Social Media — Does the Good No Longer Outweigh the Bad?

It’s a new year, the year 2019, and the popularity of social media seems to arise with no thought. But, are we millennials blinded by such “popularity” that we are forgetting why social media was originally made? Social media has many great aspects. It’s a great place to meet new people, make new connections, and express your own fashions, lifestyle and even the future wants and dreams of the user. Social media is an amazing get-away from the responsibilities, homework and hard-knock-life that we live on an everyday basis; but what this generation and the generation to come needs to acknowledge is the balance of social media vs. real-life.

The problem now is that social media puts so much pressure on the handlers, women especially, to have that flawless, almost-impossible looking body, face and lifestyle. I frequently catch myself looking at other girls, wanting to look like them, wanting to be like them, wanting to have this and that — instead of looking at myself and wanting to be happy and confident within my own body.

The perfection of the unreal Instagram models and influencers kills my self-esteem with just one swipe. The mental health aspect of social media is tremendous, and the constant thrive to want something that we can’t have or look like something that is portrayed because of filters, plastic surgery and riches, is a waste and arises toxic energy.

Social Media has sparked huge conflicts in relationships and friendships. For example, “he liked this picture, so he wants her,” “she posted a picture with her and not me, so her friendship is more valuable,” and so on. The feelings from the activity is a matter of fact. Way before social media was relevant, guys would just glance in another woman’s direction and maybe wink or drool a tad.

Now, there is a more powerful and personal message being sent with social media: the like or comment button or the fact that we as users can easily swipe up on a random person’s profile and tell them they’re good looking and hope for a response. These actions hurt more than just the casual glance that occurred years ago. These actions have killed self-confidence and self-worth and lead to in-depth thoughts of “are we good enough?”

Truth is, our bodies are good enough, our faces are pretty enough, and we may not have Gucci belts and Range Rovers at the age of 20, but the strive to get there ONE DAY is good enough to get the day going. We are good enough, and the social media influencers and influences should not doubt our power and our amazingness.

The pressures shown on a daily basis from scrolling through social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, have put a permanent dark cloud over my life, and I no longer want to be a part of it. Anyone else who feels as though social media has created a toxic space for them should join me in the challenge to remove the toxicity, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks.

Take the time and efforts to work on mental health instead of bruising it with the pressures and unhappiness provided from the media. First, I went through my following on Instagram and removed any toxic people that I followed, anyone who made me feel less of myself, and anyone who didn’t ’t bring me up or help me. Next, I deleted the social media that wasn’t doing anything for me such as Twitter and Snapchat. Snapchat has become an escape from the world of actually having a conversation and talking on the phone and Twitter has become a place where we write our feelings about other people instead of communicating in person. Even just cutting back on social media for an hour less a day, a difference might be made internally. Trust me, you aren’t missing anything important in that hour.

Things to do instead of scrolling through social media:

  • Get active: Go to the gym, do yoga or meditation, go for a walk
  • Write: Take out your journal, write something down by hand, write a loved one a letter
  • Music: Sing, dance, listen to your favorite album, listen to your least favorite

There are so many escapes, healthier escapes that we must learn to cope with because social media is no longer the healthiest and most effective option to kill time. While trying new activities out, we may find a new place, a new person and a new hobby, and a new you!