DOES IT BOTHER YOU? Social media creates flawed perception of teens

Filters+on+social+media+are+popular+as+they+change+the+user%27s+appearance%2C+but+what+are+they+hiding+in+their+place%3F

Lara Del Vecchio

Filters on social media are popular as they change the user's appearance, but what are they hiding in their place?

By Gabrielle Kesh, Managing Editor

Does it bother you that people on social media present their lives dangerously inauthentically from their reality to achieve popularity? Our Instagrams, Snapchats, Facebooks and more are flooded with pictures and videos of people whose lives just seem so much better than ours. We lounge on our couches gouging on bags of chips as we stalk the accounts of fitness models and celebrities wishing we could look like them. We scroll through Tik Tok and watch videos of people with tons of friends and thousands of followers—and somehow our lives seem incomparable. Social media has caused us to believe that everyone around us is perfect, while in reality, we are looking at a huge combination of good lighting, makeup, PhotoShop and Facetune.

Behind a smiling selfie could be a girl who just finished crying after an anxiety attack. A picture of model who you get jealous of because they’re so skinny could actually be suffering from an eating disorder. The video of the cute couple that made you wish you were in a relationship could be fighting when they’re not in front of the camera. It is this false internet world that has pitted us against each other for popularity and has made us self-conscious about our own lives.

The CEO of Instagram announced that the platform will start to hide the “like” count on Instagram so that only the user who posted the picture can see their number of hearts. In the world of social media, the more likes a person gets equates to their popularity or “coolness.”

People will spend hours figuring out the perfect pose and editing their physical features ever so slightly so that they appear tanner, skinnier and blemish free. Without the pressure of the “like” count, will people continue to flood their social media with their best pictures possible, or will Instagram become a more casual and relaxed place for people to freely express themselves? Is a number of likes really worth all the stress?

Instead of working hard to make ourselves look perfect, we should work harder to embrace our realities. Social media has placed constraints of us to look a certain way and is adding stress to our lives to look like the people on our feeds.

It is time to address that fact that the more time we spend trying to one-up everyone else on social media is time we are wasting living our lives. The reality is that we are all humans and therefore we all possess flaws. Blemishes and stretch marks are not things that we should spend hours using apps to cover up, but rather parts of ourselves that we should accept and learn to be proud of. Social media tells a fake story, and it’s time we start sharing our real ones.