Effects of Social Media

Bailey Woodall, Staff Writer

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Social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest affect the way we picture important events that happen in life: marriage, birth, relationships, and the way people live their lives. Social media is essentially a highlight reel. People aren’t going to post the bad that is going on in their lives, only the good. This creates an image of perfection. Others view their page and long to be them.

I want to talk about how this affects mental health and the way people may view certain events in life. There was a post on Twitter that went viral. It included images of a beautiful wedding and someone had tweeted the images with something along the lines of “women wanting the dream wedding but not realizing the difficulty of marriage after the wedding.” In other words, women are more excited to have a wedding than they are the actual marriage.

I believe this is social media’s fault. Women scroll through Pinterest or see their favorite influencer have a dream wedding and instantly want to live up to that expectation or want to rush the process of finding a husband just to have the wedding. It takes away how special that commitment between husband and wife is. Also, I believe this is why divorce rates are much higher than they were before social media. A wedding can be beautiful but that doesn’t mean the marriage will be.

Aside from life events, mental health is affected. People compare their lives to the influencers or the Instagram models. These are people that are paid to make their lives look good. Having the perfect hair or perfect body isn’t as achievable as it may look on social media. Again, it’s a highlight. People feel less than they are because they don’t live the way these influencers do. This starts to mess with the way they view themselves. They start feeling not good enough and like they’re supposed to be following the trend of what’s on social media.

Social media can be a very uplifting and positive platform, but it can also be negative. It creates unrealistic expectations, and when people try hard to achieve these expectations, they lose sight in what’s in front of them. Constantly trying to get that “perfect lighting” or take that “aesthetic” picture prevents you from enjoying your surroundings. It adds unnecessary stress just to get likes on the internet. Bringing attention to what social media can do to someone’s mental health is the first way to help improve the good in social media. We should stop comparing our pages to other peoples’ and we should start living more in the moment, enjoying life, and worrying less about capturing the moment just so it can be posted.