From the second a tweet, share, or post is pushed, tens of thousands of notifications appear. Either through likes, comments, or views, social media is prevalent in almost everyone’s lives. Although it may seem trivial at times, social media has a greater impact on society than many may think.
For most people, social media has been the highlight of the century. This ranges from posting daily activities in an individual’s life to finding a way to meet new people across the globe. With the increasing use of technology, Laura Yon, sophomore, believes that social media will not only be able to connect people around the world, but to also help individual growth as well.
“I use social media to express myself, connect with friends or others who have similar interests as I do, [and] reach out and find like minded people on a global scale. These people inspire me to grow in my craft and feel more open and confident about myself,” Yon said.
Although social media allows people to connect and communicate with each other online, it also may increase the obsession over certain celebrities. This can include a simple romance over a celebrity to stalking certain fitness models on Instagram. Because of the availability of these photos, many teens such as Alexis Martin, senior, believes that this obsession may as well end up affecting students in the long run.
“For some, it causes people to embrace what makes them unique, while for others, they try to cover those things up in order to fit a specific standard of beauty. It causes them to strive for perfection when, in reality, it’s an unattainable quality. It’s made people emphasize everything as a flaw rather than something that makes them stand out from others,” Martin stated.
For some people, social media can be an addictive thing with countless hours being spent on it. This craze of getting likes, comments, or views can often make an individual become self-conscious or alter their personality online in general. According to Michael Allen, AP Psychology teacher, the addiction to social media are driven by chemicals naturally produced by the body.
“There’s a dopamine [or] chemical release in our brains whenever we get a like. It’s the same rush whenever we get a hug from a loved one or if we got an award for our work. The same chemicals are being released. It’s addictive. It’s something we want, we crave. If I feel I’m more liked, I’m gonna do things that I think more people are liking,” Allen said.
As a result of this, an influx of Instagram followers can be seen trying to attain the same body as they see from celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, a Marvel actor or Adriana Lima, Victoria Secret model. Due to this, a few individuals can be seen wanting to mimic their idols in order to hopefully attain the same body as them. Due to this urge to mimic the same appearance, Heather Willson, Women’s History teacher, believes people are continuously adjusting themselves to fit that mold.
“If you see enough of the same pictures, it’s going to convince you that is the correct way. Even though it’s been altered, scrubbed, and contoured, you don’t really think about that. You just see this perfect picture. It’s hard on students right now. There’s this expectation to match what they see and they’re bombarded with thousands of images of these models and they’re trying to warp their natural selves to these edited images,” Willson said.
Though social media may “force” an individual to change themselves entirely at times, it also allows people to wear a mask in order to create an alternate “more loveable” personality. In order to fit in with these social standards, people may find themselves altering themselves online which may be a complete betrayal of who they truly are. According to Miguel Mendiola, sophomore, people should not try to mask their true selves just to embrace a predetermined image of how they should look like.
“This impacts a student’s life because they’re tricked by the media to think that they need to change the way they look to be loved and accepted. In reality, the beauty of being human is having physical differences. Because people aren’t comfortable with the self assurance that they give themselves, people are always looking for acceptance or satisfaction from what someone else thinks,” Mendiola stated.
With technology increasing and becoming more advanced, it’s also evident that social media will continue to grow along with it. Social media can help connect people from all around the world while also impacting the way teens may view themselves. So next time you post something or scroll through your feed, remember that the best profile a person can have is from their authentic personality.