Social Media = Antisocial Individuals

Social Media = Antisocial Individuals

Emiliana Alvarez, Copy Editor

It is no secret that social media has been increasing its influence over our lives. Equally, pressures that come from these platforms have created a new socio-cultural group that applies to all who have access to the internet. These forms of connecting have completely transformed interactions between human beings. Each platform is different, but they all have problems in common. It can become a competition, create insecurities, show a false reality, emphasize beauty standards, create new pressures, and actually encourage lacking connectivity. Social media makes up a huge part of our lives, but simultaneously, has many negative impacts that prevent our proper development as citizens of the future. 

 

Snapchat is one example of how culture has changed. For instance, streaks and filters have become a part of people’s daily lives as they have continued to grow in popularity. The original purpose of Snapchat is to share photos or videos that will disappear once viewed. What was once fun and cute selfies has turned into what teens see as competition for points and higher streaks. Most brag about the number of streaks they have or their snap score. Many who use the app interact with others through one picture a day to maintain streaks without other forms of communication. In addition, its filters are used to retouch your looks, whiten your teeth, give you clear skin and even make you appear slimmer. This proves how antisocial ‘social media’ has made us, to the point where we just know people through the exchange of pictures of our ceilings or black screens. Filters are just another type of catfishing and hide all your insecurities. This does the exact opposite with one’s self-esteem as it gives people the possibility to compare themselves with these false expectations. Many will argue that Snapchat makes us more connected as it allows us to share pieces of our lives with our friends. However, Snapchat has become part of our daily routines to the point where we just send any photo to maintain streaks and improve our snap score. Snapchat could become what it once was, an app to connect with your friends. However, and much like Snapchat, Instagram also encourages images of perfection, which we try as hard as we can to become; the beauty standard.

 

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, but it has been proven to cause insecurities in its users, as they try to achieve this image. “Social Media creates a false body image because so many celebrities/influencers post pictures of bodies that aren’t humanly achievable, they just Photoshop them,” Sammy O’Connell, from the ‘Social Media Is Feeding Your Insecurities’ article, said. According to the same article, social media has caused insecurities in more than 60% of people. Influencers and Celebrities who live from their looks are what we aspire to be and therefore compare ourselves and find insecurities. These people forget that different things such as makeup, face tune, and good lighting can make it in a photo. And once again, people are catfished when they look entirely different in person. Either way, the idea of influencers is entirely overrated. They are famous for the polished version of themselves. Aren’t they supposed to be the role models, where they do good things for others, and not for their fame? On another note, Instagram has become a competition on who has the most followers, the most likes, more people in their DMs (direct messages). Some will say that Instagram gives us instant access to news and current events. Plus, it helps businesses grow through marketing. But these marketing campaigns mostly emphasize the use of products that will help you achieve the beauty standard. They use models who also fit the standard, resulting in an endless cycle of insecurities. We live in a capitalist society in which the easiest way to sell is by reminding you that you are not enough. Instagram sells through insecurities, which completely ignores the community. Texting is quite different, it usually creates a gap between people

 

Texting is a part of social media that we don’t pay much attention to, and we don’t realize how it encourages lack of communication and socialization. “The convenience of not having to interact with other people is making us forget how to actually become more social with social media and always keeping a conversation going on texts and different messaging apps,” Andres Calle, The Columbus School junior, said. Texting has caused a lack of interest in maintaining fluent conversations. It has become so easy that everything is at your fingertips. Fewer people talk about culture, politics, and such general topics, and conversations have become small talk where no interesting discussions take place, and deep conversations are less frequent. Many think this is quite the contrary; texting has connected us more and facilitated interactions between humans. But as I mentioned before, this has cut the flow of interesting conversations as we don’t need these types of conversations anymore. Texting has cut regular communication between people, and we tend to say more through text than in real person. This is due to insecurities and fear of what others may think of us.

All these types of pressures shape the people of today and future generations to come, resulting in an insecure society that aspires to looks and popularity. A community in which social media is more important than education and well-being. Working more on your image than working on solving the “achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is more common nowadays. Is this really what you want for all? Or just to focus on your fragile ego that can’t stand that someone is better than you?

 

Note: This editorial was written with help from the following sources. 

  1. KATIE TAM | December 2. “How Social Media Influences Culture and Language.” Letter, 2 Dec. 2017, www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2017/12/how-social-media-influences-culture-and-language
  2. Sklarov, Sasha. “Social Media Is Feeding Your Insecurities.” The Forest Scout, theforestscout.com/12429/in-our-opinion/social-media-is-feeding-your-insecurities/#:~:text=A%20Huffington%20Post%20poll%20found,self%2Dconscious%20about%20their%20appearance
  3.  León, Andrés. “This Is How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health.” Medvisit, 27 Feb. 2020, medvisit.io/how-social-media-affects-mental-health/. 
  4. Skylar, Blake. “Do Social Networking Sites Create Anti-Social Behavior?” People’s World, 8 Aug. 2011, www.peoplesworld.org/article/do-social-networking-sites-create-anti-social-behavior/.