As Dirk––A guy’s perspective on matters of the heart and home
A guy’s perspective on matters of the heart and home.
I see your advice column and wonder each issue if it’s going to be ridiculous satire or something poignant and worth taking into consideration. I’m a 17-year-old high school cheerleader; some might say I am the top of the heap when it comes to popularity, but the top is where it’s windiest. I see people all the time in not only school, but also online and out and about––pretty much everywhere––treating each other terribly and being hurtful. Guys will disrespect girls by cheating, name calling, or just disrespect in general and most girls in high school will just take it because they love the person or maybe they’re just afraid of change. It seems most girls treat guys the same way. So how do you know your self-worth or value?
––Teenaged Blues Betty
Believe it or not I was once a high schooler and not a very popular one at that. I tried very hard and sometimes it was just a lost cause. Now that I have a little bit of perspective on the matter I can tell you this: Everyone in high school is trying to create an identity. Some are doing so with the values of others as their guiding light. This is not how true happiness is achieved. Especially in your generation, social media is a very big hindrence on your social development. Everyone is fishing for likes and retweets and it seems like the entire society of the young is based upon the acceptance of others. You asked about self-worth…Self-worth doesn’t come from others. Self-esteem doesn’t come from others.
My advice, take it as you may, is to unplug from social media, learn to be alone in your thoughts, and find something that makes you happy. Cheerleading is a sport. Being a cheerleader can be a popularity contest and very petty. Maybe focus on the sport aspect, or write, or paint, or take up dance or something that is just for you. Don’t tell people about it, don’t seek their approval, and don’t try to figure out who can do it with you––do it alone. And maybe delete your Facebook and Instagram pages until you figure out who you are and what you’re worth. Also, when I was dating, I had to put in real work to get a girl’s attention. I didn’t just drop a like on her new profile pic and say “HMU if you wanna chill.” I had to go buy flowers and drive to her house and know something about her and have a conversation. You need to go do you and then someone will see you are confident and independent and then they will buy you flowers instead of liking your selfies.
Break Free from Social Media
Nurture your identity out from under the microscope of social networks with these tips.
Edit judiciously: Prior to posting a photo or status update, question what your motives are. If you’re only posting to make others jealous or to elicit oohs and ahs (and likes) from your followers, it’s time to stop thinking about other people’s reactions to your life. Believe it or not, you can live your life without constantly updating about it online.
Respond offline: Rather than commenting on other’s updates, make a more meaningful connection by picking up a phone and responding with a personal chat.
Disable all alerts: Start living in the moment and refrain by being on constant standby to respond to social media alerts. You have better things to do with your time.
Sign off for a weekend: Go sans social media for two days to experience what life is like without a constant barrage of electronic messages.
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