Social media has been around since the beginning of this millennium. It was designed and created with the intention of allowing users to complete tasks such as “sharing, learning, interacting, and marketing” (Inquire Web). People were able to connect with those they admired most, share personal moments with their friends, and interact easily with people across the world, all with the press of a button. How can something so powerful, so intricate be responsible for the destroyed mental health of teenagers across America?
The answer is in the question itself. Social media possesses infinite powers, and its intricacy is beyond what we have ever thought possible. (ever wonder why the Terms and Conditions no-one bothers to read are so long?). Social media users have the ability to filter and thoroughly edit their lives—so much so, that what goes onto their profiles and stories does not resemble their personalities even by the slightest margin. For many of today’s teenagers, social media is so integrated into our daily routines, we can’t go a day without it. If we do, it feels like we’re missing a part of ourselves. When we see view our feeds or “for you pages,” the perfectly edited lives of those around us make us question ourselves. We think, why can’t I look like that? Why can’t I own cars or technology like that?
Questions like this plague our minds as we use social media. That said, social media is a beautiful creation: some people have created and sustained their careers on social media, others have profited exponentially from marketing their businesses through sponsored advertisements on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Some businesses thrive off celebrity testimonials on the aforementioned platforms. We should learn to use social media with a healthy mentality, one that doesn’t allow for questioning of our blessings and privileges, and instead allows for us to interact with those that mean the most to us. This isn’t going to be an easy journey, but I believe in our generation.