Social media, selfies, and self-esteem

Social media has become a huge part of society today.

Social media has become a huge part of society today.

How many likes on your Instagram post is normal for you? Do you think less of yourself if your picture does not get a certain amount of likes? Would you delete said post if it did not get very many likes? Surprisingly, more and more people are letting things like this affect their feelings of value and self worth.

“Yeah, I delete my posts if they don’t get enough likes,” admitted senior Jessi Vasquez and many others in the classroom agreed with her. The stereotype may be for girls to do this, but this is definitely the case with some guys as well.

Social media is changing the younger generation in our society, and not entirely for the better. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and VSCO, popular social media apps, were all started with the intent of having fun and promote self-expression. They are creative ways of letting people know what’s going on in their lives, which makes it easier to stay connected to people. But now it has been turned into a popularity contest of sorts. It’s a game to see who can get the most likes. It becomes a personal problem to us if we don’t get little blue thumbs or those cute hearts from our close friends, family, and especially crushes. This shouldn’t be an issue…but it is.

The question is not if we should get rid of social media, because it is a way of self-expression and daydreaming from the pictures of the many adventures of others, but rather how do we become less personally affected by it? If you don’t think jealousy strikes your mind when you see a friend get more likes than you or seeing others living their so called “great lives,” you are probably lying to yourself.

Most people only post their “best” moments on social media, and therefore many forget that no one has the perfect life. The suggestive pictures of both males and females add to the many insecurities we now come face-to-face with today. Along with those, the pictures of friends (that left you out of the plans) are adding to the social anxiety of kids, teens and young adults. Not only are these posts adding to the followers insecurities, but it also can affect the person that posts it when they don’t get the attention they thought the post would receive.

Insecurities are a part of every person’s life and are virtually unavoidable in today’s social media era. While small amounts are normal and even expected, our insecurities tend to run rampant and take over our lives. The younger generations are constantly checking their phones, watching the ‘like’ count of their latest posts, or even checking the posts of rival “friends” or “frienemies”.

Insecurities show in many, and often, unhealthy ways. For example, posting constantly on Snapchat stories so everyone sees what you and your squad are up to, regularly or excessively updating Facebook and Instagram posts with your selfies lookin’ flawless, and even passive aggressive liking (i.e. you’re at home scrolling through your feed and happen to see your friends out having fun, they obviously didn’t invite you, and now you’re liking there posts hoping to make them feel bad about it). More and more people seem to be letting their fears and insecurities direct their lives, without a clear way to change their behavior.

Solving this problem will be a process but there are many things to think about. One thing everyone needs to understand is that you shouldn’t pick yourself apart about what you don’t like about yourself. What you may like about, and you might not know, is that they may hate that about themselves.

Another thing is that if we all kept our negative comments to ourselves the world of social media would be a better place. Social media should be a place of positivity where everyone can give (might I add appropriate) self-expression. Not only does no one want to see it, but you should respect yourself enough to keep it to yourself and your significant other. In addition, don’t complain about people posting negative comments on your post if you are letting it all hang out. Lastly, the world is hard enough as it is, if we all lifted each other up, encouraged others to be themselves and were more proud of ourselves we could all take life a little easier.