Fear of being ‘unliked’ in social media makes us forget who we really are

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EL PASO – In recent years throughout high school and college, I have seen the use of Facebook and other social media sites such as Instagram associated with negative feelings of insecurity in many of the girls I know and am close to.

This topic struck interest in me when I had to write a research paper about a year ago regarding something along the lines of a communication topic. The topic I decided to research was on how social media affects young adults.

One interesting fact I found while doing my research was that women spend a lot more time using the internet and other means of social media than men do.

It’s because media is everywhere. For young adults, especially women, it’s unavoidable. For the many hours spent throughout the day on current networks such as Instagram or Twitter, I can’t help but wonder how much of social media is either killing or immorally boosting our self-esteem and our confidence in ourselves.

All of the “likes” or positive comments one receives from a particular post of either them or something of their interest plays a big part in establishing their identity. Anyone from the ages of 16-25 knows that they want to portray themselves a certain way to their “followers,” which is what I mean by establishing their identity.

We choose the things we share. This is what makes social media so seductive. It gives us the opportunity to wish to be the perfected ideals others promote, but it also enables us to create our own identities, to show our own lives as something appealing and inviting.

It’s inevitable to see an attractive female or male while scrolling down my instagram feed. Fashion trends, new music, clothes, and taking pictures while working out seems to be the “thing” to post about on popular networks.

Many Facebook, Instagram or Twitter users fall victim to spending countless hours of looking at other profiles. What reason may that be? To see what someone you may know is up to? Maybe see how appealing their appearance is, check to see where they’re traveling to or how their night of partying went?

Checking out social networks profiles of others to become better than or similar to, inescapably becomes a never-ending cycle.

Previous generations were not exposed to the popular media circulating within our mobile phones, iPads and laptops. They were not vulnerable to the impact social media has on young adults today. What effect will this movement of obsessing over ones image have on our mentality about the important things in life?

A year after taking that communication class, the facts and statistics I found in my research will always remind me of the type of society we live in.

Many of us do not value the idea of being content with what we have or with our abilities and skills because there will always be someone who we think is better than us. I think the social networks we have today play a huge role in the fantasies most of us have created in our minds to be perfect to others instead of for ourselves.

We are now constantly comparing each other and begin to forget who we really are and what talents we possess.

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