Social Media & You: How it Affects Your Self-Image
The Internet is an amazing tool and while it has rapidly shrunk our world and brought us all a little closer together…. It has also raised our level of self consciousness, and not in a good way! Like any useful tool, to make technology serve us well requires us to use a level of good judgment. In this era of social media, there’s a competition out there and it isn’t anything new but it is now more obvious than ever. No longer is it about keeping up with The Jones, it’s all about Keeping up with The Kardashians.
Today Social Media is drastically changing the way we communicate with one another. It is now being leveraged by companies and public figures to influence buyers in buying decisions, trends and viewpoints. But as Social Media continues to mold and influence communication, marketers have had to shift their approach.
It appears that at this moment that approach is the lifestyle approach. But what effects are these platforms and markets having on us as individuals?
Photoshopped images of models are influencing many of us to believe that if we buy this or that, we will achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that is only achievable through such a purchase. However, we all know that usually the exact opposite is how we end up feeling. Typically due to the guilt we associate with overspending or making unnecessary purchases. In fact, recent studies have linked depression and Social Media, most significantly in teenage girls.
Why is this important? Well many Social Media Communities are created around specific topics and ideas, they are designed typically to develop like-minded social groups rather than diverse ones. If you consistently search for the same things, in this case those that cause you to make comparisons against skewed depictions of beauty, the system will begin to consistently present you with very similar images. It’s important that we regularly have our world-views questioned and challenged, without this questioning it’s easier to fall into a group-thought mentality and not allow room for individual growth. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in a false sense of happiness, success or beauty that Social Media amplifies. Commit to surrounding yourself with positive individuals who support you just the way you are.