It is difficult to imagine the modern world without computers, information technology, and the Internet because they already have an important place in the life of each person.
Social networks can be used as a tool for self-development. You can watch educational films, listen to good music, read interesting books, learn foreign languages and much more.
In social networks, influencers and bloggers discuss topics which may interest you, such as fitness, fashion or cookery.
But there are also negative aspects of social media. It has woven itself into the fabric of many people’s lives and although many people enjoy it, some aspects can be detrimental to our mental health.
Being regularly bombarded with images of perfect bodies, perfect makeup, perfect faces and the perfect life can leave people feeling down about themselves because we’re misled to believe that this is the reality.
Adolescent girls and young women are the most vulnerable and affected by social media, specifically when it comes to body dissatisfaction.
Research into constant exposure to images that portray slim body types and cosmetically-altered bodies found that girls and women who were exposed to these types of images rated significantly high levels of dissatisfaction in their own body.
Platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, create an environment that is based on rating people and earning approval through likes, reposts, and comments which creates a link between body image, self-esteem and social belonging.
Instagram has transformed many of us into actual role models with unparalleled power to shape the ways others interact with our world and sometimes we don’t take this role seriously enough. Instagram gives regular people power to shape the world, no matter how many followers you have, it’s important to use your account wisely as you don’t know who admires it and who is influenced by it.
In the Kardashian era, being famous for being famous is incredibly trendy, and incredibly easy.
Influencers are essentially that. They are social media users who have established their social media credibility and they influence a large audience. Influencing has become a career where, depending on how many followers you have, you can earn hefty sums for posting a sponsored photo or Instagram story.
Selena Gomez posted a photo of herself sipping a bottle of coca-cola through a red and white straw as part of the “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign. The photo became the most popular image on Instagram. As a result, Selena’s 6.9 million likes and more than 170K individual comments made an incredibly successful campaign for Coca-cola.
But things can go wrong, Scott Disick posted an image of himself with the BOOTEA product. In the caption, he copied and pasted the instructions from the company that he received through email which included the time to post and what to write which all his followers saw.
This mistake gave both Scott and BOOTEA an unreliable reputation.
Being obsessed with all these influencers does impact our social interactions. We’re less mindful of the people around us as we’re too attached to our phones. As modern-day humans, we are put under pressure to be like these influencers.
We can’t help it but we are always on standby for the next big thing online, taking away from our normal lives.
Amy Louise Donohoe
Image Credit: Jason Howie