by Faith Garcia: Staff Writer
The modern world has become obsessed with equating self-worth with likes on Instagram. Social media does wonders for connecting people from all over the world, but it also creates an extremely hostile environment for people, specifically young girls.
The world is at our fingertips, and that can have horrible consequences. It can be so easy to look online and see what someone else is doing, halfway around the world, and recognize that because we are not doing that, we are somehow inferior. It is important to understand that social media presence does not equal self-worth.
Social media is not an accurate representation of the real world, or the people in it. No one posts the hard parts of their life for the world to see. It can be hard to remember that we only see the seemingly well-manicured versions of other people’s lives, but it is important that we do reach that realization. It’s easy to feel unsuccessful in comparison to the achievements of others, but no one is posting their failures on the internet!
Theodoere Roosevelt said that, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and the use of social media is more often than not the trigger point of comparison culture. The simple solution to this problem would be to eliminate the use of social media altogether, but we all know, that is far from realistic. The truth is, there are many vantage points to using social media! Apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are some of the most used forms of communication in today’s world. In fact, 82 percent of people over the age of 13 in the United States use social media. To say that everyone could simply stop would be illogical.
However, there are ways to limit the effect that social media has on our mental health, and that of others. Being more mindful of what we post on the internet is a good start. Before posting, ask yourself, “How many people really want to see this?” or, “How many people do I really want to see this?” We don’t always understand the impact that our activity on social media has on others, especially in regards to this “comparison culture,” and it is important to take a step back and evaluate our time spent on social media apps.Another way to limit the effects is to be aware of your triggers. Use social media mindfully, and step away from it if you feel that you are comparing yourself to others.
Social media can be a wonderful tool for the world to use, but it is crucial to understand the effects it has on ourselves and the people around us.