The F*cked Up Things About Social Media

In our society social status is everything, and your social status is determined by how many instagram followers you have. 

I overheard a conversation the other day that went something like this:

“wait, who is she?”

“I don’t know but I guess she’s pretty important.”

“but she doesn’t even have that many instagram followers…”

So this made me think – how f-ed up is social media, really?

In my mind I’ve always used social media as a way to share my life and as a way to seek insight into the lives of others. I guess we’re all a little nosey and things like instagram and Facebook allow us to know what’s going on in our ex’s life without it being totally weird. Ok, maybe scrolling down to 132 weeks ago on that guy-you-met-at-that-party-one-time’s instagram is weird, but no one will ever know so it’s kinda ok. But that right there is perhaps one of our biggest problems – social media users can 100% hide behind their computer screens in everything they do. Here’s a scenario for you: girl posts a picture of a cupcake on instagram but girl also has an eating disorder. You as the viewer only see what’s presented to you which is often times incredibly shallow, therefore you (and I) fail to understand what the person on the other side of that post is really like and/or going through.

About a year ago my sister deleted all of her social media accounts. Her reason being, “why would I want to see how great everyone else’s life is everyday?” I didn’t totally understand what she meant at first because in my head, why wouldn’t you want to see how great everyone’s life is everyday?? But what she meant was, social media allows people to filter what they wish to share. No, I’m not talking about those photo editing options you have on instagram, but rather the content in which people choose to share. Everyone has their good days and their bad days, but quite often people will only share the good days. And on the rare occasion that a bad day is shared it is done in a way to receive sympathy, with a sort of “feel bad for me” innuendo attached to it.

Now I’d be lying if I said that I don’t care about how many likes I get on an instagram picture or that I don’t only ever share the positive aspects of my life. I never really saw the problem in this, especially when I was 16 and believed that my social life was eeeeeverything – but now I do. I honestly believe that we are setting future generations up for serious mental health and body image issues through our very own use of social media. Yes, that picture of you on some incredible beach vacation will be seen by someone in a less-perfect place who will immediately compare and as-a-result hate their life because it’s not like yours. I hate to sound like I’m blaming all social media users for others distress because I am just as guilty here as everyone else. I guess my only hope in writing this super long post is to raise awareness over the fact that social media sometimes does more harm than good. Just knowing this, I am way more conscious about the things I post and the things I say because at the end of the day my goal is never to make someone feel worthless, and I so desperately hope that your’s isn’t either. Let us also not fail to realize that behind that perfectly posed for selfie is a real person just like you who has real problems just like you.

Just something to think about…

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Samantha

Coffee Stains

Today was my very first day at my brand new internship. I took my less-than comfortable seat on the train and basked in pure excitement and anticipation as my summer officially began. But wait, I am ahead of myself, the first detail of this story is how I left my coffee (that my father so lovingly brewed for me) in the car. So my coffee is in the car and I am at the train station – I panic briefly but quickly enter problem-solving mode and buy a less-than mediocre cup of coffee from the train station. Then I get on the (extremely crowded) train. I get comfortable, pop my headphones in, and sit while the train bobs me side-to-side slowly sipping my coffee. About 30 minutes in I realize my coffee cup has a leak, that’s ok, I remind myself, I’ll just be veryyyyy careful while I drink it. Though I should’ve known that nothing I – Samantha Renee Guarnieri – do is careful and/or graceful. SUDDENLY I feel a warm drip on my chest, only to look down and realize I’ve spilt coffee on my freshly washed WHITE t-shirt. Let me remind you, it isn’t even nine o’clock yet and I am on my way to my first day at my new internship and I now have an awful coffee stain on my clean white t-shirt. I am bummed, SO bummed!

So I sat and sulked for a little bit before deciding that this minor catastrophe was an opportunity to learn a very important life lesson. The life lesson I learned today was that one can truly never be too prepared. Here I was, early in the morning, en route to my first day with a packed lunch, meticulously selected outfit, and even an extra pair of shoes in my bag just in case. In my mind nothing could’ve gone wrong because I was prepared – though to my dismay, not too prepared. Basically, shit happens and there really is nothing I, or you can do about it. We have to accept the coffee stains and move on with our lives.

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A very awkward picture of my coffee stained white t-shirt.

Samantha

Why I Write

Because sometimes I feel like no one is listening.

You know when you’re talking to someone who you can tell isn’t really listening to you? Kind of like talking to a wall or even to yourself. Well, that is often how I feel. I don’t mean this in a way to feel sorry for myself. It just is what it is i guess. But I find that as much as I love speaking, I love writing even more. I honestly feel like my mind is made up in a way that makes writing out sentences easier than forming sentences with my mouth. Maybe that is why people don’t always listen, because sometimes i don’t make a whole lot of sense when I speak. I enjoy writing in that you are able to re-read and re-write before hitting “submit” or “save.” But in speaking we don’t have that option, you said it and that’s it – there’s no deleting or editing what you have already spoken. Also when I write I feel like people are actually reading, even if it is simply one person, that one reader is actually reading and comprehending and listening to what I have to say. Though in talking, my listener does not have to listen, he or she can merely get away with hearing what I say but not taking the time to understand what I say. Writing gives me the opportunity to be heard and a chance to be understood, and that is why I write.

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I recently won two writing awards for a paper I wrote on prison and society, so – not gonna lie – I’m feeling pretty good about my writing talents at the moment.

Samantha

Library Life

Hi Friends,

(I am fully aware that no one reads this blog but I will still address my nonexistent readers as friends, ok? Ok.)

College has taken over my life. It is true that if you look at my very poorly done LinkedIn profile you will see that my occupation is college student. THOUGH, I do not enjoy the thought that college is my life. It is sad. It is depressing. And it is overwhelming. I have roughly two weeks left of my sophomore year of college and I SO BADLY want it to be over with – breakdown season is in full swing! I’m at that point where I am questioning how any of this will aid in my future success… Like how is studying the history of fashion in the 1910s going to do anything for my future??? BUT I mustn’t think like that! It’s time for me to suck it up and JUST DO IT. Well, anyway, I’m going to go back to studying white privilege now (thanks, Sociological Imagination:101!). If I made it through one year of college alive, I sure as hell can make it through another. At least I hope I can.

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This is me at this very moment.

Pray for me!

Samantha

Building Character (& Learning to Love the Struggle)

My mom does this thing where whenever I complain about something (like having to walk a mile to the train station in the pouring rain) she replies with “it builds character.” I find this incredibly annoying. I don’t want to build character, I have enough character! Though, what I’ve learned in these past few months of intense struggle is to live and appreciate every single hardship because at the end of the day one can never have enough character. At this point in my life I am sort of paying my dues – and this includes kissing people’s butts while working my own butt off. This sort of work-without-rewards is a major struggle, but I am sort of starting to enjoy it. It’s kind of like working three jobs in order to save your money to buy  that car you’ve really wanted, then finally being able to purchase that car with your hard-earned money. The hard work will ultimately make you happy. And your ability to reflect on how you’ve earned that car all by yourself will be the absolute best feeling in the world. Though you will only get this feeling after an extreme period of intense struggle. BUT you will look back knowing the struggle was 110% worth it. So that’s where I’m at right now – working my way through that struggle period full of hard work – though knowing that I’ll look back on these moments with a smile on my face. So yes mom, it pains me to admit it, but I guess you could say I am building character.

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This picture was taken after I walked a mile to the train station in the rain (& stopped by Starbucks).

Samantha

I’m On a Train

Incase you were wondering what was going through my head at the moment.

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A lil’ taste of spring in Boston, MA earlier today

The girl with fair skin and glossy brown hair sitting in front of me just made a dinner reservation for 12 Harvard Law students, paid for using another person’s credit card. She seems old enough (I’d say mid-twenties) to know how this whole train thing works but keeps making rookie mistakes like misplacing her ticket and trying to eat a salad while the train shoves her side-to-side. There is also a man, around the same age as her, I suppose, sitting on the opposite side of the aisle and a row directly in front of the fair skinned girl. He wears round smart-looking glasses, a soft blue button-down, and eats out of a container of hummus. Yes, the entire container, and the conclusion I’ve drawn from that is, he simply gives no f*cks. Directly to my right there is another gentleman, again around the same age as the other two, propped up in his chair, typing away on his laptop, referring to the battery life of his devices as “juice.” His conversation with the older man next to him went like this: “Do you need to plug that in? You can use the outlet next to me.” “Hmmm no thanks, I still have a little juice left.” I heard this and cringed. Lastly, there is the young lady sitting directly to my left, who was writing viciously in her bright yellow notepad when I sat down, but is now curled up in the fetal position sleeping. She was hesitant to let me sit with her – our conversation went like this: “Is anyone sitting here?” “Ummmmm no.” Her lengthy “ummmmm” made me realize that she’d rather I not sit with her, so I sat my ass down as a sort of, well I’m definitely gonna sit next to you now that I know you don’t want me to. HA!

 

My cell phone is about to die and girl-in-the-fetal-position is currently blocking the outlet with her body.

That is all.

Samantha

The End is Near

As I lay here in bed at 8:30 on a Sunday night, I struggle to understand how I am still alive. I cannot remember the last time I had more than a 30 minute break from homework or slept more than seven hours in one night. My life is like a blueberry muffin – slowly crumbling through my fingers and onto the ground where the world is ready to stomp all over them before sweeping my crumby life up and throwing it all in the trash. BUT I must remain optimistic! In only a few days I’ll be boarding an airplane to Scotland. Why Scotland, you ask? Well friends, my big sister is studying abroad at St. Andrew’s, and the crew (aka my parents) and I are going to visit. I seriously could not be more excited. Though (get ready for pessimistic Samantha, once again) this is also the reason why I am drowning in work. My life as a college student simply does not enable me to take ten days off. Therefore, I am currently doing twice the amount of homework to make up for my future absence. And that’s as much as you’ll get out of me tonight – time for bed (f— you, daylight savings), gooooooooodnight.

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Enjoy this throwback of the big sis and I – at a time where bed-head and temporary tattoos were an everyday thing.

Samantha

I’ll Smile if I’m Happy

I’m working Coterie this week in New York City, which is basically just a ginormous fashion trade show. It is awful. My days start at 6am and don’t end until I get home after 8pm. It’s only a four-day gig, but I have already contemplated faking the flu and ending my internship work a day early. Today I was instructed to “be cuter” and “smile more”. I’LL SMILE IF I’M HAPPY, DAMMIT. I am seriously one demand away from a mental breakdown. More to come – that is, if I don’t end up in therapy by then.

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This is me & my fake smile.

Samantha

Do I Laugh, Or Do I Cry?

Everything’s been cancelled…..except for my life.

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I traveled to Newport, RI for the long weekend and woah! what a beautiful and cozy place to be this time of year.

Due to the everlasting snowfall Boston has received these past few weeks, everything from classes to the trains have been cancelled and shut down. So now what? I lounge around in my heart-covered boxers all day, enjoy the beautiful snowfall outside my first story window, while cuddled up in my fluffy blanket with a cup of my favorite tea and a great book– right? Nope – WRONG – not even close. First of all the snow has turned into giant ten foot mountains on every street corner and slushy brown puddles that have absolutely ruined every pair of shoes I own. Second, it seems as if as soon as the snow decided to bring everything in the Boston area to a halt, my life decided it wanted to move faster than ever – so fast that I am now struggling to keep up. The T (Boston’s version of the Subway) is shut down, but that’s too bad because Sam still needs to get places. The school decides to cancel classes, but that’s too bad because Professors still want to assign work. The city doesn’t want to clear the sidewalks, but that’s too bad because Sam still needs to walk to the train station. These past few weeks have been a s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e, but then again, these past few weeks have also been and continue to be i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. These are two highly contradicting feelings and my only way to react is through extreme contradicting emotion. One minute I’m smiling, the next minute I’m frowning. One minute I’m laughing, the next minute I’m crying. One minute I’m excited, the next minute I’m panicking. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions these past few weeks, my friends, and something tells me the end is nowhere near in sight.

Though I must say, and this could very well just be me desperately attempting to maintain my optimism, but I have a strange feeling that this’ll all be worth it.

Samantha

P.S. I’ll be in NYC (yay!) all of next week working COTERIE – very VERY excited. BUT let’s hope I make it there, as the T is STILL shut down from the past snowfall. (Honestly, I’ll walk from Boston to NYC if I have to – dammit!)

IT’S A REVOLUTION

Starbucks now offers coconut milk!!!!

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The coffee chain doesn’t officially start serving coconut milk until tomorrow, but if you know how to charm your barista like I do you’ll be able to get an exclusive taste 24 hours early. Which I HIGHLY recommend you do because it is deeeelicious!

That is all. Cheers!

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Samantha

P.S. Apologies for my sad eyes that totally misrepresent my enthusiasm on this historical day. I’M SO EXCITED I SWEAR.