April 16, 2024
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We live in a new digital world where everyone is obsessed with their phones and social media apps such
as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social media can provide many benefits such as connecting with
friends and family; however, it can also come with some downsides as we often spend too much time
comparing ourselves to one another and only seeing the positive events that transpire in each other’s
lives. When we go on social media, we see happy memories, vacation pictures, good news and new
events that are happening in someone’s life, but we don’t get to see the other side of that- the real side
of people’s life. No one has a perfect life and everyone has daily struggles that often are not presented
on social media. I believe that in a way, social media is not real. When we get on apps like Facebook and
Instagram, we aren’t interested in seeing some of the struggles someone is going through, we want to
see a picture and a quirky/cute caption to go along with it. When you look on someone’s page on social
media, you see their “perfect” lifestyle, when that isn’t always the case. We don’t get to truly know and
understand someone through a picture, we get to learn someone truly through their actions.


Furthermore, on social media, you can edit and Photoshop pictures in whatever way you want others to see you as. You can add a filter to your pictures, hide your blemishes/acne, and change the shape of your body/face. We have become so used to celebrities editing their photos to look “perfect,” that we believe we also have to do those things to fit into society’s standards. Social media has limited the
aspect of us presenting our true authentic selves, because of opinions from others and an ideology of
how we are supposed to share our lives. The use of Facetune and other photo editing apps have made it
seem like our natural self isn’t good enough, when this is not the case. This causes unrealistic
expectations. Sure, in the short term it might help your self-esteem, but in the long run ruin your perception of body positivity.


Also, social media has become a toxic environment, as it is filled with hate comments and vile language
that degrades another person’s actions, looks, etc. For example, whenever ESPN makes posts about
female athletes, there are always horrible comments that illustrate sexists’ remarks that degrade
women. These hateful comments can be found all over social media apps, not just on ESPN’s platform.
People have gotten too comfortable bullying behind a screen and have forgotten how their comments
actually make people feel. I believe part of the reason is because, as a society, we have gone away from
our morals and care less about people’s feelings. These negative comments and hate speech can cause
depression, anxiety, low self esteem and other harmful effects. People need to learn how to spread
kindness and positivity instead of negativity and hurtful comments.

@RyanMcNamara95 @JuanCarlos78744 @SmartAshKid @adrissypoo @elliottheiney @jdykstra34

Today, younger children are exposed to social media and this exposes them to a toxic environment at an early age. It makes younger children believe that they have to look and act a certain way to be like everyone else they see online. These younger children are starting to dress and act more grown-up to fit in with what they see online. When I was younger, I was worried about what Barbie dolls I was going to play with, and now these children are worried about following influencers and the latest trends instead. They are using their own imaginations less and less. With this new digital era, we have exposed children to the toxicity that social media brings at such an early age, potentially affecting them as they get older. I think we need to allow kids to be kids and limit the different things that they could potentially be exposed to.


Personally, I know I have struggled with social media and feeling depressed. I often take breaks away
from being online and posting to just regather myself. I find myself comparing my life to other people’s
and being jealous of something they might have done or overthinking if someone will have something
negative to say about what I may have posted. Over time, I realized that if someone doesn’t like what I
post online, or has something negative to say, they can simply unfollow me. Spending time worrying
and thinking about everyone over myself will do nothing but hurt me. I have learned that it is best for
me to take breaks away from being online and just live life in the moment. Living life in the moment
brings me joy, because I focus on the things that truly matter, and the people that are most important to
me. I would recommend everyone take a break from social media every now and then to allow
them to be away from drama, unimportant stuff, and insteaf focus on the events that are currently going
on in their lives.


Ways You Can Lessen Social Media’s Impact:
• Limit how late you get on social media
• Turn off comments under posts
• Block out hateful words so they don’t show on your feed
• Limit your screen time every week
• Know that what you see on social media is NOT always real
• Know that people only allow you to see what they want you to see
• Follow people/accounts who post positive content
• Think about the content you are putting out and why
• Take a mental break away from social media and delete your apps for a week or two
• Unfollow/block accounts that post hateful/negative content

Mercedes Wampler

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