Yes, Social Media IS Fake
Editor's Note: Recently we were contacted by a smart, vivacious college senior who told us she'd become passionate about media literacy after seeing the impact of the media's representation of the female body upon several of her friends. Additionally, she recently experienced a very personal tragedy that further cemented her concerns and interest in media, particularly social media, and the role in plays in the lives of youth today. We thought it was important to share her story with you...
Social media plays a key role in the lives of adolescents today. According the the Pew Research Center, as of 2018, 95% of high school aged youth, 13-17, reported having access to a smartphone. On top of this, nearly half of the demographic reported using social media daily.
Platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube serve as windows of opportunity for us to share different aspects of our lives with friends. But media consumption also has the ability to impact an individual’s identity in many different ways.
As a college student, I have personally been part of the the social media movement. When I was in the sixth grade the first iPhone was released, and since then I have seen social media exposure not only impact my life, but the lives of those around me. While social media allows me to keep up with the lives of my friends from around the world, it often lowers my self-esteem. If I scroll through Instagram at any given moment, my feed is flooded with photos of people having the best time at the beach, skiing, or simply just eating out with friends. On social media, everyone appears to be living their best life all the time. This leads to the unhealthy mindset that we have to live up to this standard of being perfect on media all the time. If I am feeling upset about myself I can simply post a “cute” photo on media of me and my friends doing something “fun.” While there may be a sense of instant gratification when this photo is gaining likes, it is all fake.
"On social media, everyone appears to be
living their best life all the time."
Yes, social media IS fake.
Through social media you are able to live an artificial life through a screen where everything appears perfect. This is damaging because instead of accepting and expressing our true emotions, we conceal them to live up to the idealized unrealistic standards of beauty and success on media. By constantly feeling the pressure to live up to this fake life, many teens often face feelings of isolation and depression.