Hello! My name is Kaye Purewal, and I am 18 years old. A few months ago, I finished my treatment for Stage 4 blood cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I am going to take you through my view on social media and why it is taking over our world as we know it.
These are the social media apps I use – Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter WhatsApp, Discord and Wattpad. The ones I use the most are Instagram and Snapchat to stay in contact with friends. WhatsApp is used to stay in contact with family and Discord is used for gaming purposes. Wattpad is probably my favourite of them all. I am able to express my love for writing by publishing books for people to read. I am very successful there as my books have earned over 450k views. Twitter is mainly if I need a laugh every now and then.
That is one of the main pros about social media for me. It makes me laugh when I need to. It’s entertaining, hence why I could spend all day on it if I could. Which is quite sad now that I think about it. But that brings me to my first con. Timing.
Now on Apple iPhones, there is an option called ‘screen time’. This measures how many hours a day you are spending on your phone and on which apps. But sometimes it can be quite a huge number. Therefore, for personal reasons, my screen time is turned off, and will never be turned back on!
I mainly use Instagram to post pictures of myself. To boost my own self confidence and self-esteem. One of the things I like about most social media’s is that there is an option to block and remove certain people. This feature has proved quite useful, especially when certain people decide to leave their unwanted opinions.
Social media has impacted my life in many ways. Sometimes bad, sometimes good. Some days, I enjoy reading the lovely comments on my posts. I enjoy talking to my friends and hearing about how they are doing. This can be especially useful now that were in lockdown and mental health is more important than ever. On the other hand, there are some days that I wish I could just delete social media forever. I have gone days without my phone, and I have been happier than ever. I feel like a social media detox is everything and everyone should try it sometime!
I think if I had to completely come off social media for the sake of something important to me, I most definitely would. It is not the most important thing in my life, and I can definitely cope without it. For me, music is a lot more important to me instead.
Going through treatment, social media helped me, especially snapchat. There is a feature on the app where you can create a private story and select which people you would like to be able to view it. I made one for all the people I had talked with about my situation. This way, instead of texting them all individually whenever I had an update or breakthrough, I could just post on the story and they would see it and help me if I needed it.
However, sometimes social media can warp the way we perceive reality. Instagram is mainly the reason for that. Nowadays, there are models who use Instagram as their main platform. Undoubtedly, they have millions of followers. Many of which are young teenage girls from ages 13-18.
In my opinion, it is the unhealthiest thing in the world. I have done it myself too, unfortunately. I’ve looked at these models and wished my stomach were as flat as theirs. I’ve looked at them and loathed my body hair or hated the way I look in certain clothes. And it’s unfair. It’s so unfair because what those young girls do not know is that majority of these pictures are heavily photoshopped. Everyone has a double chin or wrinkles. But we don’t see their imperfections because of the editing and the photoshop.
Treatment played a huge part on my body image and in the overall way I saw myself. Before treatment, I was finally learning to truly love and appreciate myself. In a way, I was really living my best life as the best version of myself. However, when I started treatment, I lost my hair and put on a significant amount of weight.
There came a point where I didn’t even recognise the girl staring back at me in the mirror.
It was mentally destroying me. I missed that girl I once was. I couldn’t be happy at all because my brain was conditioned to only focus on the negative aspects of myself. My hair, my weight, my overeating. It was extremely hard for me to be happy with who I was. Even after treatment, I should’ve been happy that I beat it all, but I was still mentally low because of the way I looked. Even now, my hair is coming back slowly, it’s similar to a buzzcut. It should be an achievement, right? But I cannot bring myself to be happy because I still miss basic things like smelling my hair after it has been washed, high ponytails, wearing clips or even just combing my hair.
I don’t think I’ll mentally be back to myself for a while yet and that’s completely okay. These last 8 months have left me with a lot of trauma and upset, I never expected to bounce back overnight.
There are some days where I fall in love with myself all over again and yes, there are still days where I can’t look at myself in the mirror.
To tie off my blog, I’d just like to leave you with one thing.
Do not let your mind bully your body. Remember, beauty is about knowing exactly who you are and accepting that. Don’t look at these models on the web and feel the need to fix your bodies when they were never broken in the first place.
Love yourself & I promise you will become obsessed with that person.