Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype…these are all tools in social media that most of us use for many reasons. To stay connected with our friends and family. To create a ‘society-acceptable’ image of ourselves and make it known to the world (and not only is this for some women, some of you men out there have this thirst for acceptance as well). Especially for us teens seeking a pass time activity such as posting selfies and staged images that look almost perfect, and sometimes even posting random senseless photos get us the Facebook thumbs ups and Instagram hearts that we want. Sometimes all we really spend our time and focus on is me, ‘myselfie’, and I. Perfecting and covering the flaws we each have and wearing a bright smile that screams…help.
Most day’s social media has more influence on people than the Pope has on Christians.
Did you like hearing your phone notify you that Steven likes your photo on Instagram? When you wake up and check your social media site just to see that Melissa shared your post on Facebook? OF course, we all enjoy knowing that other people like our stuff, our opinions and points of view, our perfect pictures, our fun time at last night’s party. We like being liked. This feel-good sensation is super powerful, knowing that we are one step closer to being popular, accepted, and even looked up to as someone with the best qualities.
Did you know that you could actually plan when you are most likely to get the most likes and when the greatest amount of individuals will be online to see your instant posts? After reading an article by Hannah Schacter called “Me, Myselfie, and I”, I realized that there are some people out there, and you may be one of them, that takes the time to schedule when they are to make their posts. At just the right time and day, more people will see the post and therefore there is more opportunity to receive likes, shares, comments, etc. There is even a way to make sure that all of the comments you receive are 100% positive. Hannah is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology at UCLA, and the information she shares through her article really made me think twice about how serious people are about social media.
Social media has its influence on many things, but when it comes to who we are social media has a huge influence. It effects is in good and bad ways, like most things. Jane Friedman talks about how social media has enriched her life and she shares many stories on how it has through her website (https://janefriedman.com/social-media-change-life/).
People use social media to keep in touch with their family and loved ones, they use it so find others who are like-minded and feel like they are not alone, and people use social media to share stories and memories with your friends in a more convenient manner. Social media can turn your mediocre dress into a fabulous gorgeous piece of material because someone told you that somewhere in the list of comments about it. Having a smile on your face and being recognized for the good things you have to offer has a positive influence on who you are and the life you live. Who wouldn’t want to feel more beautiful than they think they are because of the nice comments about their previously updated profile picture.
Even through the greats feeling we can get form posts on social media, there can be negative effects as well. It is psychologically proven that swiping through the images of gorgeous women and men increases the depressive emotions in people. It is true that we are victims of comparing ourselves to others. Through looking at so many ‘perfect’ images and observing how good they are, we tend to feel worse about ourselves. This could be with the way we look, the quality of our relationships, and how talented we are. Emily Wierenga talk about how social media has weakened her quality of life and she shares her experience with social media through her website (http://www.emilywierenga.com/social-media-turned-bad-person/).
Emily is journeying through life trying to find who she really is, her identity, as we all are.
Who are you really? You do not need to answer this question, but promise me you will keep it in mind. When you spend hours in the mirror. When you next see someone that you think you like. When you cross the finish line of a race. Finding yourself is not supposed to be easy…but defiantly worth it.