The danger of retweeting.
As a browse through my twitter feed, I appreciate all the positive and wholesome things that I see every now and then throughout the jokes, photos, and memes. A lot of these posts that are meant to inspire and assure me are retweeted by the females that I follow. Don’t get me wrong — males are retweeting as well, however they seem to have more of a preference to the previously mentioned jokes and memes. You could spend hours and hours scouring through pages such as @relatable, @girlposts, @tweetlikeagirl, and many others who all share the same goal of posting anything that will gain large numbers of retweets. To put it simply, the mindset that these pages are spreading around is a dangerous one to have, and will surely create negative effects on a large portion of the population that is currently transitioning from teen to adult.
Before going any further, I want to adress the obvious issue of this post being directed almost exclusively towards girls. From what I have seen, and from I have deduced from what I have seen, it is mostly females that are falling into this twitter trap. While I do have some theories, it is not my place to determine why this is. It is simply just the case.
Now back to business. My main issue with these tweets is that they are giving out very heavy advice to their audiences. Tweeting something along the lines of “practice makes perfect” is acceptable, because it can be applied to anyone in any situation. Most inspirational quotes are like this where they are clear, straightforward, and essentially tell you something very point blankly. What goes around on Twitter today is far more broad, and therefore leaves a lot open to interpratation, which can become a problem. For example, on the 18th of June @SoDamnTrue posted the following: “I’ll say this once and once only, people who love you do not quit on you, and what is meant to be WILL be.” This is one prime example of a common theme on Twitter, which is cutting people out of your life. For whatever reason, the idea of dissociating with somebody is very enticing to Twitter users, almost as much as actually tweeting about it is. To most people this advice doesn’t seem like a probem at all, let alone dangerous. But those people are underestimating how much influence a site like Twitter has, and how seriously users will take tweets like this from big pages (especially when they have seen that tens of thousands of people have also retweeted this post).
Once a user has not only read a tweet, but also been convinced that the tweet is sharing some sort of truth due to all the likes and retweets, they will do what is natural — attempt to apply the teachings of this tweet to their own life. So if someones having a bad day and just got into a big fight with their lifelong friend over something small that will be resolved in a few hours, stumbles upon this tweet in their daily social media checks, they will see this tweet, see its backing, and act irrationally. They will develop this mindset where anyone who disagrees with them on any issue is “toxic”, and needs to be removed from their lives. They will believe this because they spend so much time in the world that Twitter, and these pages, have created, which is, frankly, a fantasy world. It might be nice to be able to unfollow people in real life the way that we do on the internet, but that isn’t the case, and for good reason.
Everyone wants to be rich, happy, famous, and successful, but we accept the truth at somepoint in our lives that most are not going to be all of those things. With the internet being so important to our lives nowadays, this truth is going to be much harder to swallow for some people. Everyday, we look at our feeds and see pictures of our favorite celebrities on amazing vacations, driving $100,000 dollar cars, and sporting the latest and greatest fashion trends. In other words, what young people see as a perfect life has never been so “in your face” as it is today. And Twitter shows this to impressionable teens, and forwards the idea that you can simply want this, and it will be. A picture of an attractive couple drinking champagne on a yacht, and a caption that reads “RT if all you want is a relationship like this”, is so appealing to teenage girls, and for good reason — It is promoting a fantasy.
All these girls line up everyday to get their daily dose of fantasy world and a greeted by girls just like them, thus creating a loop of enabling. I fear what is going to happen when this system fails them. I fear how millions and millions of girls who were destined to travel the world with their super rich fiancées are going to react when they end up at Applebees for the hundredth time with yet another asshole Tinder date. But it won’t be their fault of course, and it won’t be because of any of the choices they made. It will be because of those toxic people, and they will make sure that you and everyone else around them knows. They’ll keep retweeting and keep getting more angry at how its them versus the world. And one day, they might just snap.