Hiding Behind A Screen


Social Stigmas fill the brains of humans across the world. Social Media sites allow communication and entertainment to be very accessible.

The world of Social Media is ever changing. While hiding behind a screen, can social media be a harmful place, or a place for people to express themselves?  Social media is generally a place for people to connect with others, share content, and participate in social networking. 

  People around the world are using apps and social networks daily. Social media is vast and retrospectively untouchable due to how big it is. 

  Social Media is a place for those to create an entire new identity, or express themselves in a way they are unable to in the real world. Social Media can act as an outlet. People are able to post things that make them happy, feel included, and show the world the version of themselves that they want to be.

  “I feel like you are more able to express yourself physically through fitness, fashion, cooking, etc. It is easy to bring up the more light hearted aspects.” Senior, Payton Aughnay stated

   Nowadays, especially with a pandemic, social media and apps are able to act as messaging platforms for those who can not see each other all of the time. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and so many more, allow people to connect with each other, whether it be a long distance relative, or a close friend. 

  “I feel like it gives you more of an opportunity to talk to people. At least for me, I use it as a way to communicate. I guess I like being able to see what my friends are doing when they post stuff” Junior, Maddie Laucher stated. 

  Instagram and Snapchat may be used to share news about big life events or funny moments. In addition, social media can be used to spread positive messages. High school students may use their Instagram stories to repost quotes and messages to influence the people that view them.  

  “I follow a lot of motivational accounts, and when I see something that resonates with me, I usually share it so my followers can see it and pass it on to others. I think it is important to spread kindness, and so people know they are not alone.” Senior, Jenna James said. 

  On the other hand, social media has its negative influences. An increase in social media usage can lead to FOMO (fear of missing out), low self esteem, depression, and many other things. When it comes to FOMO, people see their friends and family posting their life on an app, and often wonder why they can’t be enjoying the same opportunities as others.               

  People, especially teens, see a lot of pictures and posts of other people’s lives when scrolling through their feeds. In reality, a lot of things online are not real. A lot of people post more “perfect” moments than other moments that aren’t going to get them likes. Viewers see their “perfect vacations”, their “perfect lives” and then reflect on their life and think that their life may not be as amazing as what they see. 

  An abundance of posted pictures are usually edited, some more than others. Some images show unrealistic beauty standards and are normalizing them when they may be unachievable. For example, Kim Kardashian and her family display a lot of unrealistic beauty ideals. When asked during interviews if she thinks she is promoting those ideals, she denies it. 

  “Nikita Dragon has had many plastic surgeries, not to mention she is trans.” Sophomore, Victoria Xiong said, “Don’t get me wrong, she is beautiful, but just unrealistic.”

  In order to achieve today’s standard, humans may feel the need to go through plastic surgery, lots of editing, and rigorous amounts of fashion and makeup. Beauty standards have been raised due to the addition of these items. Without being influenced by what others see and do, these demands may not be as high. 

  “[Unrealistic beauty standards are] something that an average human being couldn’t get unless altered (by) plastic surgery, photoshop, the usage of makeup, ect” Xiong stated. 

This brings down a lot of people who use social media, because they think that they can never achieve that beauty. This can lead to an increase of depression and a lower self esteem. 

  Social Media is very vast. There is so much to see and do. How the world uses social media, and how it impacts humans is indescribable. Is social media a harmful place or a way for people to express themselves? Send a letter to the editor for student input!