Swipe and Click Bella Busk

Society's view on “perfect” is something that affect almost everything we do without us even realising it. Its built up of many unwritten rules of how women and men should look, act, and basically live. Society says you need to love yourself and never worry about what others think but the sad truth is it very difficult for anyone to wake up in the morning and not think once about how others would view them and if what they are wearing/doing is socially acceptable. There's not a single thing you could possibly do that people wouldn't judge you for and it basically make your life a living hell. And because of the time period we live in social media makes it a whole lot worse...lucky us. From the moment you downloaded the app you have instantly started a popularity contest where with the literally tap of a finger everyone could be making fun of you without you knowing. That most of the reason why I want to find out how much social media affects us on a daily life especially for the kids/ teens growing up in the midst of it.

On most social media apps it's started to turn more into a “keep up with your friends” type of thing and more into a place where your the most vulnerable and you always know it. Don't get me wrong, social media has helped so much in pussing our society forward into letting people “be themselves”, and when I say that I mean they let gay people be gay and transgenders be transgenders, that's about it. But clearly there is a reason mental illness rates have grown tremendously.

“Earlier this year, British charity ChildLine found cyberbullying to be on the rise; with children reporting 4,507 cases of cyberbullying in 2012-13 compared to 2,410 in 2011-12” (Norton)

This is just talking about the cases reported, there are probably millions more of people who were cyber bullied and honestly some didn't realize it. But, the constant pressure to look good in a photo you about to post, how many likes you get, and how many followers you have does take a tole. It not hard to not like yourself, even more so with being able to so easily compare yourself to everyone else. “ The impact of this could be catastrophic feelings of low self-esteem...There has also been a study conducted by psychologist Dr Paula Durlofsky, which was done with the aim of digging into how to establish a healthy balance between real-time relationships and virtual connections. This study demonstrated a correlation between social media use and depression. Body dysmorphia is another area, which has been affected by social media.”(Noton ). Not only is it cyberbullying putting kids down it's also just the stress it put on them. Its causing kids to feel uncomfortable being themselves and being comfortable in their own skin no matter what shape they have and that really sucks. Its turned from a place where they share the photos they think they look good in, into a constant fear of being as perfect as everyone else.

Women have always had to worry about looking good. Meaning doing their hair, wearing makeup, dressing nice, and make sure they are presenting themselves in a good way.

“Guys tend to have a picture like, I don't know, they're standing on a mountain looking like they've climbed the mountain, or they're holding a big fish or they're doing something manly, or in their car. ... But the girls' pictures ... tend to be very different; they tend to be a lot more sexualized” ( NPR).

Social media continues to push the stereotypes farther and farther. There's is still the unwritten rule of how men and women need to act/ show themselves to the world. Women, have to look “hot” in order to impress the guy and show that they are better than the other girls. Men though, have to look “manly” in order to prove to girls and themselves they are top notch. Hot and manly are both words defined by society and have suddenly started getting more and more narrow with the people in describes. “‘Sexism has filtered into new arenas that adults don’t see or understand because they’re not using social media the same way,’ says Katie, a student I interviewed at Barnard. ‘They think, Oh, how can there be anything wrong here if it’s just Snapchat or Instagram—it’s just a game.’ But if this is a game, it’s unlike any other we’ve ever played. And the stakes for girls could not be higher” ( Mock). The pressure on girls is still high and sadly still raising, its now become very hard to even post a picture without first studying it to find every little part you don't like and comparing it to other people. But for boys it's as easy as a few clicks, maybe if the audience was a bit more perfect he would look at it for a bit but there's not nearly not as much stress about looks. It seems like we have made so much progress in the topic of sexism but it's really just changing how sexism is presented.

Social media is now a very important of every teens life and it no wonder why there are so many problems with mental health and suicide now. It is changing the way we view ourselves (our bodies) and others. Time is passing and society is changing drastically but not all of the changes are good. Actually most of them are bad and make everyone feel bad about themselves, or points out the small, none important things we dislike about ourselves. And if you think about it the weirdest part about society is that everyone hates it, but yet we are the ones who are writing the rules and going along with it.


Created with images by Unsplash - "phone cell cell phone" • Sean MacEntee - "facebook like button"

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