Social media allows us to communicate with each other, as well as share snippets of our lives through photos and tweets. They are a great way to stay connected with each other, however, many people can become addicted and can also affect wellbeing.  

The Reality of Filters

Filters are used to fit in with the stereotypical standards of beauty which usually are unattainable standards for people to follow. Filters are used to change the way people look to make themselves look better. For many people, this can cause self-esteem and confidence issues about their body image.

For people who are consuming photos that use filters are not seeing what someone truly looks like. This causes people to compare themselves to pictures that are edited as most of the time you can’t tell what is edited and what is not. 

Setting realistic expectations whilst using social media may help you not allow what people post affect the way you see your body. It’s being clear as to what you want to get out of social media. Is it to cause doutes in how you look or is it a way to simply get updates on what people are doing? Is it to compare your worth to others or is it to advocate for acceptance of all body types?

Realise that not everything you see is real so when people say be realistic, it’s looking deeper into what people post. It’s not scrolling through feeds and taking everything you see as face value.    

However, filters are not used by everyone. Yet, there is still this pressure that unless you don’t make yourself follow the stereotypical standards of beauty, there’s no point in posting the picture, which can cause people to see their body more negatively.

Influencers – How much hold do they have on society?

On the majority of social media accounts, people create this idea that we live a perfect life. Influencers magnify this idea by showing multiple holidays they go on, the expensive clothes they buy, the lavish houses they live in etc. 

This creates pressure! Pressure for people to match the lifestyles of these influencers. To prove to their followers that their life is amazing just like the influencers that many people look up to. 

Influencers can have a huge impact on how people want to look, their actions and what they talk about with each other. This is due to influencers having big audiences that they can reach. This can cause self-esteem issues, FOMO (fear of missing out), and can cause anxiety due to comparing their lives to these influencers. They can see how fun these people are having and think differently about their own path in life.  

In many instances, on the outside, people portray themselves to be ok and to have the lifestyle that many influencers have. However, on the inside, they actually feel they have none of that. People take a look at the lives they actually live and think how their life is so much worse than the people around them. 

When looking at influencers, think about how they are making you feel. Are you following people who make you feel down? Are the pictures and videos you are seeing making you feel self-conscious? 

If this is the case, unfollow or mute the accounts that are making you feel down. However, if unfollowing or muting isn’t something that you want to do, limit the amount of time you use social media. This allows you to not constantly intake content that may make you think negatively about yourself. 

However, remember that you don’t need to unfollow someone purely based on someone having a differing opinion than you. It’s ok for people to not have the same beliefs, opinions and views as someone you follow.  

Not showing your true self – Why don’t we want to show the bad things in life?

Many people don’t want other people to think that their lives aren’t perfect, so instead they post everything that is great in their lives. You also don’t want to feel like the odd one out by posting things that are negatively affecting you. 

This is due to social media being people’s highlight reel so there aren’t many people showing their true self which can make people feel lonely. Many people don’t want to let on that they have been struggling. Since there is this idea that if people share the negatives in their lives, it’s just an inconvenience to people. Or people don’t want to come across as attention seeking.  

However, people tend to look for others for approval. For example, if a social media post showing off your new clothes doesn’t do well e.g. not getting as many likes or comments etc, then you’re less likely to post with these types of clothes again. 

Remember to check in with yourself to see if your social media usage is helping you. For example, if you are thinking about spending some time on social media, think about what type of mood you are in. Are you happy and content or are you sad and irritable? If the latter is the case, you may not be ready to consume content on other people’s highlight reels. 

Disable social media notifications so when you do decide to post something, you aren’t getting constant reminders to check in on your post. Even if the notifications are saying something positive, it may not be the right time to read them. Since you may be revising or doing work for your job etc. 

Overall, social media has both good and bad aspects to it. However, it is realising how to appropriately use social media to get the good aspects and weaning out the bad aspects. It’s all about doing what is best for you!