YouTuber Lindsay Demeola Gives Us Advice on Oversharing, Fake Friends and Online Hate

You might know Lindsay from her social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube where she talks about Mental Health, shows her beautiful puppies and shares her everyday thoughts. To talk about a topic related to the online culture and this “persona” a lot of people are creating nowadays to showcase the best version of themselves they can, I had to interview a person who knows the “online industry” we are living in now from YouTube videos to Instagram likes and Lindsay was that person, take a look at her thoughts.

As we know sharing is a prominent part of the online culture we live in today, from sharing a picture of the great cup of coffee we had to our deepest thoughts and feelings, do you personally have rules on what to share on your social media? Or do you go by more by your instinct and whatever feels right to you?

It’s a bit of both for me, I mostly post by instinct though. I tend to try and be as truthful and raw as possible with everything I speak about my feelings and thoughts. Sometimes I’ll make it more general, or leave out details that may be too personal, but most times I try to use all of my experiences to my advantage because I love the idea that someone else can relate. It’s super rare not to find at least one person who relates to my deepest thoughts or a situation I got involved in. So for me, it’s great and calming to know I’m not alone, and I know it’s definitely heartwarming for others who think the same thing. Definitely is a “Wow, I thought I was the only one” type of deal which I really love.

There was a time where people were more “anonymous” on the internet but nowadays our online activities are a fundamental part of our lives, the problem comes when your online personality drifts apart from your real life persona. Have you ever experienced it? Do you have advice on how to get back on track?

I mean I’ve never personally ever shielded any part of my personality, and I think that’s what attracted people to me in the first place. I have a ton of followers who have literally watched me grow up and change and become the person I am today and have said they loved watching that happen, the whole “finding yourself” thing. But I’ve experienced dealing with people who are totally different than their online persona, and I never understood the point to it. I feel like it’s not genuine in a way because you end up having people love you and support you online, but it’s not REALLY you they’re appreciating, you know? It’s a fabricated person almost, but I also don’t want to say I don’t respect it because everyone has their own reasons.

My advice to anyone out there who is in that situation and wants to show more of themselves and who they REALLY are would be to make it a gradual process of slowly sharing more and more about you and how you really feel, think and act. You’re you for a reason, don’t hide it.

You have over 200,000 followers on Instagram and as many of us you share pics from your everyday life but there’s certainly a difference on how many people have access to what you post. What do you think about Instagram being ranked the most dangerous social media on terms of mental health?

I think that all social media platforms are equally as dangerous in my opinion. Any platform online gives hateful people a way to say mean things to someone, and I think the worst part is that there’s not really a way to get away from those people, no matter how safe the app tries to make it. They’ll always be there, and that’s the sad truth. It kills me to say that even, but as someone who struggled a lot in the beginning when I started social media and the hate I got online it truly is the best to ignore it. I used to feed into it, entertain it, and worst of all, believe everything these people said. But now I’m sure the most important thing to do is to know your worth and that you’re so much much more than what anyone who doesn’t know you has to say.

On your YouTube channel, fine whining on your Mental Health Monday’s you talked about hate online. Do you have any extra advice on how to deal with it?

Like I said in the video, what originally helped me was trying to mentally put myself in their position. As someone sitting at home, on their computer or phone, typing these things out. Why were they doing it? Why did they feel this way? How did they choose who deserved to have such harsh words thrown at them, and why was it me? Something about trying to put that into perspective for myself helped me understand where it was rooted from. My main advice would be to really focus on self-love and acceptance, and truly understand that hateful people are projecting their own insecurities and problems onto someone they see as an easy target or someone they can tear down for their own benefit. Dealing with people like that and being able to brush it off is not an easy thing to do, I won’t even act like this is easy. It’s not. It’s a hard and long process but again, self-love and acceptance are SO important, and when you have conquered both of those things, you’ll be unstoppable.

Do you ever feel the pressure of being “under a microscope” to some extent where people try to fill in gaps of something you shared or even your relationships?

All the time, literally every single day. The downside of sharing my life online is that people tend to over analyze, or try to make my situations fit people they think or know I’m friends with without even knowing. 99.9% of the time, it’s not true and the internet ends up fabricating an entire storyline full of characters that aren’t supposed to be there in the first place. I could like a guy friend’s Instagram post, and we’re automatically dating or tweet something about my past, and it automatically means I’m feuding with my best friend. I understand that sharing this much online obviously subjects me to this kind of thing but it’s for sure an incredibly negative downside that I would for sure be happier didn’t exist.

Do you ever feel fearful of starting new relationships and not being the person they might have thought by the image they have of you online or because they want something out of it?

It’s usually really easy to spot when someone wants something more from you than a genuine friendship so I would say that I am incredibly cautious when it comes to new friendships, especially because it’s not so much about someone wanting to gain something via MY online presence, it’s more of them wanting to be in with my friends. Usually the signs are noticeable when people want something out of me, for example they are super persistent on taking photos together and insisting I post it and tag them, they get upset when I don’t follow them back on social media and they even make plans asking if my friends will be there, or suggesting I invite them… things like that. It’s frightening to me that these are even things I have to worry about honestly. I never thought I’d be in a situation where I had to be mindful of who I’m speaking to and who I’m letting in, and it’s especially hard doing that in Los Angeles but after five years of being surrounded by a huge number of people who act that way, it’s been a live and learn experience for me. I’ve had a handful of “friends” I thought wanted to be around me for me, and it wasn’t the case. I’ve dealt with mild cases of that, and also some pretty insane ones but it’s definitely a learning experience and at this point, I almost have a sixth sense for that. Another thing that helps avoid that is also, spending most of my time staying home and working.

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Catalina M. Gorbitz
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Catalina is an 18 years old communications student who loves to read, write and old rock music.

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