By Asha Taylor / Staff Writer
Have you ever constantly checked your Twitter feed, only to come across nonstop posts of people with incredible styles, unreal facial features, and perfectly fit bodies? Or have you ever been so bored that all you do is watch Snapchat stories of people who appear to have tons of friends and do a variety of exciting things on a daily basis?
In these ways, social media has begun to negatively influence society by applauding specific qualities of people that are believed to be ideal. For example, curvaceous bodies and flawless makeup are showcased as the norm. The feeling that you get when witnessing this facade presented to you through social media is labeled as social comparison. Social comparison is typically how a person reacts to seeing someone skinnier, or even more polished than they are. Unfortunately, social media has allowed for social comparison to grow. Due to the daily usage of social media, we are more susceptible to self doubt, and people allow social media to change their perspectives of reality.
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This message reigns true, as our judgement of ourselves is the only opinion that matters. Since we’ve allowed social media to become a customary part of our daily lives, it’s crucial that we do not concede to it’s false advertisements.
Realistically, it’s foolish to believe that someone’s better than you because you are different from them. Everyone is unique in their own way, making you special. Despite social media’s opinions, you’re beautiful in your own way. Combating social media’s influence may be difficult, but strengthening your confidence in yourself makes it easier.
While social media’s role in today’s society can be overwhelming, it’s important to view it as an alternative world, where people only show the best of themselves. Most people prefer to post images of themselves in their best light, and with our social profiles we have that power. Consider how many attempts it took for that perfect picture, or the amount of time spent for someone to look a certain way. Identifying that is immensely important, because it reveals that we aren’t perfect. No one is perfect.
Social media persuades people to believe that having bigger physical assets is better than not, or that revealing more is better. It chooses to celebrate some aspects of people’s personalities and bodies. Thus, leaving some people out. Over time we’ve seen social media advertise skinny women, and later advertise thick women. Within both instances, someone was left out. During those times someone felt inferior simply because social media tricked them to believe they weren’t accepted. Social media does not advertise diverse people nor diverse bodies. It is unrepresentative of the diverse, mixed, and unique world we live in.
A healthy way of avoiding situations of self doubt, on social media, is to be realistic. View things as they are, and be sure to identify the effort behind those seemingly “perfect” photos. Everyone has their own tricks to achieve the perfect post. We all aim to catch that great lighting to give the “flawless skin” effect, and pose differently to accentuate our features. Acknowledging that we are apart of a technologically influenced generation, where social media is an important platform, means we cannot allow it to overpower us. Be realistic on social media, and guard yourself from social comparison.
Do not let social media change your perspectives of people, or of yourself. Whether we see it, or not social media sites can be powerful. They can cause us to question ourselves physically and emotionally based off of what it chooses to advertise. As long as we’re able to accept and love ourselves, than social media’s opinions don’t matter. Our differences make us who we are internally and externally, which is a concept social media fails to portray.