Would the world be better off without social media? That is a tough question to ask considering all the advantages that social media has brought to the world. However, they have downsides as well. While on one hand social media networks seem to bring people closer together, in contrast, this opens the window of peer comparison. One can start to value their worth by the amount of attention the receive on the web. The media have a way of avoiding the truth about the harm they harbor by trapping users under a false claim of what their reality should reflect.
Social media are an instrument used for the social interaction of ideas. The “social” refers to the informative interaction with others virtually. The “media” implies the source of the medium the message that is interpreted through to the viewer. The incorporation of both has significantly affected the way people construct and convey information. It is the lack of knowledge about the association of social media that can hurt civilization.
What people may see is not always what they will get, meaning deception is very much alive in normal society. Scrolling down Instagram, for example, an individual may come across two teenaged girls that are the epitome of perfect. They have beautiful skin-kissed skin, bright blonde hair, slim curvaceous bodies, and bleach white teeth. Right below their picture is a number representing the number of likes they received: 549. How can just two individuals receive that many likes in one hour? Young girls ask themselves that question every time they open up social media applications. They also start to wonder how come they do not receive the same amount of attention and admiration. Little by little, each day they pick apart their flaws and try to mirror their image to match the one on the screen. Images like this are not ever just images. For instance, Instagram, which purely consists of pictures and videos, paints a representation of how young girls in this day and age should be or at least aspire to be. If one looks anything less than the attractive picture, this can create feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. This is an example of one of many ways social media can provide false outlooks. The majority of the women on this planet do not look like that, so why is there pressure to look a certain way? But the real question is, is it the media's fault or humankind’s?
Low self-esteem is not inherited. It is taught through an individual's environment. Due to the birth of social media, there is a sense of perfection to yearn for. Society focuses on how things should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, or posts will not receive as many likes. Videos are uploaded to Youtube on how to format a page to attract more followers. In all honestly, it is a numbers game. If a person posts in a stylish setting, for example, an expensive restaurant, the more likes they may get. The number that is attached to the post determines their ranking in the eyes of their peers. Individuals display a representation of how they want their life to look. It is a way to tell people that they are alive and whole. In reality, their actual life may contrast what they uploaded to the web.
The control that social media has over society is extreme and should not go overlooked. The use of media in society can portray both positive and adverse effects in society. It is the decision of the individual to be aware of how they perceive themselves and others online, or they will find themselves and their future generations spiraling down the wrong pathway.