If you’re at all social media savvy, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of Shaine Dawson. The UCLA student has quickly grown a large social following because of her uplifting messages and authentic voice. Not everything in the media is particularly positive today, especially on social media. It’s great to see someone spreading positivity like Shaine Dawson has.
She’s now able to do it all and it’s thanks to her Twitter feed. She’s been to the Billboard Music Awards and has scored internships at places like Young Hollywood. We have to say, we’re kind of jealous. But, even if there weren’t any cool experiences or social media fame, she’s just an all-around awesome and positive person.
Life is short. choose to be happy. It's so easy to let the negative thoughts consume you, but just know pain is temporary 🌹
— Shaine (shay-knee) (@shainedawson) February 9, 2017
Check out our interview below to find out even more about Shaine Dawson and what she has to say about social media, college life and her empowering outlook.
People are really taken with your inspirational messages and Twitter feed. How did you get started on these social platforms and why do you think they took off so quickly? Did you ever expect them to take off like they have?
Funny enough, I made a Twitter when I was 14 years old to have my friend meet Justin Bieber. I created videos where I had Justin’s fans from all over the world join and the videos eventually caught the eye of not only the Biebs himself but also his manager Scooter Braun. Scooter helped fulfill my goal of having my friend meet Justin! It was Scooter Braun who inspired me to share my outlook on life online as his social media presence was never filled with negativity. As I grew older I shifted my Twitter’s focus to be inspirational advice for situations that I was going through — as sort of an online diary. I mainly tweet advice that I want to follow and lessons that my friends and I are going through. I am 21 years old now so my Twitter followers have seen me transition from a timid girl to a confident young woman. I never expected my social media to take off as quickly or successfully as it has but I think the reason behind it is that I have always been my authentic true self.
Your Twitter feed is super uplifting! What is it that inspires your positivity?
I am a pretty positive person by nature! I don’t like to stay sad so I am constantly in my head reminding myself to focus on the brighter side of things. I developed the mindset at a young age that pain and stressful situations are temporary, so you might as well endure the process knowing that you’ll come out a better and stronger version of yourself. In the end, everything always works out so you might as well just try and live your happiest life.
In moments that you don’t feel like being so positive, what are some ways that you practice self-care when you’re feeling down?
In times where I don’t feel like being positive, I learned that that is when you need to be ‘selfish’ and take care of your mental health. It’s okay to shut off your phone sometimes and take a breather. Whenever I am stressed or in a funk I do things that make me happy or I turn to Twitter to write down and release my thoughts. I find it helpful to know that situations I am going through tons of other people are going through or have experienced as well. My advice for anyone out there who is feeling down is just to treat yourself – whatever definition that is for you.
Is there anyone in particular who inspires you and why?
My mom is my main source of inspiration. She taught me from a young age that you can either let adversities crumble you or you can choose to rise from it. So with every situation, I try to do exactly that. At times where that advice gets hard to follow, I learned to surround myself with good people and their energy rubs off on me. I think that is the key to life — having a good support system. My friends and family really do that for me.
Your social media presence has really blown up. Do you find that there are any challenges that come with your social media popularity?
The only real challenge I ever came across with social media was battling with being authentic vs. trying to create a perfect, happy image. I went through a phase where I was heartbroken and it was hard for me to be positive but I didn’t want to just put out uplifting thoughts that I wasn’t experiencing. So in those times, I chose to stay real and it was during that period where I was really able to connect with people. I was receiving messages from people all over the world saying how they relate to me and were inspired by my vulnerability to share my thoughts. I learned that being a positive outlet doesn’t always mean being happy, it means being a source of inspiration to get through life’s daily struggles. That is my only real challenge… I don’t really let the number of followers or things of that nature get to my head because that isn’t what matters. It’s just cool to have an online outlet of individuals to turn to.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received and how have you incorporated that into your life?
The best piece of advice that I have ever received is to not let things I can not control, control me. And honestly to just to live life and not take everything so seriously!!! We all experience hard times but where you choose to tailor your thoughts in those moments really define who you are. I incorporate that in my life whenever I start to have a pity party for myself. I remind myself that dwelling on the bad things won’t fix my situation, only I can, through my actions.
You recently mentioned on Twitter that you want to open an online store for your followers, which is a fantastic idea. How are your plans going with that?
I have never had the time to sit down and pour all my energy into opening up an online store, so when I graduate that is going to be one of my biggest priorities. I definitely want to put something out there to share with the world, but I am not exactly sure what. I don’t want to just make something that has no meaning, so I will definitely turn to my followers for help on what to create.
Is there anything else that you have on the horizon for your post-graduate life?
Similar to most college students, I don’t have a set plan for my post-graduate life. The advice I keep giving myself is to not limit myself to a certain job or lifestyle. I want to be open to trying new paths. I am taking life as it goes but ultimately I want to create a life for myself where I am able to help people.
You’ve mentioned in a post that you’ve attained internships because of your Twitter feed. Could you tell us a little about your internship experiences?
In 2013, my name trended worldwide because my Twitter followers wanted for me to meet Justin after helping so many fans meet and get noticed by him through my videos. They were successful in doing so and after that moment companies started to notice my Twitter. In May 2014, this company called Dick Clark Productions reached out to me via Twitter asking me to attend the Billboard Music Awards to document my experience across my social media platforms. It was in this moment that I realized the profound effects of social media and how I could pursue a career in the entertainment industry. In June 2014, Dick Clark Productions hired me for the summer to help strategize ways to promote their television show, Rising Star. I got the opportunity to work alongside Rising Star‘s judges, Ludacris and to actively updated social media platforms for his and the television show’s fans. After that summer, I landed an internship with Young Hollywood and continued to cover award shows for Dick Clark Productions (which I have ever since). I also got to intern at the Montecito Picture Co. a movie production company on the Sony Lot! Back when I started my Twitter I was often teased for my social media life and once I started landing once in a lifetime opportunities, people’s attitudes began to shift. It just taught me that you can’t let other people’s negativity ruin your vision. If you have a unique talent or path — go for it!
How has your time at UCLA helped you prepare for a potential post-grad career in media?
UCLA has definitely prepared me for a post-grad career in media and entertainment. The communications program at UCLA places a high importance on gaining experience through internships, which I found to be extremely helpful. Beyond academics, the students at UCLA are all very motivated which inspires me to be better and reach for greater things. In general, college has prepared me for life post-grad because I have evolved so much as a person.
Do you have any advice that you’d want to share with readers? Can be college-related, life-related or anything else you’d like to share!
My advice to any college students reading this is to not be so hard on yourself. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s success because you have your own unique path to create. Just go at your own pace and don’t even waste your time explaining to other people your vision. Be proud of where you are and be confident that you will get to where you need to be. Tune out any negativity and just embrace the challenge. Don’t just think that you can handle adversity, know that you will.