We Live in a World

I am living in a world where vulnerability is admired
but not accepted.
You post your feelings, then told "they're too depressing,"
"why can't you just be happy?"
"Is this supposed to be a joke, because I don't get it."
You post what you think deserves the views.
Something that might satisfy their unwavering hunger for something that's not truly you,
but you are bitterly ignored because now you're being "fake".

We live in a world where a like is the currency we use to buy acceptance from others.
Acceptance that we already deserve,
not from others, but from ourselves.
Measuring our self worth in an endless sea of posts
aimed to diminish the last remaining shreds of importance that we hold dear.
Following, liking, commenting, retweeting,
commenting, retweeting, liking, following.
It is an endless cycle aimed to worsen ourselves and others,
but put money in the pockets of the big wigs behind the app.
Those who don't care what's being shared
so long as their getting their fair share.
Those who turn the other cheek when a
10-year-old commits suicide due to social media's uncontrollable users.
But, the views are good. Right?

Breaking the cycle and making a way out entirely is like leaving a gang,
practically impossible,
unless you feel like dying in the process.
Little do we realize, that we are raising a whole new generation to think like this,
and act like this,
and measure their self worth like this.
Little do we realize that a 5-year-old is able to perfectly navigate YouTube
and watch whatever they so choose.
but at least it shuts them up for a couple of hours.
When will it stick?
When will it adhere
that we are living in a day and age where if you're not on social media,
you're nothing?
If you don't get any followers,
then you must not have any friends.
And if you don't get some sort of attention,
then you're not worth being around.
Too many people are worrying about how we look to others,
I think it's time we start to worry about how we look to ourselves.

-- Angelo C., 9th-12th Grade