The world today is centered around the media. Whether that be television, newspapers, music, books, or social media; we come in contact with it everyday.
Social media is the ultimate time-consuming media of them all in today’s generation. We wake up in the morning and it is the first thing we look at. We scroll through it before we go to bed, as if it is what puts us to sleep at night. Not to mention how much we check it during the day, while we’re at school or work or on a break, making sure we haven’t missed anything.
While social media can be a good thing, such as a network to connect with your long lost peers or a great way to advertise and reach a large audience with a simple click, it can also be a bad thing. It can become addictive and take up too much of our time. It can distract us from the important things in life. It can give us false expectations of the world. It can have too much significance in our everyday lives.
The most concerning thing is the impact that social media has on adolescents. More and more children are receiving cell phones or other devices at a very young age, where they are exposed to the world of social media.
Children are trying to figure out the world for themselves. They are vulnerable, confused, and easily influenced. They do not understand what the world is about. They are innocent. When you put social media in front of them, that changes. There is potential to be presented with information that no child should obtain. There is potential for cyberbullying, whether they are the victim or the bully. There is even potential for cyberstalking, considering that children don’t have a sense of personal information and what should be shared with the world versus what shouldn’t. While I’m sure that you could come up with a few positive influences that social media could have on children, they are inadequate compared to the negatives. When you put a child in front of a social media platform, it is much more disparate than exposing an adult to it.
A component of the negative segment of social media that I have become far too familiar with is the false perception of the world that social media gives out. As a child or a teenager, you go through changes; physically, mentally, and emotionally. You try to find who you are. You develop insecurities and have a hard time distinguishing reality with fantasy.
When you log onto social media, what do you see? Celebrities, “beautiful” people, nice cars, etc; a fantasy. You will notice that all of these things are materialistic or meant to meet an “aesthetic”. Social media will try to devise an image of “beauty." It will give people a verdict that says you have to be skinny and have a certain hair color to be beautiful. It does not show you what is on the inside, but only what is on the outside.
For young women struggling with insecurities, such as myself, we tend to compare ourselves to everyone we see in our path. We have this perception of beauty in our minds, in which we do not include ourselves. So when we log onto social media and see these “perfect” pictures of “perfect” people, it’s another downplay on ourselves.
Social media does not define beauty. Social media does not get to tell you that you have to have a certain something in order to be happy. It does not control you.
Social media can be damaging to the adolescent mind. It can tear you down. It can give you a false perception of what life is supposed to be. It can affect your life in numerous ways, but only if you let it.
What if there was no social media? What if it gave us the real deal of someones life, rather than the overrated features? What if it showed everyones flaws?
People tend to get wrapped up in the perception that others will have of them. They want them to think highly of them, maybe even envy their life. They don’t want you to know that they have flaws too. They want you to think that everything is perfect.
I am not saying that social media is all bad. I know that it has some good aspects to it, but only if it is used properly. Social media can be very damaging, especially to younger people. It can have a very strong effect on self love and self perception.
So, limit your screen time. Follow someone who will make you laugh rather than make you jealous. Spend more time taking in the moment. Go outside. Read the bible in the morning instead of checking your phone. Don’t fall into the trap.
Don't let social media control your life.