this may sound a bit hypocritical as I am typing these words criticizing other people typing words criticizing other people. Unfortunately, this has become the staple way to voice your thoughts and opinions instead of actually talking to people. Crazy.
The reason I bring this up is something I recently saw. People gathering under a post about Little Mix’s recent clothing deal with PrettyLittleThing. In case you didn’t see this news: Little Mix dropped a new clothing line in a collab with clothing brand PLT. In their launch post, they said, “our collection with prettylittlething lands THIS Thursday.” Their clothing line, depicted in the picture on the right, seems to be inspired by Chinese Traditional qipao (旗袍) that originated in Manchu, China in the late 17th century. People were quick to criticize the band’s use of “our”, outraged and saying that the style of outfits was not theirs, and they failed to mention the history behind the qipao-inspired outfits. Quickly, comment sections filled up with one criticism after another, and support appeared in heart-shaped pixels under each comment.
My point in this article doesn’t focus on cultural appropriation (although check back soon for an article about that) even though it is a big issue today. Rather, I’m focusing on the global problem of social deviance and norms. When everyone is criticizing Little Mix, there are few who will openly defy that, because they will face backlash and hate comments as well. When did it become okay in our society to hide verbal abuse behind “a protest against cultural appropriation”? Some of the comments state, “fu****g disgusting luvs” and “y’all better educate yourselves you real dumb bi***s”. The qipao and Chinese culture may not be a universal thing, but kindness certainly is. My point is: protesting cultural appropriation and preserving your culture is helpful, empowering, and important. However, doing it in such a manner that instead of focusing on educating about the culture and the issue, you are demeaning and spreading hate for those who have exhibited or contributed to the issue is not the right way to do it. Education is always better than hate. The next time you have something to protest, do it in a mature, sophisticated way that will convey a message to the public instead of sparking hatred.
Spread love, educate, and empower.
co-founder of Declarasian, website graphics designer, pork bun and boba enthusiast.
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