Social Media In The Twenty First Century

Jordyn Safranski, Special to The Big Red

For the children of today, social media has become the overarching priority of our lives. If you take a look at the people around you, I would bet that more than half of them are on a cell phone.

Social media can be a fun and easy way to stay in contact with people you don’t get to see as often. However, it can also harm us.

Despite being surrounded by other human beings, we feel the need to constantly be on our phones texting, snapchatting, checking Instagram, Twitter, and scrolling through VSCO, for the fear that we may be ‘missing’ something. Always having our phones within grabbing reach, we hold onto the things inside the unlocked screen and let that determine how we live.

From the perspective of a seventeen year old girl, I can tell you that social media norms control us more than most realize. We are always caught trying to please the audience.

Our focus is on the satisfaction of our followers, rather than our own happiness. Photos are posted in attempt of indirectly getting a certain someone’s attention, things are unwillingly tried due to peer pressure, the instagram models on the explore page is a prominent fantasy, jealousy about another’s post is not abnormal, trying to get a lot of likes is, but never seems like wasted energy, and reading offensive comments is sadly just the truth.

By letting these concepts persuade us to be followers- literally- we are left with our happiness in the hands of other people.

We get so hung up on wanting to make a good appearance on social media, that we do not focus on the reasoning behind its creation.

Instagram was made to share photos of our lives to our friends, not to post provocative pictures to get someone else’s attention or to get an absurd amount of likes. Snapchat was created to send silly and embarrassing pictures to close friends for a laugh, not to have the most amount of streaks. Twitter was designed to share our thoughts with people we know, not to see how many retweets we can get.

These apps were made to make people have the ability to easily express themselves. Not to establish some sort of unannounced popularity contest.

Our intense use of social media not only affects our lives, but it affects the relationships we have with others.

The inanimate objects containing our lives, oddly give us the courage to say things we most likely would not say to someone’s face during the same conversation. Despite the ways that may seem positive, I can promise you, it is anything but that. It may be the deadliest thing to revolve around us.

We are only then vulnerable and have the courage to put everything out there.

We say the things that we are afraid to even say out loud. All because we can so easily hide behind the lit up screens that hide our deepest secrets and darkest moments, yet give us the unique ability to portray ourselves as what we hope others may see us as.