Selfies & Social Media
Social media is a great platform to get yourself noticed. Personally, I use social media to raise awareness around the subject of bullying and mental health in young people and aim to be noticed through this.
Lots of people also use social media to help them raise awareness around something that they are passionate about, however one other popular ways to get noticed on social media is through the never-ending pressures of perfect selfies. I rarely ever post selfies but when I do definitely make sure to check out all the snapchat filters and take loads before posting the final one! I get scared of posting selfies because I worry about what other people will think and say.
So, I have never posted a selfie on Instagram but that doesn’t mean that I am not constantly pressured into doing so. This is the part I hate about social media. The pressures of having to post selfies to fit in with the crowd. Moreover, I understand how this idea of perfection can corrupt someone’s life both physically and mentally.
Almost all of the people I know who have social media accounts use multiple filters from whatever source they can find. They have to be this idea of perfect which surrounds social media. This for a lot of young people can also link into comparisons between other selfies and people around them, which can be a strong source for the development of low self-esteem and unfortunately this is not uncommon in young people today.
Furthermore, along with selfies, social media comes with a package of other pressures which unfortunately regardless of what a lot of young people are comfortable with, the judgement for not being part of things, such as group chats, can affect a young person very harshly. Social media pressures go round in a never ending cycle. It’s one thing into the next whichever way you turn.
Personally, I don’t think anyone should feel like they have to be a certain way to have a social media account. Social media does not have to be a negative thing because actually it is a great way for young people to express themselves but they should be able to do that freely and comfortably.
Unfortunately, with the way things are now, too many young people are putting their well-being at risk which can potentially cause long term effects into later adult life. But everyone can help to ensure that young people can enjoy the internet safely. Just by showing all young people how their differences are what make them unique and by allowing them to celebrate these, collectively we can create a space for them to feel free to explore and welcome every part of them which makes them who they are and in doing so we can also teach young people to celebrate each other’s differences too.
Together, we can work to make the online community a safe and enjoyable environment for all young people.
Elsa Arnold Anti-Bullying Ambassador July 2017