Nyamwenda Basila thinks of her smartphone as a part of her. Her mother, Mitila Bulambo, is perplexed by the concept of “following” and the amount of time her daughter spends on the phone.
Psychologist Serge Tisseron describes the Internet as a space where children can present fantasy versions of who they are and interact with celebrities. Basila reaches for her cellphone or laptop as soon as she wakes up, and she checks messages constantly.
Basila uses social media as a diary. She deletes posts that do not get enough likes. Her mother does not approve of everything she posts but realizes she is of a different generation.
Teens can post hurtful statements with little repercussion. Basila recalls an instance when online bullying entered the real world. School officials are increasingly dealing with the fallout of disagreements on social media.
Basila changes her approach to social media and distances herself from her online circle. She posts a video of her reciting an uplifting poem and helps her mother through a difficult time.
Basila invests in her friendship with Witta Nicoyishakiye. Nicoyishakiye does not often use social media and has less drama in her life as a result. Basila has also grown closer to her family.
Basila feels she is starting a new life at Brock University and now goes by the name Nya. Basila uses social media to network and promote her hair-braiding business.
Credits: Social Me!
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To teenagers, social media is more than just a communication tool, it becomes a way of life; a sphere where they can explore and create their own models, often at the expense of face-to-face interactions. As Nya enters adulthood, this young woman takes a critical look at how social media has impacted and continues to influence the shaping of her identity, experiences and values.
Length: 24 minutes
Copyright date: ©2015
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