article by Gabriella Aubut
edited by Elizabeth Marston
screenshots taken from author's laptop
As you roll over in you bed, your eyes catch the sight of a new notification lighting up the room. You know that you have to get up early the next morning and get ready for school, but you can’t fight the urge that’s telling to pick up your phone. As you read your latest Instagram notification, it informs you about a very popular, new style of eye shadow. You click the home button, punch in your four digit code, and Instagram opens itself up. You view this new post, but can’t help thinking, “I wish I could look like that.” These thoughts run through the minds of most social media users who have seen a model or celebrity looking their best.
Social media has that sort of affect on its users. It helps spread around what society thinks is perfection. We constantly see celebrity photo shoot images, but they aren’t natural. Before those images are released, they undergo a process called photoshop, where they are edited and altered to make sure that they fit society’s mold of perfect. Large hips, flat stomach, and a thigh gap. Society also expects men to look their best. Skinny, but muscular, perfectly tan, and relatively tall.
Over the years, we have been expected to fulfill impossible standards. “Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills,” (thehuffingtonpost.com). Most people know that the stuff on social media is glamorized and made to look flawless in the people’s eyes. Social media has negative effects on self-esteem and relationships. “80% reported that is easier to be deceived by others through their sharing on social media,” (thehuffingtonpost.com). Social media helps to hide the “imperfections” that occur in life behind a screen. It helps to create a masked persona of perfection for all of its users.
Society only wants perfection. The next time you post a photo or a comment on your social media, I want you to think about what you’re doing. Is it one side to your life? Are you only posting the good side of your life? What about the bad? Don’t use social media as a way of hiding behind a screen, use it as a way of empowering you and others. Encouraging them to be the best that they can be, not what society wants them to be. Don’t enforce society’s rule of beauty, enforce your own.
Silva, Clarissa. “Social Media's Impact On Self-Esteem.” TheHuffingtonPost.com, Oath, Inc., 22 Feb. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/social-medias-impact-on-self esteem_us_58ade038e4b0d818c4f0a4e4.
This website is pretty much about the “paradox effect” that social media gives off and how it affects people's relationships, and in a way creates a barrier of communication. It talks about how real life has been put into the form of social media and people forget how to interact in real life. We used the statistics to get a better understanding of how it really affects people.
Coronado, Orfelinda. “Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem in Teens Linked toSocial Media.” MyAccessHealth.org, Access Health, 1 Sept. 2016, www.myaccesshealth.org/news/anxiety-and-low-self-esteem-in-teens.
This website informs us about how online communities may have a direct impact on its user’s mental health. It tells us how teens are exposed to easy forms of attack. We used this website to inform us about how social media uses anonymity to attack self-esteem. It informs us that, even though social media can be a really a really good form of connection, it is also is a very easy way to target self-esteem in anyone while hiding behind a screen.
Jacobson, Rae, and Child Mind Institute. “Social Media and Self-Esteem| Impact of Social Media on Youth.” ChildMind.org, Child Mind Institute, Inc., 2018, http://childmind.org/article/social-media-and-self-doubt/.
This website pretty much sums up how social media affects teens self esteem and makes them feel bad about themselves because they feel as though their peers are doing much better and more successful in life than them. We used this mainly to get an idea of how much damage this actually does on at teenage brain.
Ehmke, Rachel, and Child Mind Institute. “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers.” ChildMind.org, Child Mind Institute, Inc., 2018, http://childmind.org/article/how-using-social-media-affects-teenagers/.
This website targets technology and the way, not only teens, but kids use it and how their development is affected by it. It informs us about how social media is promoting anxiety and lowering self-esteem. We used this website to show how social media impacts the well-being of all of its users and everyone around it.
Kanouzi, Jack. “Self Esteem in the Hands of Society.”Bioethics.Yale.edu, Yale University. https://bioethics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/SELF%20ESTEEM%20IN%20THE%20HANDS%20OF%20SOCIETY-1.pdf
This website tells us about how self-esteem can cause problems when it comes to building a strong, healthy relationships. It informs us about how these self-esteem issues can be the cause of serious diseases, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. We used this as a source to show how society’s hands are the controller of self-esteem.