Social Media Distorting Teenage Reality


Graphic by Lindsey Bolin

Jennifer Love, Writer

The world people live in is constantly changing and constantly improving. It is a world where people used to carry a two pound brick phone, and now they carry a five ounce smartphone. Phones today have many features that dominate the internet and smartphones, it is called Social Media. Social Media is defined as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. These include Instagram, Snapchat and other similar sites. 

“Yeah, I have social media,” sophomore Claire Lewis said, “I follow my friends and accounts that have to do with my hobbies, like dance and art.”

On social media people can follow a variety of people. They can follow celebrities, like Kylie Jenner or Blake Lively, their friends and family, or topics they are interested in like art, dance, or sports.

“My personal opinion is that social media can be very damaging, but it can be very helpful too,” design and technology administrator Tammy Newsom said.

With the use of social media comes the issue of a distorted reality. 24% of people say that the use of social media has negatively affected them, 15% have said that it causes them to have an unrealistic view of other people.

“I think when people see pictures that are edited and they believe them, it’s sad because they look at it and think it’s a perfect world when it’s not that way,” Newsom said, “It does distort because they are taking a moment of someone’s life and snapshotting it, but you really don’t know what’s going on around them.”  

Not all pictures seen on the internet are real, they can be lightly edited or they can be heavily edited. People have the ability to alter the reality of their pictures, they can clear their skin, make themselves look skinnier with simple apps on their phone. With technology today, there is so much more leniency to access these apps. The problem with this is that people, specifically teenagers, are impressionable; it is easy for them to believe everything they see and never question it.

“I think we all have felt envy when we see someone who we don’t know on social media look ‘perfect’ and we all wish to be like them,” Lewis said, “I’ve never felt like it was the end of my world if I didn’t change myself, but I might consider it because of social media.”