Please never use your phone to be unkind. These shiny black rectangles in our pockets embolden people with the enormous capability to hurt others. The screen lets us hide, lets us be ugly and small in ways that real people can see and feel… but whose experiences of our behaviors we can neither see nor feel. Don’t gang up on people. Don’t send cruel words. Don’t ever take candid pictures of strangers or acquaintances and share them to laugh or judge. Don’t do it at all. Let people enjoy the freedom of occupying space in the world without stealing a rectangle of it for your own enjoyment.
You will be curious about a lot of things in the coming years. Your body. Your sexuality. Your tolerance to alcohol or drugs. It’s OK to ask the magic Google machine in your phone these questions. But it’s better to ask your mom.
Your body is absolutely beautiful and powerful and delicate. It belongs to you. Only you. Please do not use your smartphone to share images of your body with anyone, no matter how much you love the person. I believe that young love is real. I’ve known it. I’ve lived it. I’ve been changed by it. But I am eternally grateful that I never had to make choices about sharing images of my body when I was in the swimmy, aching midst of it.
Try not to do duck lips when you take selfies. And don’t over-edit them. Your selfie game is pretty strong right now, but I see what’s out there. Resist.
I see a lot of what’s out there. Resist.
Don’t get sucked into YouTube all day. It’s gross and annoying. Read books, do crafts, bake, go outside, live a full life.