We all know how much beauty and social standards are changing everyday. But the question is, why? In truth, there’s an impact that gets overlooked on a daily basis, and its affecting people more than we realize.
From a young age, girls begin to pay attention to their peers and they compare themselves to the people they are surrounded by. As we grow older, we are exposed to more and more technological advances, one of the more recent being social media. With social media being a larger part of our lives nowadays, the children and teenagers of today are always seeing new posts and images depicting women that are considered ‘beautiful’. The main problem is that these images have been edited to enhance certain features and adjust certain parts of the body until it is pleasing to the photographer/editor. These standards and features that are considered beautiful are usually unnatural, and girls are growing up believing that “This is what boys will like.”, “This is how I can fit in”, “This is how I become perfect.”
Noemi Kunkel is a junior here at Davis. When asked about how she feels about social media, she shared, “I scroll through and I see girls that are model status, and I understand that that’s their best day, but like, my best day is like their worst day, and sometimes that’s hard on my confidence.”
She has been using social media since she was about 12 years old, and though that is a short amount of time, it has still affected her in many ways. The overall effect that was seen through peers has been negative. Yes, positive things can come from social media, but for the majority of everyday users, the effects can quickly turn to the bad side.
Most people believe that the only people really negatively affected by social media are girls. But that is so far from the truth.
Reese Castagno, also a junior, has been using social media on a daily basis since he was 8 years old. He has a slightly different perspective, by being a model through social media. He shared his insight on the affects of social media, stating “Instagram and Facebook are becoming toxic.” Reese shared a lot of good advice about how to avoid the negative effects of social media.
“Just be nice to people. Put good energy out there. No one has a say over what you can do. You have to start to learn that what they say doesn’t matter, and just be confident in who you are as a person.”
Though boys don’t have exactly the same emotions and standards attached to social media, they are still affected more than we realize.
I talked to our assistant principal, Mr. Brad Chapple, about the affects that he has seen social media have on students over his years of being an administrator.
“I have mainly seen a major increase in anxiety and depression. I’m not saying that everyone who uses social media has anxiety and depression, but it has been an increasingly serious issue through the years.” Mr. Chapple explained. “When using social media, we are comparing ourselves to people at their best.” He made it a point to say that we are only going to be sharing the things we want people to see, which wasn’t he case towards the beginning of social media.
How to avoid these issues can be debated for hours, but overall, the one main thing we can do is become confident in who we are. Social media cannot change who you are as a person, and if we try to let other people pictures change us, we ultimately become a copy of someone else when we were born to be originals. Stand out and be different!