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The online home of the Central Focus

FHCtoday.com

The online home of the Central Focus

FHCtoday.com

Dear Diary

Social media’s rare postive impact
Abby+Myers+poses+with+her+family+on+vacation.+She+posted+this+picture+on+her+spam+account.+
Abby Myers
Abby Myers poses with her family on vacation. She posted this picture on her spam account.

I whipped my phone out to grab a quick picture of this priceless moment. My family, on our annual lake trip, had continued the tradition of me and my cousins washing our hair in the lake. I thought a picture with all of us smiling with soapy heads would be such a fun and cute picture to look back on. This picture could even be a lot of fun to post on my spam Instagram. 

I had just created a separate ‘spam’ Instagram that I wanted to use as a ‘digital diary’ of sorts to document my life in high school and all the small moments I was likely to forget about. 

But I hesitated posting the picture. I wasn’t sure I wanted this picture to be on the internet, even though I made this digital diary specifically to record all the fun things I would experience in high school. Wasn’t the point of having this digital diary to be genuine with everyone, and have fun recording moments that will become memories one day? 

My mind was hung up on the question, did I want everyone to see this picture? Did I really want to post this picture and put myself out there for the possibility of being judged by a random acquaintance, simply for participating in a well loved tradition in my family? This hesitation and slight fear that came from simply wanting to post a goofy picture on social media made me face the harsh realities of how we as teenagers put pressure on what we appear as on social media. 

Society puts too much pressure on how we are perceived. Social media has made this problem even more prominent. Many people, especially teens, find themselves questioning whether or not they want to post something on social media out of fear for how it may make them look. While this fear can be a good thing in some circumstances, many would say that the pressure to keep an ‘image’ or ‘aesthetic’ on social media has become unbearable.

Junior Quinn Douglas who has had her spam Instagram account since last winter, believes that teens struggle with perfectionism on social media because they worry about how others may view them.  

“[Most people feel the pressure to be perfect on social media] because there’s an image of themselves that they want to keep up and [some] photos don’t fit or they want it to be a different image,” Douglas said. 

Junior Lydia Neufarth, who has had a spam instagram account since 2018, explains why she believes that teens today face pressure to uphold an image of themselves on social media. 

“Because people are just judgmental. They’ll see something and say ‘Ugh that’s kinda weird.’ I think they’re scared of what other people would think. So they make private stories and keep things private,” Neufarth said. 

Teens have adapted to the struggle to try to be perfect on social media in many different ways, one of them being creating ‘spam accounts’ or ‘digital diaries’. Many, including myself, will make these accounts separate from their main account and post different things then they usually would. 

“[I post less conventional things on my digital diary because] I think it’s funny. I’m usually laughing as I write the captions. I tried to post kind of funny stuff on my main account, but I like having 2 accounts. I get to post more. And it’s just fun,” Neufarth said. 

Having an outlet to post more fun and lighthearted content teaches teens that it is okay to be genuine on the internet with their followers/friends. 

“[I like having a spam instagram account because] I like being real with everybody,” Douglas said. 

Not only can having a digital diary act as a sort of ‘exposure therapy’ to being genuine on the internet, but having an account dedicated to documenting the day to day can also teach teens to be more reminiscent and reflective about their time spent in high school. 

No one likes high school. Even if there are parts of high school you may enjoy, by the end of your senior year, you are counting down the days till you can graduate. Because we have this constant mentality of looking forward and ‘go go go’, I think we can lose sight of what is happening in our lives. We don’t take the time to appreciate the little things like hang outs with our friends or a beautiful sunset, because we are so focused on what’s gonna happen next.

“Now more and more on social media we see older people and how they act. So we see all these older people and what they’re doing, so it’s like oh I’ll just copy that and what they’re doing because it’s cool. It’s easier to mature when you have so many things thrown at you [by social media],” Neufarth said. 

With society telling teens it is cool to mature fast and live a fast-paced life, it becomes easy to overlook the beauty in day to day life. Having a digital diary can help us have a place where we can reminisce on events in our lives that could have soon been forgotten. But they won’t be, simply because they are documented on a digital diary.

My spam account really is like a diary. I post pictures that are really weird and out of context for everyone that sees it, but I don’t care because they are important to me. Like for example, I posted this one picture recently of me laughing with red stuff all over my face. To everyone else, I’m sure that picture looked a little crazy. But to me that picture reminds me of a sweet memory with my boyfriend. We were baking a red velvet cake, because they’re my favorite, when I accidentally got some batter on my boyfriend. He then took batter and splattered it all over my shirt, and that pretty much erupted into a full on food fight. So while that picture does slightly look like I’m bleeding from my mouth, it has a very special memory attached to it. Having my spam account helps me remember those special small moments. That memory could have been something that was forgotten in a few years, but it will be part of my instagram forever, and I can look back at it whenever I want. 

All in all, no one cares about what you post that much. So post that picture. Don’t hesitate out of fear of judgment from your peers. Choose to ignore this fear, and post your silly picture for the memories. 

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