The problem with social media


We’ve all had that moment: Looking closely at our ever-growing phone screens, wondering “should I post this selfie?” And in an instant, we hit the post button. The selfie is now released into the world, awaiting judgement from our “followers.” Moments pass by, and no one has liked the selfie. We begin to think “maybe I can delete it and no one will notice.”

And that’s where the problem lies.

Social media is social affirmation on a scale so terrifyingly large that it’s overtaking our everyday lives. I mean, we literally get endorphins from seeing our phone light up with a notification.

We often hear the phrase, “the whole world is at our fingertips,” and today that’s true. Most of our daily social interaction comes from some form of social media, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, or even Snapchat. The social needs required to live a healthy existence can now be fulfilled by looking at our phone screens.

But social media takes that healthy human act and turns it obsessive.

Show me a teen who doesn’t know how many followers they have, and I’ll show you a liar. I’m guilty of it too. Heck, I even celebrated when I hit 100 followers. I even find myself taking pictures when I go interesting places just so I can post it on Twitter when I get home and I think a lot of teens do the same.

Social media gives us this incredible power to pick and choose the best parts of our lives to display to the world. But there’s a difference between sharing and putting your life on exhibition for the amusement of others.

Sharing the highs of your life is natural, and those supportive of you should easily be able to celebrate in your successes.

Putting your life on exhibition to “show off” to others makes you a painting loosely hanging on a wall of people who don’t really care. If you feel pressured to make your social media interesting, then you’re giving into society’s constant need of validation. It sounds cliche, but you should be able to accept yourself regardless of what the Internet thinks.

Whatever we do, we’ll likely never be able to escape from the clutches of social media. It’s here to stay, but it shouldn’t define the way we feel about ourselves.