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Social media is often viewed in a negative manner, by several people all around the world. And for good cause, because—if used incorrectly—it can often lead to unfortunate and unforgivable situations. I know this from personal experience, when certain permanent and sad events were revealed to relatives via Facebook, rather than by a phone call. Social media can also take events that are supposed to be positive and turn them into negative ones; as evidenced by an event that took place in my family. I am making the choice to keep the information as vague as possible, because it is personal and does involve other people. Social media can also be one of the most amazing aspects in the world, mostly due to its ability to reconnect people. I recently experienced this but, in order for you to fully understand the positivity of the situation, I want to take you back to when I was a wee little child. More specifically, when I was 12 years old and in the seventh grade.
That year, I had a friend. And when I say “friend”, I mean FRIEND. We were inseparable. We had inside jokes, we had similar likes and dislikes and we would always work together on projects, sit together on the bus when we went on field trips and eat lunch together. One day—one irritating and unfortunate day—someone in my school decided to showcase his “maturity” in the best manner; by starting a food fight. That’s right. A seventh grader decided to start a food fight, erasing all my assumptions that we are past that childishness by that age. Well, because no one owned up to the food fight, the entire class was punished. Might I add, that this is cruel punishment. Just because a small percentage of a group misbehaves, why should the entire group be punished? I mean, when I was a student, I was one of those good students. In fact, every time a report card went home to my parents, a similar message would be written in the comments: Trishna is a pleasure and joy to have in class. So, yes, I was pretty angry that I was getting punished over the actions of a student who I had never even seen or spoken to before.
But let’s get back to the story. The punishment the entire grade had to sit through, was that—during lunch, for the rest of the year—we had to sit with our homeroom class. Furthermore, once we sat down with our meals, we weren’t allowed to get up unless we raised our hand and received permission. That’s right, thanks to that student, we were being treated as if we were in kindergarten. That was a blow to my ego! (Not that I have much of an ego). But this wasn’t too much of a problem for me. The problem was that my friend was not in the same homeroom as me. So, suddenly, we weren’t allowed to sit together anymore. Luckily, I did have friends in my homeroom with me, so I wasn’t lonely. But I was silently fuming at that student for acting like a child and starting the food fight and causing this mess.
After a few weeks had passed, the school decided to give us a reprieve. We were told to pick somewhere to sit and “this is where you will sit for the remainder of the school year.” So obviously my friend and I chose seats together, and—after that—everything was perfect.
Unfortunately, about a year later, my family and I moved to Belgium. Back then, social media wasn’t as popular as it is today and there was no way I could have sent text messages from Belgium to Houston. My friend and I did email for a few months, but eventually that died out, and I officially lost touch with her sometime in 2007.
This was the situation until a few weeks ago! Because one evening I was on Facebook and this friend came up in my “suggested friends” list on the social media website. Of course, I had to click on the page and make sure it was the same girl. Guess what, it was! At that moment, I was no longer a 24-year-old journalist and aspiring educator. I was a 12 year old pre-teen who was reconnecting with someone that had been an important part of my school days. I messaged her, she replied, we talked and made plans to meet in the near future. I haven’t met her yet, but—when we do—it will have been at least 11 years since we saw each other (maybe more, if we don’t meet until next year). But hopefully that isn’t the case.
So, there you have it, the positives and wonders of social media. Without seeing this girl’s name on my Facebook, I may never have had the opportunity to meet her again. So, yes, social media can be a hindrance, but—use it correctly—and there is no stopping its wonders.

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