Social media creates more hurt than pleasure

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Social media creates more hurt than pleasure

Savanna Briscoe, Staff Columnist

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It is true that what you may see on the internet isn’t always reality. Social media has become an outlet for those who want to portray a picture-perfect life. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and many other social media sites have made it easy for users to create a false image of themselves, only ever showcasing their highs while hiding their lows. Most humans want to feel accepted by society and by those around them, even strangers. But, when we live in such a judgmental society with so many expectations placed on us, we feel it necessary to create this falsified version of ourselves online. 

Social media has not only destroyed self-image, it has destroyed an entire population. Every day, these social media outlets are filling our heads with thousands of lies. We catch ourselves comparing our bodies, our lives and our careers to complete strangers we see on the internet. It’s a natural human instinct to compare ourselves to those around us. Rather than providing benefit, it becomes more of an issue when we are constantly comparing our lives to the lives of Instagram users or to someone’s Facebook profile. Social media is not only damaging our character, it’s destroying the way we see ourselves.  

It’s sad that we live in a world where appearances are our number one priority. We are so worried about how we look on the outside, so focused on how others see us, that we are slowly losing ourselves; we have let social media consume us entirely. Our self-worth is now determined by how many likes we get on an Instagram post, instead of our qualities and true identity. Social media is destroying our minds, as it’s forcing us to always want more; we are never satisfied. Humans feel the need to be more than what they already are because social media has told us we aren’t enough.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great outlet for connecting with others, especially if you want to keep in touch with extended family members and friends. I myself have been an active Instagram and Facebook user for many years, and during this time I have learned that there are certain “rules” a user must follow. About two years ago, an old friend of mine was giving me unsolicited advice on how to use Instagram the proper way. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I was utterly unaware that there was a correct way to use social media. They told me that if your picture doesn’t get at least a hundred likes within five hours, you might as well delete it. After receiving such superficial advice, I was taken by surprise. I couldn’t comprehend how or why a person could be so focused on the number of likes their picture got on social media. We have been trained to only put the best images of our lives out into the world so that we can continue to create an unrealistic life that isn’t really ours at all.

With all of that being said, many still don’t take into consideration how our false advertising online has a negative impact on our viewers, our followers and on society as a whole. When we hide behind a screen, we aren’t showing who we really are as a person. We tend to leave out any negative aspects or struggles we face because we feel the need to make our lives seem better than they actually are. As humans, we have invented this notion, these sets of rules one must live by in order to be accepted in a society full of judgement, hatred and self-absorption. It is evident that social media has made us fear displaying our true selves and the battles we face to the world. I believe that we are afraid to be authentic online because we often fear rejection. 

It’s time we stop putting our energy and attention in all the wrong places. We must not let what we see on social media affect us to the point that we continue to question everything about ourselves and our journey. Moving forward, I hope we as a society can become more aware of the effects social media has on our minds and how we view ourselves and others. If we continue to allow social media to consume us, we will never be satisfied, nor will we ever be able to fully embrace the life and opportunities we do have. Instead of creating this unrealistic life online that isn’t reality, focus on being true to yourself and maybe others will follow behind you. Let’s be the change we want to see in the future.