This article was written by our writing leader Eunseo. Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!
As a 15-year-old, I use social media every day, whether it’s to send a goofy picture of my face to my friends or to look at cute photos of dogs. But that’s just one side of social media. Social media is a multifaceted, mysterious blanket of layers. Some parts, like the puppy photos, are innocent and fun. Other parts, like anonymous hate accounts or bullies, are much more harmful and have more serious consequences.
If you want one part of social media, you get the whole package. Hate is unavoidable on social sites. According to guardchild.com, 41% of teens had a negative experience as a result of using a social networking site. That’s almost one in every two teens.
Why is social media so harmful? One of the reasons is that in real life, you see every side of your friends. You see them angry, frustrated, upset, and happy. However, on networking sites like Instagram, you only see the best moments, the highlights.
This can be harmful to your mindset. You begin to think to yourself, “Wow, why isn’t my life as good as hers?” or “Wow, that celebrity has it so good.” What you don’t see is the work that goes on behind-the-scenes to get that perfect shot.
Nowadays, so many people depend on Instagram for their career. For some, being an influencer on Instagram is their primary source of income. Those people have professional cameras, lighting, and people to get the picture for them. How can you compare your normal, everyday life to someone’s top moments? According to a respondent on the #StatusofMind survey, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’.”
The amount of filters and apps that makes it able for someone to completely change the shape of their body can lead to issues like low self confidence and body dysmorphia.
However, despite these problems, social media can be healthy and not harmful, if you use it right. Here are some tips on how to use social media to benefit yourself.
- Unfollow any pages that make you feel unconfident or don’t represent the real you.
- Instead of those unhealthy pages, follow pages that make you feel better, such as a page of positive quotes or your favorite actress.
- Look up to people that promote body positivity and self-love, and project a lifestyle that is healthy and not harmful.
- Don’t be afraid to let go of things that are harmful to you. Following a “popular” account that harms your self-esteem is not worth looking cool.
- When it gets to be too much, take a break. It’s okay to need a break. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed by the amount of content or the amount of things we believe that we need to “keep up with”.
- Remember that real-life interactions will always be healthier and more beneficial!
- Social media should reflect the REAL you, not just a fake persona you invent. It won’t get you more likes, and you won’t feel authentic. Stay TRUE to YOU!
Social media can be used for good or bad, and it’s up to you to decide what side you’re on. It’s easy to get caught up in the nearly endless realm of possibilities, but stay yourself. Remember, you are beautiful no matter what!
Have you ever felt pressured by social media? Comment below!
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- Real Teens Talk: Social Media
- Real Teens Talk: Bullying
- How to Spread Positivity on Social Media
- Real Teens Talk: Photoshop and FaceTune
Feature Image Credit: freestocks.org via Unsplash.com