My New Take On Social Media (Originally Published On May 23rd 2018)

It is very true that depression and suicide in teens is caused by cyberbullying, trolling and…well social media addiction. It doesn’t have to be that way. Two years ago, I was one of the first Delete Facebook followers. I do not regret this. But fast forward to a month and a day ago, when I took the plunge and created a brand new Twitter account @MaddDawgDailey. It started out as a way to market my blog. A month and nearly 170 followers later, it is clear taking that plunge was more beneficial than I thought. The support I receive from people all over the world suffering from metal health issues one way or another is already overwhelming. If it wasn’t for this account, I would have never been introduced to MDM: My Disability Matters Club. The trick is (and it’s unfortunately harder when you’re in high school or even college still) to search, connect and follow people you haven’t yet met who actually relate to your own story and are the complete 180 degree opposite of trolls or bullies. These people are victims of this and many times worse than that. I have commented and retweeted so many important things everyone in this community has to share in this short amount of time and everytime I actively participate in a thread and gain a new follower who is a genuinely good and caring person…my faith in humanity strengthens so much. And it really got me through my mental breakdown (again, it was caused by overwhelming news stories that had nothing to do with me but did for plenty others) this weekend and Friday. Online communities are making me rethink the evils of social media. The mainstream part of it will always be toxic and brutal. But me and many others seem to have found a loophole to use it to help and even save others. I mean damn, look at Emma Gonzalez or celebrities like Allysa Milano. They save lives in many other ways (or at least try their absolute best) but do the same thing in social media to spread either their message and/or links to passing important, life saving bills (Gonzalez). In these troubling and frightening times, you need to be surrounded by the right people, and sometimes they are right on your phone or computer if your physical environment is too toxic to help you at the moment.

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