Social media impacts self-image


DGS students showing how prominent social media is among the school.

Teyani Sharkey, Social media director

Expectations to be perfect, unrealistic depiction of life and eurocentric beauty standards that impair adolescents’ view of themselves is only increased and intensified with access to social media. This platform has led to a detrimental, never-ending spiral of unhealthy comparison and unhappiness within the younger generations.

In comparing your life to others on social platforms, people only see the happy, carefree moments. It’s satisfying, yet so sickening to be able to pick and choose parts of your life to display on the internet. You have the power to create this terrifyingly beautiful masterpiece.

You’re able to create this perfect life for yourself. To have all the things you wanted, to look the way you want, to have people view you the way you wish. It’s all so captivating.

However, it has a major impact on people’s perceptions of themselves, because everyone is only given half of the story, only seeing everyone else as happy and carefree. They will never see everything hidden behind the curtain. So, they begin to question their own lives.

Why aren’t they that happy? Why don’t they look like that? People begin to doubt themselves and in doing this they start to feed into the cycle, by picking apart their own lives and displaying an image of perfection.

The worst part is that everyone knows they’re lying, yet they still continue to hide behind these masks, trapping themselves and taking others with them. This brutal cycle is what social media has given a platform to, but people are the ones who have created the cages for themselves.

In the end, all it does is leave everyone in pain. No one wins. Everyone living a lie, scared to show their true self, scared to let others see their imperfections, scared to be vulnerable, to be human, to be real.

We have trapped ourselves in the perpetual cycle of despair and discontent. In a world where social media is such a major part of our lives it’s hard to disassociate yourself from it without feeling isolated. But in an attempt to create a less judgemental and high standard society we need to be kinder to ourselves and willing to accept others accomplishments without putting down our own.

Social media is only what we make it, it can be such an empowering and expressive outlet if we give it the chance to be. Start by being more gentle with yourself, and keep in perspective that everyone is living their own lives, with their own problems and reality is never perfect. As social media’s presence begins to evolve and expand, it is crucial that people can celebrate others successes and still be proud of their own.

Putting our lives on show is never easy, but as a community if we’re willing to be accepting and supportive of one another, we can change the online world.