Social media really does drive our society. It’s everywhere, and it’s especially important to Gen Z. It seems like every few years, a new social media platform comes out that dominates young people’s culture. First, it was Facebook, then Instagram and Snapchat, and now Tik Tok. But lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to continue to use social media after college, or at least in the way I’m using it now.
I know you’ve probably heard it before, but social media can be very toxic towards one’s mental health. I don’t think I fully realized that though until I got to college. Freshman year, social media I think was the driving force of what caused a lot of my anxiety. I would see people going out and looking perfect, looking like they were having so much fun, and I would get jealous and sad that it wasn’t me. I think that FOMO was the biggest downfall of social media for me, personally. There is this false reality that everyone on social media is so perfect and has an amazing life.
But to be honest, I think an even bigger turnoff for me has been in this past year where I have really seen how social media affects others around me. Most of my friends are way more into social media than me. Many of them are very into getting the “perfect” pictures and perfect engagement. Now if that’s your thing and you’re passionate about making it big on social media, I think that’s great, even if it’s not my thing! You do you! But what I don’t like is when it becomes a competition. I don’t like when people are constantly comparing themselves to others and putting themselves down, or when people try to indirectly call out others on social media. When that is what social media becomes is when I think it’s problematic. I just think I have unfortunately seen a lot of hate and jealousy on social media from people that I know, even if they themselves don’t realize it. I often just think about their lives, and all of our lives might be different if we all just relaxed and didn’t analyze what was going on with social media so much.
Social media can be a great thing, no doubt. I just really think that I have unfortunately seen the wrong side of it and it has made me want to turn away from it. I don’t think I’ll completely get rid of it, just so that I can keep in touch with people and build my professional profile, and use it for its advantages. But I definitely don’t think I’ll be using it to the volume that I have in high school and college. I think it’s time for me to move on in the world post-graduation, and not be so caught up in something that half the time isn’t even real.