Behind the profile: Social media and society

Gabrielle Tazewell | Staff Writer

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Flickr User  Mike Corbett

Social media platforms now dominate the way we view the world. Relationship goals, body goals, money goals and other materialistic ambitions constantly flood our timelines. These photos may be entertaining, but reality may tell a different story. Why are millennials so keen on attaining the perfect life? Why must we look or feel a certain way to be accepted by society? While viewing social media can be enjoyable, why do we feel as though we cannot live without it?

What many fail to realize is that audiences only see what account owners want to share with their followers. Yet these glimpses can be enough to lower many people’s self-esteem and confidence, making them feel inadequate. These feelings can cause people to change themselves and seek external validation. Living strictly through others’ fantasies makes us miss out on our own destinies. Each and every one of us is meant to bring about something new; we all have the power to shine individually without the need to clout chase or seek others’ approval.

On the other hand, social media outlets are very helpful for expanding businesses and ideas, resulting in positive outcomes for many.

“Social media is a positive outlet that can bring change to people’s lives. It’s a way we can express ourselves and get to higher and successful levels,” said Zachary Bragg, a senior communications major, sports management minor from Roselle, New Jersey. A wide range of followers can give people the exposure they need to influence and expand their own brand.

But in order to continue earning money and exposure, people have to post new, relevant content constantly.

“In order to stay relevant, you have to always try and find ways for people to gravitate towards you, said second year, five-year MBA major Calen Johnson.

Johnson added: “You have to influence others in order to attract money.”

The influence of social media has seduced many of its users into believing what influencers portray as real. Some key questions we have to ask ourselves are: “What is the first thing I wake up to check in the morning?” and “Have I ever been influenced in a way as to where I feel the need to change how others view me?” or “How does my social media usage cause me to compare myself to others?”

We can avoid relying on social media for the majority of our needs by changing the way we respond to what we view. By differentiating between what’s real and how social media narratives are constructed, we can change the way we perceive both others and ourselves. It all starts and ends with our own perspectives and beliefs. In order for us to truly appreciate what life has to offer, we have to have endless love and respect for ourselves.

Why waste precious time focusing on what others are doing when we could be improving ourselves?

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