VSCO’s expressway of emotions

By Brenna Campanaro, Arts and Culture Editor

There are many social media outlets for teenagers to express themselves on, but VSCO, a free downloadable app, has been favored throughout the past couple years. It is primarily a female-based outlet, however anyone can use it. It’s a way to let people post photographs, but it is much deeper than that. This generation of teenagers has turned it into an expressway for their feelings.

Photo Courtesy of @ravynjarret/VSCO

VSCO acts as a safe place for people because they can post whatever they want, whenever they want. Unlike Instagram and Facebook, VSCO does not allow for direct interaction on posts. This distinctive quality of VSCO gives girls a sense of confidence because they feel more free to post content that is true to themselves and not seeking the approval of others. While they might still put a filter on an image, VSCO empowers teenagers to be themselves and show compassion towards each other.

“It gives girls a kind of confidence because I think some people over exaggerate a lot of things, but that’s what they want to see,” senior Lexi Palko said. “They want to see that people may be going through what you are going through and that’s what’s amazing about VSCO.”

Teenagers have turned VSCO into a place to vent about their feelings through photographs of tears and smiles or photographs of text messages and quotes. VSCO was initially created for people to show off their photography and editing skills, but now the main focus is on people, mostly adolescents, who wish to express their emotions and know they’re not the only one feeling this way.

There are no “likes and comments” as Instagram is, but there are republishes and favorites. The unique aspect about VSCO is that there is no way for anyone else besides the person who posted the picture to see how many republishes or VSCO favorites that they have received. This way, girls (and guys) can feel loved, whether it’s a mirror selfie or an inspirational quote.

Photo Courtesy of @caracontreras

“I think girls actually empower each other because no one can see who liked it or republished it so why not post what you want and know you’re not alone,” Palko said.

Even with all of the good VSCO provides, some teenagers might have taken the app too far. People are now posting about topics that they can’t even relate to, including seventh graders who post that it is a struggle to find the right guy and how being in love is hard. These kids are stressing about complicated and mature topics when they haven’t even hit puberty yet.

“Girls are using it to get attention because of what they post because like why would you want to put your business out there,” sophomore Zomary Santos said.

In a study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health, they came to a conclusion that teenage girls are more likely to have raised emotions about their poor body image and less self-esteem. Social media outlets have become so essential to a young adolescents life that it penetrates loneliness and a low self-esteem.

Photo Courtesy of @vxdb/VSCO

Teenagers will put the links to their VSCO account in their Instagram bios so people (almost always their crush) can look at them. Many girls do this because they want their crush to take a hint or make a move. VSCO has been changed by ambitious, maturing and heavily emoted teenagers and has created a new way of expression through photographs.