Column By J1 Reporter Scarlett Henery
It is difficult to think of a world where snap chatting, Instagram posts, or the ding of the BeReal notification doesn’t exist. A world where there’s no TikTok stars or controversial tweets.
Living in the 21st century has programmed me to believe that I need to be in constant contact with all of my so-called “friends” on all of the many social media platforms.
I am expected to share my life, my thoughts and my pictures with everyone. The thing about social media is that I can’t get rid of it. It will always be around me. Maybe I can delete the apps off of my phone, but what about that school Instagram account with the picture of me, or my friend’s homecoming post from freshman year.
Although it may seem easy to live a social media-less life, we will never truly be able to live without it ever again. I will always be on social media, in one way or another.
But don’t get me wrong, social media isn’t all bad. It’s how we get our information, how we can see events, people, places, and almost anything we can think of. It’s also how we judge others, and how we can tweak how others perceive us.
The scary part of social media is that it seems as if all eyes are on you once something is posted. You are out there, in the world, for everyone to see. Once posted, the public can start making their assumptions, judgements and even comment their thoughts.
Teens can get so stressed about what they post to the point of deleting their post. They will get rid of what they thought they liked enough to post, just to avoid being disliked. I am guilty of this, almost everyone is. It is impossible in this generation to have everyone like you, but still, we try.
What is our obsession with having complete strangers find some sort of interest in our lives? We post what we think people will like and base if we like it on how many people decide to double tap their screen. On social media, people usually post the sides of their lives they like, the happy, beautiful, aesthetic parts of their lives. This gets into the toxic part of social media.
What we see is not true reality, but simply the highlights of people’s lives. I often see these posts and compare them to my own life. Questions come to my mind asking “Why am I not at that concert?” or “Why can’t I be that pretty?”
Social media is tempting us to look into other people’s lives and compare them to our own. It makes us feel as though somehow we are living wrong, and as if our lives could be better. Now in response, we create another appealing post of our own, blinding others of the harsh, sad realities life is filled with.
Our social media will always be there. Our tweets, posts, comments and snaps all leave behind a trail of digital footprints. This endless cycle of posting, reposting, likes and shares is something we will never be able to truly get rid of. So, the cycle continues, creating the new culture of obsessive people constantly glued to their screens.