Social Media: Is it Actually Social?

Lately, my parents have been reprimanding me on how my phone never leaves my hand. They never fail to remind me of how much I have changed, ever since I got that phone. They tell me how my phone has become more important to me than spending time with them. I always start to argue, but today I held my mouth. When I actually took into consideration what they said, it haunted me to pieces, just thinking about how true they are. When I’m bored, I look through and laugh about vines, both old and new. When I should be taking notes in school, I capture random pictures of friends to Snapchat. When I’m at a family party, it is almost a necessity for me to write a Facebook post about how boring the party is, even when it’s not. And I’m more than sure that there are many other people who can blindly relate to this.

Teenagers of this generation revolve their life around social media. They constantly search for the ‘perfect’ Snapchat story that would make their “friends” think they’re funny. That post you see on Instagram with a clever and witty caption? They probably scoured through every website they could to come up with a caption that is captivating and will get more likes. Too busy being worried over how to make others think they’re cool, teenagers tend to forget about the true meaning of friendship. In this era, it is more so the idea of sharing the “fun” time they had, rather than actually having fun.

“Hanging out” has evolved into taking an abnormal number of selfies and posting them on social networking sites. Criticizing and making fun of a new tweet on Twitter of a mutual enemy has become the top conversation among a group of friends, rather than discussing more time-worthy topics. An acquaintance of mine recently found out that his girlfriend only dated him to take cute couple pictures with and make the world think they’re “#relationshipgoals”. Social media was designed to better communication and make it easier to reach out to your friends, but why is it that it is only worsening and making relationships unhealthy?

Additionally, social media is what makes people feel insecure about themselves. They feel the need to look like the hot person that they stalked the night before. Teenagers think even worse of themselves when they compare their life to the perfectly filtered life other “popular” people post on social networking sites. Since the rise of social media’s impact on teenagers, self-harm rates among this youth has raised significantly. Teenagers are constantly reminded of how imperfect they are, through social media, when there is no such thing. In the wise words of a YouTube phenomenon, IISuperwomanII, “..comparing your life to people’s life on Instagram is like comparing people’s highlight reel to your bloopers, but that’s not actually what it is.” Social media was supposed to be a form of sharing noteworthy thoughts and opinions, but since when did it become a platform of society’s standards?

Social media has taken the world by storm, in more bad ways than good. It has become a huge influence to today’s youth, almost a way of life. To understand this impact social media has on you, a teenager, try to stay away from your phone, laptop, and any other technology where these sites could easily be accessed, for 5 days straight. It seems like an extremely short period of time, but the impossibility of this task will finally put it into perspective for you and make you realize that social media, is in fact, not social at all.

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