Sitting in my first communications class as a college freshman we were given the topic to create a speech to persuade people on effects of technology in today's society. Of course the topics of texting and driving, video game violence, lack of activity in children, cyberbullying etc. all buzzed around in my head. The idea of Instagram and it being used as a false reality popped into my head when I read this article about a girl named Essena O'Neil who was Instagram famous and was tired of always having to post "perfect pictures". When she announced she was quitting social media she said “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real. It’s contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers. It’s perfectly orchestrated self absorbed judgement. I was consumed by it.”
This gave me such a different look on social media and the things people post, especially the ones who are just in it for the likes. I asked myself the question of are we really presenting who we are or are we presenting a glamorized image of ourselves? Instagram is used more than any other social media for people to post pictures of themselves, places they have been or pictures with other people. From my own experience, I have turned down the idea of posting a picture plenty of times because I didn't think it was "Instagram worthy" or posted something on snapchat but when I went back and watched the story realized that's not 100% how the situation played out. Perception isn't always how you see it when it comes to the world of social media. People use their profiles to show “who they really are” and the way they express themselves. Everyone has an ideal self, many wish to be someone different, have a better career or become more financially stable. Many people feel this way because they are forced by the feeling of a challenge, achievement or status by other people which gives them the reason to want to be different or more successful. They feel challenged because of seeing these photos of "Instagram famous" people,celebrities, as well as everyday people who own nice cars, live in nice places and do things some people could only imagine and they are capturing these quick little lavish moments of their lives to broadcast to the world. With the help of social media people are able to achieve their “ideal self”, people feed off of the reactions they get from what they post on social media. It is seen as a self esteem booster, which is a reason to continue to give a false persona. It leads to people becoming addicted because they are able to get away from their real selfs and have people see them for someone different. “This is because the site is picture-led and photos are the easiest way for people to show off because they provide an isolated snapshot in time” (Daily Mail) 'Self-promotion triggers more self-promotion, and the world on social media gets further and further from reality.' Perception isn't always everything, people use their profiles to become who they want to be and not always who they really are. The increase of users gives reason for people to become more addicted because there is more to look at and see everyday. People become depressed because they spend so much time trying to make their lives like they way they see it from other people, and they aren't always able to succeed.