Social media leads young girls to impress others rather than express themselves

Young girls are encouraged to post pictures on social media that portray things that they think will get them the most “likes.”

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by Katherine Green, Copy Editor of News

Growing up as a middle schooler and early high schooler, the world of social media seemed to be growing up with me. It was almost to its peak but not quite there yet. So as a younger girl, I was able to live my life without the thought of posting pictures on social media whenever I did something even crossed my mind. However, now that I have gotten older and social media has evolved, so has the generations below me. Although I may not be much older than those entering high school or my fellow high school peers, I have grown to realize that as the years go on, peers of mine and teenagers in general have absorbed the need of instant self-gratification. This need for instant “likes” or “favorites” leads to younger generations basing their own self confidence on the acceptance of others, or how many like they receive on social media.

Entering high school, I was nervous for all the girls I was going to meet. I had heard of a handful of future peers and attempted to look them up on Facebook, however few students continuously used this outlet of social media and even fewer used Twitter or Instagram on a regular basis. At the time I was nervous because I was not sure how to act around all the new girls I was about to be with every day at school. However, looking back on it, I would not have been half the person I am today if social media had played a large role on my life while I was still maturing into a young adult.

 

These outlets of social media today are rarely used to show your true personality through posts you choose to show with the world.”

In today’s world, maturing tweens and teenagers are encouraged by peers to create accounts on Instagram, Facebook, etc. Unlike my peers and me who thought breaking the double digits when it came to likes on our Instagram was a big deal as we entered our 8th grade and freshmen year, these younger generations have fallen vulnerable to this double-edged blade we call social media. Although younger generations have only known this idea of getting at least 50 to 100 likes in order for their posts to be worthy to keep on their social media accounts, my peers and even some older kids have also succumb to this same exact philosophy.

 

Countless times I have received texts from friends about when a good time to post a picture is, what filter they should use or what picture they should use. I, also, have done these things. The social environment that we live in has warped our views of these outlets for self-expression. Not only are people choosing what pictures or captions to place on the internet in order to portray a life that they think others will admire, some people have gone to lengths of deleting things for not achieving a standard amount of likes, as if the amount of times their peers, and quite possibly complete strangers, click the heart button below their picture impacts the value of the memory attached to it or the confidence the person posting it feels.

Although it may not be as apparent in the male population, I believe this need for self-gratification is truly detrimental when it comes to developing fully as a person. Especially with girls, self confidence and truly knowing your personality is hard to come by as a maturing teenager, or at least it was for me. When you set expectations for yourself on how you want to portray your lives to others based on how many likes you get on some post, not only do you become affected by the small number that appears below a picture that you post, your self confidence is solely rooted in the thoughts that others have on something so simple as a picture.

As a freshman at STA, the older girls I looked up to seem to be the girls who could openly be the best person they could be. Whether they were hilarious, super athletic, a natural genius, or just really driven, the upperclassmen always proved to be good role models. Social media played no role and had no effect on my admiration of these older girls and the inspiration I received from them to be the best possible person I was capable of. Although it is definitely possible, these outlets of social media today are rarely used to show your true personality through posts you choose to show with the world.

So the next time you decide you want to post something on Instagram or Facebook, I challenge you to not ask a single person about whether you should post it or not or ask your friends for likes. Post your pictures as something you are proud of, regardless of how many likes you receive and let your true self shine in these branches of self-expression.