Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Digital

Where is the Love?: The Issues with Social Media and Individuality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

The most fulfilling conversations come at the most unexpected times. Like when your friends and you are huddled together in a small dorm room and the amusing chat suddenly takes a sharp turn to a much deeper heart-to-heart. This happened to my friends and I a few nights ago, and it was satisfying to realize that there are others out there who share my same values. We began discussing these values, such as the strong empathy we feel toward others and care for the common good we have for society. I had noticed how the obsession with social media aesthetics and how one presents themselves online is a large factor that contributes to the lack of kindness and genuine conversation among people today. Many people, of course not all, have begun to value their own individuality and uniqueness over the human connection of love and understanding that should drive humanity forward.

Although I believe that I have always been an empathetic and caring person, there was a time where I focused on the superficiality of social media and how I appeared to others, forgoing the values I held dear. I was sucked into the many aesthetics on TikTok, wanting to fit perfectly into one. I would obsess over clothes and makeup to fit a certain style or seek out experiences that would be a good Instagram post. I was so occupied with how I was perceived by others, I began to lose my sense of self. What was I truly passionate about? What good did I want to bring to the world? The questions that had always been important to me were suddenly not so important, and I began to ignore them. Thankfully, I noticed how I had changed and made an effort to realign my values. After this era of my life, I went on a mental health journey, where it was necessary for me to focus on myself.

I have grown up using social media, so I have observed its changes over the years and the distressing impact it has on young minds and society as a whole. I have paid special attention to how many people aim to fit a certain aesthetic and make it their whole personality. It is not bad to enjoy dressing a certain way, but only focusing on yourself while not also prioritizing care for others is an example of the potential negative effects of social media. Another aspect of this new commonality on social media is the infatuation of being a unique individual and completely rejecting the importance of community and genuine relationships. I am currently in my second year of college, and I have noticed that some people do not want to truly know others on a deep level. Some put up a superficial front. I have felt a lack of empathy and compassion for those we are in community with and who we interact with on a daily basis, and this is something that I hope society recognizes and continues to improve on.

One value that I have recently discovered and now guides how I live my life is the belief that it is extremely important and fulfilling to care and love others just as you do for yourself. I now have an excess of empathy toward others and sincerely understand that my actions and words have an impact. Even a small smile or compliment can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. On social media, you can still spread kindness by commenting friendly words to uplift others, but I have learned from being online that one can be easily influenced, become addicted to scrolling and hate can spread quickly. If everyone realized that everyone has their own difficulties and that we as individuals cannot just thrive on our own, but rather we need to be a community, society could become a more loving and compassionate place.

Hi! My name is Lucy Emory and I'm from Kansas City, MO! I love to sing, dance, read Harry Potter and learn random history facts. I am also a self-proclaimed Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey enthusiast. I'm so happy to be writing for such a welcoming and empowering community!