October 14, 2018 at 7:14 pm #197082
I hope you find yourself doing well, and I wish you the best day ever! Thank you for reading!
As a 20 year old female millennial, I felt like this is something I wanted to stress and get off my chest. I am no medical professional, or expert of any kind, but I can speak for myself in stating my opinion on social media and its impact on my mental health.
Social media has slowly but surely messed with my head in all the wrong ways! I am speaking personally, regarding platforms like Instagram. Why on earth, are so many girls and maybe guys, so unhappy with themselves and always trying to change? I do not mean any disrespect to anyone who disagrees with me or has other opinions as I value them and would love to hear the other side too!
As the years have gone by that I was a member on Instagram, the images of girls have been changing. The idea of the “perfect girl”. I find myself RARELY seeing trending photos of girls who seem truly happy with their natural self. Well, it only impacted me to want to be like them as well! Posting pictures where my hair has to look perfect, my makeup needs to be amazing, my clothes need to be in style. Oh geez, look at all the fitness models getting so much attention, maybe I need to start working out to post such pictures.
I only realized that seeing such gorgeous images, made me feel like I needed to reach those expectations and looks as well. I am not joking you when I say I got hair extensions literally just to make my hair look longer because I thought long hair looked good on social media girls. Looking at these images and these girls boasting about their new lip injections and such, only made me somehow SO unhappy with myself because I wanted to look like them.
I am NOT shaming people who do things to make themselves look better, honestly, good for you! I think people can do whatever they want to make themselves happy. But, when you realize that you are changing all of these things simply because you want to “look” like “those” people, I think then it becomes a problem. I recently deleted my instagram and it has been the best thing ever.
I believe that taking some time away from such platforms can help one to love themselves as they are. Do you think that if every single girl looked the same and looked perfect, there would be much to choose from? No! I believe that we are all created differently for the purpose of bringing something unique to the table. What about your personality!? Would you change that to appeal to others? We are all amazing unique and different people and we should be proud of that. Embrace ourselves the way we are as long as we are happy.
Taking a break, allowed me to look at myself in the mirror and not have to compare myself to anyone. It made me fall in love with myself again and appreciate the way I am because no single being on the earth looks just like me or has the same features as me.
Opinions? Is anyone else experiencing this or feeling like social media and public figures are impacting mental health and making people feel like they need to be different or look different in order to be liked, or accepted? I would love to hear voices on this matter even if you disagree! I think social media obviously has many amazing pros, but I am simply talking about the current situation of girls changing themselves due to these “standards”.
Thank you for reading and again I am not shaming anyone who disagrees with me. I myself have been sucked into this and have changed things about me to look a certain way, until I realized why I was changing and what it was doing to me. If you agree or have opinions on this matter, please share! It is perfectly OKAY to change yourself, but do it for the right reasons, not because of some hot girl you saw on social media because chances are… there’s a LOT of girls who look like that but if you ask them how they feel… I bet they are still unhappy with themselves too. Pay attention to mental health and how society impacts you.
At the end of our lives… we all become old and similar, but did you live your life loving yourself and being happy? Or did you live your life unhappy with yourself and trying to be someone else? There is only one of you on this earth, so embrace that and surround yourself with people who see your true beauty and love you for who you are.
Thank you for reading and take care.October 15, 2018 at 8:05 am #197095
I think that things have not really changed over the ages as many women have always done their utmost to conform to ‘some ideal’. The issue these days is that the pace of life is moving far faster. With communications being as they are, and the ever present advertising, many women (and even males) are being pushed forward on a wave. I grew up before the internet and, although I use it daily, I am not totally taken. I don’t like the idea of surgical procedures to change things, and just use makeup and clothes to look good. We are really too hooked these days. It is good to get away from time to time. I do think social media is stressful. I find it very helpful not to have a smartphone so that I can escape when I am out. I don’t suppose I would likely make a model, but, that’s not the end of the world and I love to be different.October 15, 2018 at 2:03 pm #197096
With internet the way we socialze has changed but bullies are bullies so no matter where you are there will always be someone who will somehow make you feel less than you are. This has been the way for hundreds of years fashion models , magazines , etiquette training, finishing schools , proms debutantes etc etc they are all ways in which women have be made to feel the social pressure to conform to a standard..
Internet is great , social media is great but it should be used as an inhancement to your life not as a replacement for normal life.
It begins with education and those of us who are mothers have a job to do in educating our children to look beyond the surface and to see themselves and others for their true selves. If we all did that the media would have less influence and we would feel less pressured to conform.October 15, 2018 at 8:20 pm #197101October 16, 2018 at 3:58 am #197112
i avoid most social media like Facebook and Twitter on advice from my therapist.
In that vein, I had read an article earlier this year about a study that found that girls were more affected by social media than boys.
Like Jen says, it’s been the same across generations…newspaper ads, magazines, now social media portraying the perfect housewife, the perfect complexion/hair/makeup, the perfect body…impossible standards for women/girls which change from generation to generation.
When I was a young woman, we had to “compete” with centerfolds and supermodels. Of course all those images are airbrushed. Only a chosen few got the opportunity to grace these magazines. Young women were getting breast augmentation to look like these centerfolds. How do those who are naturally endowed compete with surgical perfection?!
Now, any idiot can have their own web site/blog/vlog/social media account to either spew their nonsense or strut their stuff with smart phone tools (filters). I just read, in the last couple of days, that some woman had a bunch of surgery to look like Kim Kardashian. Sure, she’s very pretty, but the world doesn’t need a bunch of Kims!
Also, those on social media post only the best things in life…their kids’ accomplishments, their new car, etc. They fail to mention that their “angel” stole and totaled the family car, necessitating the purchase of a new one. Social media never tells the whole story.
I’ve secured my spot on social media only to prove that I’m NOT that person with the same name spewing their nonsensical politics and conspiracy theories.October 16, 2018 at 9:45 am #197117
The thing with all these forms of media be they old fashioned printed or the new social media type is to only interact with those that make you feel good and to be ruthless.
I have two FB accounts one for me personally with family members and close friends , then I manage my author page and I have a seperate account for my dog… Yes my dog has social media but its where I post pictures of our walks of him of the nature we see etc etc and my dog is friends with loads of people and other dogs..As long as they play nicely. I regularly issue warrnings that nasty , racist, or vile posts will be blocked and the person posting gets one chance to stop, if not they are banned. My rule is if I wouldnt let them into my home in person I dont let them in via internet.
I also have a blog as part of my online presence as an author but I try to write inspiring , empowering, thoughtful and enriching things rather than just rant on about trivia.
I find that as with anything being online is not about quantity its about quality…20 friends who make you feel good are worth a million times more than 1000 friends who make you feel bad about yourself.October 17, 2018 at 6:24 am #197126
I like your organisation Cassandra. I am always amused by the reports by Facebook that they have very many members. I know several people who have more than one account for various reasons. Having a business is a common one to separate family and business. There are many people who probably like dogs, but would be irritated by pages and pages of them. It is good to separate them out so people who really like to see them can easily find the latest pics.October 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm #197131
I feel the pressure to conform to a beauty ideal, too. And most girls and women are deeply affected by social media. Mostly every woman has the perfect appearance and attract the men [unless they’re gay: but that’s not the point]. Women are told they should be slim, wear heavy makeup, expensive shoes, dye their hair, spend a fortune on beauty products and the suchlike. Women are indeed under a lot of pressure. I fear this will always be the case.
Social media is something I enjoy BUT I am careful to not let the pressure it creates affect me too much. At the end of the day social media is just another form of communication. People will be people and advertisers will be advertisers. It all generates money: and mental health is impacted every time it is put on social media. But some people are vulnerable and will be affected by most things rather easily. Still, it doesn’t make it right.
I will continue to use social media but I agree with you guys.
1 member liked this post:November 11, 2018 at 9:32 am #197589
To add to my post: some people are affected by anything. Even if it is not on social media. Vulnerable people will “sacrifice” their needs[for a lack of a better word] whether the pressure to conform was on social media or their next door neighbour. Social media does not always help, but if someone is vulnerable that is not the fault of social media. HOWEVER that does not excuse abusive posts or photos or the suchlike.
I think if someone is prone to being bullied [for instance] then – again – this is not the fault of social media. BUT that doesn’t excuse bullying: whether online or somewhere else.
I agree social media has to be more responsible but everything has to be treated with respect. Children must be monitored by their parents or guardians. There are dangerous people in the world and children must be protected. We all know this, but it is worth a mention.
What I am trying to say is, social media has its flaws and upsides. Whether it is good or bad is down to how it is treated.
1 member liked this post:November 17, 2018 at 6:16 pm #197709
I used to be on facebook, but I had to delete my account for my mental health. I just couldn’t take it any more, I’m probably overly sensitive or something, but I really struggle with peoples’ horrible comments to things, and I don’t like how on facebook you’re totally exposed to every idiot in the world and it’s so unregulated, I would feel like I was drowning sometimes.
And especially things got bad for me as I started encountering different types of “men’s rights activists”, who seriously make me want to kill myself (I’m not exaggerating, I’ve had suicide scares)November 18, 2018 at 8:36 am #197740
I think a lot of people think like you, Mamie. People do say horrible things on Facebook. In a way, they are the one’s with the problem. It is easy to be nasty/vindictive/aggressive when behind a computer screen, but it isn’t so easy in real life. They are, essentially, cowards. They wouldn’t make those comments if the person was actually in the room with them.
I do continue to use Facebook, but I know what you’re saying. I suppose where there’re people – whether on a computer screen or in real life – there is an excuse to be abusive; that type of thing.November 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm #197747
I have just had to spend a couple of days away. It does get too much at times.November 19, 2018 at 9:25 am #197766
I had both sides of the coin this week.. I had posted my usual warning about not tolerating thinly disguised racists or discriminatory posts about Chritsmas and certain groups of people. Well one person replied with a whole diatribe of hate against religion and groups who knock at his door and how even though he doesnt believe whats written in the papers he wont be told by any group what he can and cant say regarding Christmas and he doesnt give a flying fig who it offends.. I kindly pointed out that the religious group he talked about can be asked to put a ‘do not call’ notice on his address so that he wont be bothered and that he isnt being told he cant say merry christmas because it offends anyone, its a lie and thats what I was talking about.. He just replied by saying he would set his dog on the next ones who knocked at his house..Needless to say he is on ignore..
The other side was a comment on one of my photos. A person said it reminded them of her late husbands work , which won awards and was published worldwide.. That was a real honour, to have my photo referred to as work puts it in the class of an art piece and for me that was a real boost.
So two sides to everything and just a case of seeking balance.
this is the photo
You must be logged in to access attached files.November 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm #197807
Those are certainly two sides of the coin, cassandra. As we all realize by now, Facebook is a public domain and people are people: whether on Facebook or walking down the street. Being on a computer screen gives them more confidence: because no one can retaliate against them. Whereas if they said those things to someone’s face, they’d be “attacked” [for lack of a better word]. It is easy to be rude and obnoxious on the Internet, but not so easy in real life.