Comparing Yourself To Other People On Social Media

Dear Diary,

Social media has positives. It allows us to communicate with family and friends for free. But it does come with a lot of negatives…

Whether it’s mother’s competing over whose child can make the best macaroni rocket picture or teen girls obsessing over other people’s appearances – social media has made an enormous impact on millennials and generation Z.

Something a lot of girls do is post pictures of themselves with friends. It fascinates me how most of the time the photo isn’t a memory, an event or because they’re having a good time – it’s done with fake smiles to tell their followers that they are friends and are having a great time. When you’re a teenage girl and you see two of your friends hanging out without you – it can really hurt, but at the same time many people feel obligated to post these pictures. Of course you should never not post a selfie with your friend just because you’re trying to make others feel included – all I’m saying is be yourself and don’t feel obligated to share pictures that are simply there to show you have friends – if they are true friends they’ll like you even if you don’t tag them. Also if you are one of those people who feels hurt when they see other people in massive group selfies – ones where you are neither invited to be nor part of – remember something: However happy they all seem in that photo, they are seldom that happy and friendly when the camera is off.

I’ve noticed that many very young girls’ Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles are of them doing the “duck face”. Young girls as young as nine are seen pouring in a provocative manner and it is really bizarre. There is something very wrong with our society when little girls are pouting on their public profile pictures.

Being a teenager is hard, growing up is hard. Growing up with social media – is terrible. I used to have Instagram (a personal account that followed my classmates etc) but all it did was make me miserable. I never even realised how miserable it made me until I was forced to take a break from it by my Mum. It had become an endless cycle of seeing other people’s perfect lives, bodies, friends and lifestyles and it made me upset. I saw the girls in my year with friends out together and celebrities looking stunning.

But when I took a step back from Instagram, (don’t get me wrong the first few weeks were frustrating, my thumb was aching to like the latest posts and scroll through my feed) but after a while, I felt relieved. What you don’t know can’t hurt you and whilst I wasn’t up to date with who was dating who or which Kardashian posted which naked selfie – I was happier.

I still look at social media but I do it either through my blog or anonymously without following anyone I know in real life. I don’t use Instagram at all other than for my blog-though I barely use it for that either – because it just makes me upset.

Talking about looks and appearances, whether they’re celebrities or classmates one thing is consistent across social media, most people look perfect. Despite the irrational idea that these celebrities really look that good at every angle at every moment. In short, no, they don’t.

To prove how easy it is to manipulate the way we look online I’ve done a little experiment of my own. I took a few pictures today of myself – not looking my best. I gave myself 25 seconds on each photo to edit or use a filter and this is what I did. Bear in mind this was in 25 seconds, imagine what someone could do with professional assistance and time spent on getting good lighting and angles.

I was wearing some light mascara today so my eyelashes are darker than usual.

So my advice: put your phone down, take a break from social media and do something fun. Whether it be listening to music, reading a book or making a scrapbook-just stop comparing yourself to those fake pictures.

Medusa.

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