“The desire for virality has led to a breakdown of previously respected boundaries and a disregard for privacy and security.”
I have fallen victim to the social media slot machine many times. I first created an Instagram account when I was 12 years old. At that age, we are not able to fully comprehend the way that these websites are designed to trick us into using them more and more. I would see one post that made me feel bad about myself, and it would ruin my entire day.
When the cottagecore aesthetic videos reached their peak on TikTok, I was beginning to explore fashion. I enjoyed the flowy, floral fabrics that often accompanied the aesthetic and began searching for clothes that matched. I found my fashion comfort zone wrapped in gauzy silks and sparkly jewelry, and for a few years, that was all I needed. But as time went on, my eye started to wander.
Rachel Dean, a UNC-Chapel Hill senior and TikTok creator, entertains over 700 thousand followers – amassing over 46 million likes with point-of-view series, personal stories and popular video trends.
I have deleted and redownloaded apps like Instagram and Twitter too many times to count. I have frequently heard friends and colleagues say they are “taking a break from social media.” Most people seem to understand why and what that means. But why is it normal, and why do we accept this without questioning it?
Whether mutually or one-sided, when a relationship ends it often hurts both parties involved; letting go of something so emotionally involved requires a whole lot of time and energy for healing. Is the current pandemic making it harder for us to move on?
Then, it hit me. “Ally,” I stated as my turn came. I felt proud claiming the identifier “ally,” and I felt like I deserved to claim it. At least, to my Black and Mexican-American friends and to my gay sister, I was an ally, right?