A (Love) Letter to Media

Dear Media, 

Many years have passed from the moment in which I felt the need to write a letter to you, however, at this point, I think I am ready to sit down and actually put in words all that I feel. For sure this is going to be a challenge, having in mind the love-hate relationship that we share.

I am sorry in advance about what you are about to read but also keep in mind that I am saying it with lots of love, thankfulness, and forgiveness. 

I really don’t know what to say first so I might just start from the beginning. You and I are in a relationship for solid 6 years now, I mean 6 conscious years from my side. Of course, you’ve been persistent in my life since I was a fetus, however, it took me 13 years to create my first accounts on social media, which officially united us… probably forever. I still remember how my parents were against this relationship of mine but I believed that this is where I will find happiness or at least attention, so I wasn’t hesitant to deep into this new experience. 

At first, it went smoothly. I was slowly but surely discovering what you have to offer and you created many exciting memories and occasions in my life. You thought me a lot and expanded my views in various ways. You made me aware and helped me exit the box I was living in. Also, some of the people that I have met thanks to you are still part of my life. Some of them even changed my life.

However, I think that as a 13-year-old kid I was not well prepared in many ways when it comes to what you can offer. I mean the dark side of Media. Thankfully, I believe I managed to exit this phase without much trauma, or at least I would like to believe so. 

Sadly, this is not the case with one of my best friends. Her relationship with you, Media, didn’t go as smoothly. It might be on her, though. It might be her weak personality and lack of self-consciousness. But what I have to admit is that your influence for sure led to many nearly fatal consequences. You must be wondering what I am talking about. That’s normal. I am sure that this whole scenario sounds familiar to you. 

My friend was one of the many victims of the so-called beauty standards that are mainly persistent in social media. Spending time with you and seeing those “perfect” people with “perfect” bodies and life makes people prone to questioning why their life and appearance are not as good. What is more- they start concentrating their time and effort trying to become that better, “instagramable” version of themselves, however, it is really hard to reach… mainly because it is unreal. Now back to my friend. As I mentioned, she was subconsciously triggered by those images of slim, beautiful women and before even realizing it, she was battling one of the most unpleasant eating disorders- anorexia. The process of realizing the problem and starting the battle is way too complex and I won’t write about it now, but one thing that I hate to admit is that I question whether the victim ever wins, or the disorder always stays in the back of their mind provoking them to feel anxiety and quilt. As I said, I don’t blame this only on you, but I still remember how she was comparing herself with those social media influencers and how desperately she had the need to upload similar content in order to feel accomplished. 

This is about my friend’s story, but I am sure it really touched something in me as well. Maybe that’s why I went on a 4-month break from you last autumn. You might not even detect my absence but to me, it was really relieving and thought-provoking. I took those months off, not only because I needed time for myself but because the overwhelming presence of you became unbearable… more than usual especially after the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic… or infodemic. To stop this connection with you for a while was a matter of time and health. I can’t express the amount of inner peace that filled me when the option of sharing my life was impossible. For the first time, I started living in the moment and actually experiencing things without a constant need for acceptance. 

I am sure that I would never be able to express my feelings towards you. I’ve never met someone who fills me with both love and hate at such a high frequency. However, I believe that in order to keep a non-toxic relationship with you we need distance. You are a wonderful place to be but not for too long. Where I strive to be at this stage of my life is to be in the moment. Sadly, I can’t afford this luxury when I am with you. I hope you don’t perceive me as disloyal. I just need to expand myself and my views in order to add value to you, Media. Till this time comes I will love you from a distance. 

Yours sincerely, 




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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