WHY LIKES DON'T MATTER
I've been in NYC for the past two days going to meetings all over the city. I haven't had time to sleep thattttt much, but how important is sleep really? I got here on Wednesday and checked into the YOTEL Hotel on the West Side. The first night I stayed I realized there was something going on with the pipes in my room, so I didn't sleep well. I told the staff and they told me they'd let me switch rooms, so I did... and I ended up in a room bigger than any other room at a hotel I've EVER stayed in. It's literally been a dream I wish I could spend $800 on every single night! Click the social icons at the bottom of this post to see pics of me eating lots of cookies in my hotel room, because that's all I actually do when I travel.
I've been meeting with some different teams, from SheKnows Media to my good friend Gretta Monahan (we've appeared on Rachael Ray together) and right now, everyone is talking about social media. After 13 Reasons Why came out, the conversation has only grown and become more real. If you haven't read my 13 Reasons Why article, you totally should, and not just because I'm biased: but because my article is making people talk, a lot. If you check out the Rolling Stone Facebook page, you'll see some pretty negative comments under the post with the article. I'm used to the Internet, and the negativity that can come out of it, but I definitely wasn't expecting such a negative response from the article. On the other hand, we were trending for TWO days, so that's pretty rad. But it brings me back to my initial point: social media isn't a beautiful or healthy place for vulnerable teens to voice their opinions on. All of the people who commented on the article were commenting on my writing, and how "stupid" RS was to publish an article like that, but why are people talking negatively about me? I was simply asked to write an article on my opinion on the show. I'm not writing about you, or your kids, so keep your mean viewpoints off of the Internet, for real! Just like you see in the show, no one really realizes how much words can affect a young person. Be careful when you write stuff that you might think is funny, because there is always a chance someone might take a comment the opposite way.
I keep getting asked by parents and older people in the industry about what advise I'd give them on talking to their kids about social media, and the show. As much as I think (and still think, even after people commented opposing views on the article) that 13 Reasons slightly glamorizes teen suicide, I do believe that the show brings up so many valid points. We've got parents talking to their teens about their bodies. We've got faculty in schools talking to kids about how to prevent bullying and get help.
We've got people admitting that they have a mental illness, and they're feeling comfortable enough to finally reach out for help.
These are all things that probably wouldn't have happened so quickly if it wasn't for this one viral show, that went viral solely due to how teens use social media and the power of the Internet.
Why does the show glamorize teen suicide? Because Hannah Baker doesn't die. She lives on through tapes, and blames her decision on 13 people. You can't blame the decision to harm yourself on someone else. When suicide occurs, the person dies. We don't see the pain and suffering her family and friends endure (like people would in real life) because she's still "living" through the tapes.
So why don't likes matter? Because as much as getting a ton of likes on a picture or post may make you feel sexy or successful, you don't need the Internet to make you feel that way. You need yourself to make you feel like you're worth the world, because you totally are. What you see online isn't real life, and celebrities don't wake up looking like they do online. Post your favorite pictures, but don't look to the web to make you satisfied with who you are.
You're good enough without Afterlight, VSCO, or FaceTune. You're just as sexy as Kim Kardashian, whether you have a body like her or you have a body like me.
*If you're a parent reading this, start talking to your kids. They probably won't open up to you like you want them to, but they don't have to share everything they're going with to you immediately. Make sure you don't become a helicopter parent, but make sure you don't back off so much that they don't know who to talk to when they're dealing with something. The best you can do as a parent is make your child comfortable with talking to you.