The effects of social media

By Lili Heintz

Social media has its ups and downs. Through this internet life, we are able to meet people that are miles away, keep in touch with people while on vacation or after they’ve moved, get jobs, and see what people are up to every day. These apps have many good things to them, but they can also have some bad sides.

Personally, for me I have to use social media for my job. I am required to post about my life or modeling jobs so that clients can see who I am, and it could lead to more jobs. They get to see my personality when I am with my friends, by myself, and also when I work. I have to constantly be on these apps to make sure my image stays maintained. Personally, I wish that it was different. The younger generation has been changed by these apps.

In the month of March a popular app, that you probably have on your phone, called Instagram shut down for a day. People who I know did not know what to do. They started to freak out because they couldn’t post about their workout, what they ate, or what they were doing that day. I on another hand, was relieved because it gave me a reason to get off my phone and enjoy what was around me. I remember I was at a fitting that lasted all day so I couldn’t even be on my phone. When I got home I went on to post a picture that I took and that is when I realized the app was down. I then got to get off my phone and played some music and cleaned my apartment a little. For my roommates, they were freaking out because she took a picture in SoHo and wanted to post it. It was just such an eye-opening experience.

We are so caught up in making ourselves look interesting and to uphold this image of ourselves that we sometimes can’t even recognize. When we meet someone in person, we look them up later on the apps and will judge them on how they look rather than their personalities. We don’t try to get to know people anymore. Everyone just wants to hear the short story and not the whole story. They just scroll on these apps to see where you are from, where your family goes on vacation, and what you do in your free time.

We will compare our lives to other people and be jealous even though we are living our own amazing life. There are people who will see a post from a model or an influencer and instantly be sad about their own bodies or personal image. It gives a more toxic mindset to people by saying this is what you should look like or how you should act. Everyone is built differently, but it’s hard not to compare ourselves to other people. If you are unhappy while scrolling on social media, try unfollowing people who make you sad. Follow a pet account or something that makes you smile as you scroll through.

These apps can also ruin friendships. You will see all your friends post about being together at a gathering or event that you were not invited to. I struggled with this all through high school and even to this day. It can be hard because you try to fit in, but they might not know the real you. I just have to remember that sometimes it is not personal. That they could have honestly just forgotten you were in town or were free that day. I try not to get sad about these things anymore and try to make myself happy in the moment.

I am not writing this to suggest we delete these apps or not to post about your life. I wanted to write about this topic to show how these apps can be controlling to people. Yes, I will post for fun because I like an image, or I thought I looked cute that day or I want the guy I have a crush on to see it. I like to post on these apps because on days that I am down I can look at times I spent with my friends or did an amazing job.

I use it kind of like a photo diary so that I can look back on it and realize just how amazing my life really is. To be honest, if I didn’t have social media I would forget what I did last week or even 5 years ago. I just want you to be aware of how your life is with social media. Are you just posting things because everyone else is? Are you showing how fun you really are?

I want to suggest to whomever is reading this to post what makes you happy. Post a random caption about your day that made you smile, don’t try to post things because everyone else is. Be who you are so that when you meet someone in person they already feel like they can connect with you because you are constantly being yourself. Be the loving soul that you believe you are. Use social media in a way that will benefit your life.

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