Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Chances are that you’re a member of at least one of these platforms, if not all. Social media has become a huge part in most people’s lives – more so over the past few years. I can’t remember the last time I went a full day without checking what my friend’s had been up to or what my favourite celebrity had to eat.
No doubt you would have heard of Essena O’Neill and her recent decision to quit social media. If you haven’t, you can find the video HERE. A few YouTubers have already responded to this video – I recently watched Dodie Clark (doodleoddle) and Savannah Brown (savanamazing) addressing their views on the subject – and I thought that I would share my own opinion.
Yes, I 100% agree that a lot of things we see aren’t the reality. After all, who would want to post a selfie after their dog had just died? I have days where I feel down, but scroll through my Instagram feed or watch my YouTube videos and there are no frowns to be seen. To believe that anyone is happy 24/7 and to believe that anyone’s life is ‘perfect’ is just ridiculous.
A lot of the time we get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to others – whether it be our looks, our achievements or simply what we had for breakfast that day (I’m looking at you colourful bowl of fruity porridge) – but what we need to realise is that that person too will have also compared themselves to someone and so on. The truth is that 9 times out of 10 there will always be someone that you feel is better than you in some way, but how you approach that thought and belief is what makes the difference.
But I digress.
My point is that nobody is perfect, no matter how their pictures or tweets portray them. Everyone goes through difficult times and everyone will have something that they dislike about themselves. That’s just part of life and part of being human.
Social media, I feel, is primarily a way to connect with people worldwide. I have became friends with some amazing people who live across the pond and that is all down to these ‘evil’ forces. Not only that, but it is now a tool for news, promotion and procrastination. It’s a way of entertainment, communication and education (unless you fall guilty to believing everything you read on Facebook). You just have to use it wisely.
One of my favourite accounts on Instagram is run by Hannah Darvas. Her long-winded captions highlight that not everything you see online is reality and the importance of not comparing yourself to that of someone you follow on social media. YouTubers such as Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr have both uploaded videos of them shedding tears further proving that they too aren’t always happy and filled with fun and laughter every day. Both are also known to vlog and upload make-up tutorials with clips of them wearing no make-up again showing viewers that they don’t look ‘perfect’ all the time.
To conclude what I feel has turned into some what of a ramble, social media is in no way ‘evil.’ Of course, like anything it has its negatives, but when used correctly it can be fantastic and we are lucky to be part of this new media frenzy. Never before have we had more access, more creative outlets and more ways to make new friends.
The next time you catch yourself thinking that that slim, blonde model or that buff guy with the chiseled jaw leads the perfect life, just remember that they’re human too and their Instagram and Twitter accounts aren’t a detailed biography.