How Could Social Media Be Affecting You?

Kelli Mann, Writer

In our world today, many new and improved electronic devices and updates are coming out each and every day. A major improvement in technology around the world were smartphones. These advanced phones that can fit right in your pocket have advanced the ways of communication and socialization. Especially through social media. Due to the fact that social media is so widely used by teenagers, we don’t really look deep enough into the mental effects it may have on the users.

Social media can be both a negative and positive experience for many teenagers in the advanced world that we live in today. Positively, it helps to increase the insight into other people’s lives. Additionally, it helps to increase communication over long distances. Negatively, it can reduce face to face communication. A more significant negative to social media usage is that it can raise physical and social expectations and lower the self esteem of many teenagers. Child’s Mind Institute tells us that, “Magazines and advertising have long been criticized for upholding dangerously unrealistic standards of success and beauty.” Many teenagers are viewing unrealistic  advertisements and pictures of models and suddenly feeling as if they are expected to appear as flawless as the people in these false pictures. 

Things like photoshop and editing make it possible for people to change the way they look in photos before they post them. “It makes me feel insecure because it’s not how people actually look,” says Abbey Taylor, a student here at SWHS. Abbey views photoshopped posts on Instagram as false expectations of the way people are supposed to look.  Along the same lines, a SWHS student, Labeebah Junood views fake and photoshopped posts as something that damages how secure she feels with herself. “They lower my self esteem because I don’t feel like I fit in,” she says. When viewing a photo that has been photoshopped or edited, many teenagers begin to think lower of themselves because they don’t look like that. Photoshopped photos put out a false image of how people are supposed to look. Therefore, if a person doesn’t look as skinny or as pretty as another person in their Instagram post, they are deemed as not good enough.  The false images make people who don’t seem as flawless feel as if they aren’t worth anything. All in all, social media is leaving teenagers with lowered self esteem due to the expectation to be perfect.