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The online home of the Central Focus

FHCtoday.com

The online home of the Central Focus

FHCtoday.com

Disillusioned Realities

Unrealistic body expectations lead viewers to overthink their appearance
The+more+students+consume+particular+types+of+content+on+social+media%2C+the+great+effect+it+can+have+on+their+self-esteem.+Illustration+by+Birdie+Bremerton
The more students consume particular types of content on social media, the great effect it can have on their self-esteem. Illustration by Birdie Bremerton

As new apps have been introduced in the past decade, social media’s true purpose and meaning has become tainted due to the unrealistic beauty expectations and standards being pushed onto young and easily impressionable teens, which has led to an increase in cyberbullying and leaves one’s self feeling insecure and less than. As easy as it can be to compare yourself to people you know personally, it has become somehow easier to compare yourself to people you see online. The popularization of apps such as “Facetune” used by many celebrities and influencers creates a false narrative that you have to look the same way that they do. Even when the harsh reality is that they don’t look like that themselves.

Senior Kennedy Spieler knows firsthand the effect that social media can have on teenage brains, and how something with such an innocent use in the beginning can become obsessive.

“I first got Snapchat in elementary school, and that was my first social media app, and then I got Instagram. I got them around the same time, like fourth or fifth grade. Which was probably way too young in my opinion. I used it mainly just to send messages to my friends at first, and I used instagram just to post and scroll, or laugh at funny things I saw,” Spieler said. “Nowadays, social media has had a very negative impact on me. It gets very easy to compare yourself to other people, especially with editing nowadays. That’s the negative part about having social media at a younger age, it’s not too good on how you feel about yourself or how you’ll continue to feel about yourself when you grow up.” Spieler said.

Senior Roman Johnson has a passion for social media when it comes to seeing other people’s creativity shine through fashion, but he is still able to recognize the negativity that can come with social media, even if it doesn’t affect him personally.

“I think social media can spread your awareness of things but it can also harm the way you feel about yourself. I don’t really feel insecure with things I see on social media, but I know it’s a big problem for other people.” Johnson said. “I feel like social media just makes it harder to have real conversations because a lot of what you see is fake. People are also so drawn into their phones, sometimes when I’m talking with people I blink and suddenly everyone is scrolling.” Johnson said.

Johnson reflects on the popularity of online bullying and how people should always try and stay positive.

“It’s also so easy to say things behind a screen now, because you don’t actually have to know that person in real life or have to come up to that person. You just have to be yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin and don’t let other people get to you. That’s the most important thing I can really say. If somebody is being rude to you online, you should block them and not give them your time or energy. It sounds easier said than done but it is possible.” Johnson said.

Senior Max Krebs first joined social media in 2020 around the beginning of the quarantine, which almost seems the most convenient time to get it. In the height of the outbreak, it seemed social media somehow grew in popularity impossibly more due to people being unable to visit public spaces, or having to do so sparingly. Many people were influenced by trends and popular fashion genres to try and express themselves in different ways while we were all off from school. But it also left many teenagers feeling more attached to their phones and giving them unrealistic standards.

 “Some things I see can be very uplifting and helpful towards me, while some of it can make me not feel so good about myself at the same time. Social media only shows you the ‘perfect people’ and makes you believe you have to look like them, when in reality you should just be who you are.” Krebs said.

“One time I saw this extremely muscular guy’s post, and I was like dang, I’m not that buff. It made me kinda compare myself to him for a second, and I was upset about it for a second. Even if it wasn’t realistic, I still felt bad due to what I had seen.” Krebs reflects. 

Social media is a big idea that many of us can’t fully wrap our heads around. Whether it’s using social media to connect with friends and loved ones, express your creativity, or find other people with similar hobbies, it is important to remember that having a competitive and comparative mindset isn’t healthy in the long run. Surround yourself with things that are beneficial to you and your self view, and remember you should be proud in your own skin. “There’s bad and good sides to social media, but at the end of the day you should stay true to yourself and not believe everything you see,” Spieler said.



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