Media saved me -then destroyed me- then saved me again

I must have been sixteen. In a country where you must be very careful with how you act or what you say, because you don’t want people to know you are gay. My days were filled with this desire to belong, to be validated, accepted; “I see you, and I love you”.

How many hours must I have spent on social media, dating apps, and facebook events to meet people? Searching for something tangible, someone, who can make my days go by nicer, who can show me life gets better, that I am accepted. I found it, not a something, but an endless collection of “somethings” and “someones”: media.

But, after all these hours of feeling like I found a place where I belong, came the pressure to immerse myself in such place, with that came rejection, fear, disgust, insecurities, by my own people. People that told me I was not skinny enough, or manly enough, or beautiful enough, or smart enough, to the point I lost faith in my community, and I lost faith in me, all of this through an app made for people like me, that I thought was a safe place.

This changed. I changed, I ended up moving away from my country, and here, now, I know I am in control on which media I want to see, what people I want to interact with through media, and to not care when a painful comment pops up on my screen, media taught me to choose what affects me and what not, media showed me incredible people, and places I can be myself, and surround myself with love, I found a safe haven through media. And whenever insecurities arise, and unpleasant comments show up, media reminds me, that ignoring that is as simple as scrolling past it, and move on.

Student ID: 13911538


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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