The effects of social media

May 1st, 2019

By Lili Heintz

Social media has its ups and downs. Through this internet life, we are able to meet people that are miles away, keep in touch with people while on vacation or after they’ve moved, get jobs, and see what people are up to every day. These apps have many good things to them, but they can also have some bad sides.

Personally, for me I have to use social media for my job. I am required to post about my life or modeling jobs so that clients can see who I am, and it could lead to more jobs. They get to see my personality when I am with my friends, by myself, and also when I work. I have to constantly be on these apps to make sure my image stays maintained. Personally, I wish that it was different. The younger generation has been changed by these apps.

In the month of March a popular app, that you probably have on your phone, called Instagram shut down for a day. People who I know did not know what to do. They started to freak out because they couldn’t post about their workout, what they ate, or what they were doing that day. I on another hand, was relieved because it gave me a reason to get off my phone and enjoy what was around me. I remember I was at a fitting that lasted all day so I couldn’t even be on my phone. When I got home I went on to post a picture that I took and that is when I realized the app was down. I then got to get off my phone and played some music and cleaned my apartment a little. For my roommates, they were freaking out because she took a picture in SoHo and wanted to post it. It was just such an eye-opening experience.

We are so caught up in making ourselves look interesting and to uphold this image of ourselves that we sometimes can’t even recognize. When we meet someone in person, we look them up later on the apps and will judge them on how they look rather than their personalities. We don’t try to get to know people anymore. Everyone just wants to hear the short story and not the whole story. They just scroll on these apps to see where you are from, where your family goes on vacation, and what you do in your free time.

We will compare our lives to other people and be jealous even though we are living our own amazing life. There are people who will see a post from a model or an influencer and instantly be sad about their own bodies or personal image. It gives a more toxic mindset to people by saying this is what you should look like or how you should act. Everyone is built differently, but it’s hard not to compare ourselves to other people. If you are unhappy while scrolling on social media, try unfollowing people who make you sad. Follow a pet account or something that makes you smile as you scroll through.

These apps can also ruin friendships. You will see all your friends post about being together at a gathering or event that you were not invited to. I struggled with this all through high school and even to this day. It can be hard because you try to fit in, but they might not know the real you. I just have to remember that sometimes it is not personal. That they could have honestly just forgotten you were in town or were free that day. I try not to get sad about these things anymore and try to make myself happy in the moment.

I am not writing this to suggest we delete these apps or not to post about your life. I wanted to write about this topic to show how these apps can be controlling to people. Yes, I will post for fun because I like an image, or I thought I looked cute that day or I want the guy I have a crush on to see it. I like to post on these apps because on days that I am down I can look at times I spent with my friends or did an amazing job.

I use it kind of like a photo diary so that I can look back on it and realize just how amazing my life really is. To be honest, if I didn’t have social media I would forget what I did last week or even 5 years ago. I just want you to be aware of how your life is with social media. Are you just posting things because everyone else is? Are you showing how fun you really are?

I want to suggest to whomever is reading this to post what makes you happy. Post a random caption about your day that made you smile, don’t try to post things because everyone else is. Be who you are so that when you meet someone in person they already feel like they can connect with you because you are constantly being yourself. Be the loving soul that you believe you are. Use social media in a way that will benefit your life.

Dreams

October 1st, 2018

By Lilli Heintz

We all have dreams. Some people will end up chasing their dreams and hoping they become reality, and some people are more realistic and choose that dreams are just a way that your brain can escape. I am a dreamer. I tend to let my dreams lead me in life. To me, it’s a way that God can tell us how our life could be. The 5 year-old me started dreaming about becoming a model. This grew into my biggest dream to pick up my life, move to New York and be a model.

That’s exactly what I did. I have been modeling for five years in Houston, and it is one of my biggest passions. Many people have tried to tell me that it’s just a dream and that it wouldn’t happen. So I made it a point to prove to them that my dreams can become my reality. July of 2018, I went and met with my mother agency, Page Parkes.  I told them that I was moving to New York in a month and that I wanted to be signed with a modeling agency. We made an appointment with APM and I booked a flight to meet with them. I met one of their agents, Eric, a couple months earlier. We were laughing and cracking jokes and I felt at home when speaking with him.

Apparently, they weren’t going to sign me until everyone in the agency got to see me in person, so I knew I had to turn on my charm. Right before I walked in I called my dad and asked for prayer to calm my nerves because I was about to jump out of my skin and run back to Texas.

Have you ever felt like a panic attack was coming on? Like palms sweaty and not being able to hear over your heartbeat. That was my feeling the entire interview. I met with four agents total but luckily, I got to see Eric. I laughed and joked and tried to let my light shine the whole meeting. When the interviews were over. Eric came in and said “Okay so they all love you, you’re signed Lilli!” I felt like a million pounds were lifted off my shoulder! I have been dreaming of getting signed with another agency for so long and I was so happy! We took some test shots and he gave me the contract to sign. I then left and met up with my best friend, Mikah, who just so happened to be visiting the city. What a blessing to have her and her family there to hug since my family couldn’t make it.

I found what I thought was a move-in ready apartment in Brooklyn with two girls from Houston. On Aug. 13, my dad and I were on a plane with four checked bags and two carry-ons moving my belongings. From clothes to pots and pans, we had it all. Then came the speed bumps. We woke up to our early flight being cancelled and rescheduled flights were pushed back four hours. Once we landed, got our bags, and rented a car, it was midnight. We had been awake since 5 a.m. and were exhausted! All I wanted to do was get to my apartment and blow up my air mattress and pass out. Well, we walked through the door and my apartment was filthy! There were construction tools, dirt, mud, cups, and the best thing was no AC. Now you are probably saying that New York has great weather, well it didn’t. It was 90 degrees with 96% humidity. We were hot, tired and hungry, and our landlord wasn’t answering his phone. I was balling crying, maybe this was a sign that I shouldn’t have done this? Maybe I should just move back home and not go after my dream. But no, I am not going to let Satan get in my thoughts and tell me that this isn’t where I’m supposed to be. The disaster wasn’t over yet.

I spent hours scrubbing and washing things off. Over the next couple days, we got an AC unit set up, my bed, and parts of the kitchen. The gas company came to turn on our gas, and we found out that after a week of cold showers that our water heater was electric. Don’t worry I figured everything out, but three weeks later we have a leaky ceiling in the bathroom.

With all these bumps in the road, it can make you feel like dreams shouldn’t be lived out. Things have started to look up though. I am living in one of the most amazing cities in the world because of a dream I had when I was five. I have had many people tell me that I wasn’t going to make it.  Because I’m a pastor’s daughter I shouldn’t be doing this as my job. I love modeling and the feeling I get in my stomach before I walk on the stage or when the camera faces my way. This is something that I want to be doing as long as my body can do it. Then I will do my second passion, which is photography, and this job can open doors for that chapter in my life.

If you are realistic person or a dreamer we all have ideas of how we would like our life to be. Why don’t we shoot for those dreams? People told me they had a similar opportunity when they were younger and they turned it down, and that was one of their biggest regrets. I don’t want to regret not going after my dreams. There were things for me to do back in Houston, but I felt deep down for a long time that there are better opportunities for me. So why not get up and move to a new city that can help better my future.

Stop letting other people’s opinions control what you like doing. Why not show them wrong and show that you can do it. Show them that your dreams are your reality and go after them. I believe that you can do it.

Moments

April 1st, 2018

By Lilli Heintz

Snap, click, flash. When you read these words what do you think of? Do you think of the sound a KitKat makes? The sound a pen makes? The bright flash from the lightning outside your window? When I read these words something else runs through my mind. A powerful tool that is used to document time, to remember a special moment, to tell an unspoken story. When I read these words, the best thing comes to my mind. Photography.

In this digital world, sight is everything. Seeing what others are doing in their day-to-day life and how it is all shared through a single picture or video reveals what powerful tools we have at arm’s reach. We can use these in any way possible. When cameras were first brought to life, only the best of the best could get them. It was such a limited thing that it was an honor to use one. As time goes on now we use a camera and look at images daily with social media. Is it still an honor for our photo to be taken?

Digital photography has come a long way and we can do basically anything with it. We can edit our surroundings or the colors to make how we want the world to look. Digital cameras have made it easy to see every single detail of a photo, the cleanness of a photo and how lighting can make or break the outcome. The beauty of the crisp look and detail is what draws the eye to the viewers. Most people prefer the digital photography because it is a simple thing. We point our phone or lenses and can capture the moments as they come and can re-create a moment if we do not like how the picture ended up looking.

Digital photography is such a powerful tool and it has changed how I looked at the world. However, I have recently fallen in love with the way film photography works. The thought of having one shot to make everything perfect or to just live in the moment is captivating. The way the camera feels and sounds after you take the picture is music to my ears. I love the excitement of waiting to see the pictures after getting the film developed and sometimes not remembering that you even took. The grain and the imperfection of how the images turn out is so raw and simple. Even editing the final print can ruin it. The simplicity and rawness that comes from film photography is scary yet thrilling at the same time.

Living through a photo and seeing what the photographer saw is what people are most interested in. An unspoken story is told with one single snap of the camera. Every moment in photography is a snippet of time captured as it passes by.