Social Media: A Safe Space

Shea Neiman, Writer

Social media is something commonly used among teens and young adults. In Gen Z and Millennials, it is often noticed that most people ask for social media rather than phone numbers. It’s become a part of day-to-day life. A lot of people believe that social media is a harmful addiction or a place of negativity, and for some, it’s way more important to them than they let people think.

Some young users of social media are now relying on it as a “safe space,” or a place where they face no discrimination. They do not have to feel harassment for who they are as a person, or the things they go through. One of the most useful social media sites for this is Instagram.

One of the more popular social media, Instagram has a lot of features that can be used to find what you’re looking for. It implements aspects of both Snapchat and Facebook. Instagram has an explore feed where accounts can be searched along with posts that have certain hashtags, making it easier to find communities.

A popular misconception is that social media is only used for entertainment providers. However, lots of accounts on instagram are used for shopping, politics, activism, LGBT+ community related things, and more. This is where teens find their support at times.

Most of the time, teen minorities turn to social media when they have no support at home or at school. Instagram has become an especially good place to find support in the LGBT+ community. There are lots of LGBT accounts, and most of them are shown to be owned by teens or young adults aged 13-19. These accounts spread positivity for the community.

It can be wondered why minors would risk getting caught on LGBT related accounts if they are not out to their family or friends. Often times, these kids feel isolated and alone so they create a community for themselves, one that they’ve created that’s free of judgement and harassment. It can be seen as way to tune out the harsh reality that they sometimes can’t be accepted by the real world. If someone can’t have their pronouns or sexuality respected in real life, they can turn to social media to get support.

The LGBT community is not the only community on social media. There are also accounts for mental health awareness, abuse support, and other issues. It is much easier to reach out online to people who won’t judge. People seeking support are free of consequences of who they are, and although to some it doesn’t seem like a big deal, these accounts are important for this generation. It is a critical part of giving teens the happiness, love, and support that they are not generally receiving.