REALISTIC FICTION NARRATIVE BY: HALEY LESTER
I was trapped in the dead silence of the hospital room. I was there because I had overdosed on antidepressant pills because I wanted to commit suicide. Yet my lifestyle was envied by millions and millions of people all around the globe. My glamourous and sparkly social media and photos displayed endless parties, vacations, friends and overall just a perfect looking life. That was in fact the point. My acne disappeared under layers of concealer, with highlighter that created impeccable cheekbones. My pictures were photoshopped to make my body look tan and toned. The truth was, I was on a very unhealthy diet of practically nothing. The diet turned my once silky and full hair into thin, dry straw. But Jan, my agent, made sure to get me the prettiest and healthiest extensions. As I laid in the hospital bed I started to feel a tightness in my chest. It grew tighter and more painful by the second. I was grasping for air, but I couldn't breathe. I grew dizzy and passed out, unconscious. A few seconds later a nurse came rushing in. My heart rate on the monitor went flat and the loud, screeching, beeping noise, echoed through the hospital. More doctors rushed in. They quickly got out the AED. “One, two, three!” Then they shocked my body. “One, two, three!” They tried again. Breathe sprung through my lungs and my heart started again. Surprised and confused, I returned. Almost immediately after waking up I closed my eyes and dozed off to sleep.
I woke up to the ringing of my phone the next day. It was Jan. “What do you need?” I asked. “Oh honey! I have got the perfect idea to boost your image. We can film you at the soup kitchen, feeding homeless people…” Abruptly, I hung up the phone. I was exhausted and had nearly died only hours before and all she asks me about is a publicity stunt. Typical Jan. My phone was silent for the rest of the day. Not one call or text asking how I was. My so called friends posted about it online but nobody came to visit me. I felt a strong pain of helplessness and regret, longing for something deeper. Despite my face being on every Gossip magazine and having one of the most popular social media accounts, I felt so unsatisfied. Chasing for followers and likes was never going to make me happy. Sometimes, I went days without having an actual face-to-face conversation with somebody. So at that moment, I realized where I went wrong in life. I picked up my phone, and without even thinking I deleted every social media platform that I had, as well as Jan’s number. When I was released from the hospital I went home, packed up my stuff and moved away for a new start.
It has been ten years since that day. I can say without regret that, that was by far the best decision of my life. I am now happy, social media free, and married with three amazing kids.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONS https://www.rootsofaction.com/disadvantages-of-social-networking/
1.) LACK OF EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. You can say thing through social media and behind a screen that you probably would not say to someone in person. People also often misunderstand what others are trying to say through a screen because they cannot hear or see their emotions when speaking. This also goes for the one speaking. They cannot see how what they are saying is making the other person feel, therefore people or more likely to say hurtful things online rather than face to face.
2.) DECREASED FACE TO FACE COMMUNICATION SKILLS. So much of our communication now days is online. It is slowly making face to face interactions less regular and for some people, more uncomfortable and awkward because they are getting so used to communicating behind a screen.
3.) CREATES SCEWED SELF IMAGE. People only post images of themselves looking perfect and sharing their good news. You hardly ever see photos posted when you lose you job or get kicked out of your home or just when the bad things in life happen. Social media creates a false reality of “perfect” lives. Most people find themselves comparing their own live style, looks, and much more to everyone else's “perfect” looking lives on social media and try to make their own look just as amazing online.
4.) CAUSES DISTRACTIONS. When we have our phones out we feel like nothing else is going on around us. What begins to happen is people rely more and more on their smartphones for entertainment rather than actual encounters and experiences. Studied show that smartphone usage distracts people from everything else. Most people find themselves doing less homework, sleep, time spent with family and friends, and simply being productive in general.
INTERVIEW TO HANNAH LESTER
QUESTION 1: DOES SOCIAL MEDIA KEEP YOU FROM DOING THINGS THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT? “If I am being honest, yes. Sometimes, actually a lot of the times I put off things like homework or spending time with my family to scroll on TikTok or Instagram or even just binge shows on Netflix.
QUESTION 2: DOES SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECT YOUR SLEEP? “Most nights I tell myself that I am going to go to bed early, but I end up staying up for hours later than I intended. Watching Youtube, Tiktoks, and Snapchatting my friends. I always say ‘just one more video.’ Then end up not putting my phone down for hours.”
QUESTION 3: DO YOU FIND YOUSELVE COMPARING YOUSELVES TO OTHERS? “Honestly, I think most girls who have social media have found themselves comparing themselves to people online often. Sometimes I don’t even notice that I am doing so. Whether its their bodies, fashion, money, relationships or even just their lives in general. Its hard not to feel jealous and envious when you see all these Instagram models and famous, rich people all over social media.”