Social Media Self-Discovery

Media platforms contribute to shaping our individuality

Social media. For most people, these two words evoke a variety of emotions, questions, and concerns. As the years progress, social media has become more and more influential in our everyday lives. Whether it’s finding out what Lebron ate for lunch or being updated on major events, social media is relentlessly striving to capture our attention.

As we take a closer look at social media’s influence, we see its impact, or lack thereof, on how students express their own individuality.

To get the local spin at MN, three students stepped up and expressed their opinion on how social media affects their view of themselves and how they live their lives.

Senior Lewis Nguyen has been interested in social media since the beginning of his eighth-grade year and now spends up to ten hours a day mainly scrolling through Instagram feeds and TikTok videos.

“Social media is an outlet for me to connect with other people that I would never think that I would get to know,” Nguyen said.

For most, self-expression on social media is a high priority. As for Nguyen, he sees it as an opportunity to show others his individuality. 

“Since I am so unique and ethnic and different in such a white canvas community, I feel like I bring a little bit of spice and something different to the table,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen is not alone in spending a lot of time on social media. Sophomore Grant Petersen-Jensen also spends lots of his time following social media trends. He not only gets ideas from media platforms but gains inspiration as well.

“Trends are going around that I’m constantly getting exposed to and I think ‘Oh that’s cool, I should do that,’” Petersen-Jensen said.

A big part of social media is the different influencers and the audiences they harbor. The content that influencers create impacts many. 

 “I see a lot of influencers and other people who I look up to and that influences who I want to be,” Petersen-Jensen said.

Freshman Linnea Krizmanich has a different outlook on social media. She veers away from the posting aspect on media platforms, as she doesn’t want to jeopardize her future.

“I don’t want to accidentally post something that could negatively affect me in the future,” Krizmanich said.

Although people are worried about the future, they are also concerned with the present. Currently, social media has set high standards for how people appear and perform which promotes insecurities.

“I’ve personally struggled with body dysmorphia and that has been mainly influenced by mainstream internet and social media,” Krizmanich said. 

An ExpressVPN survey points out that social media has a major role in mental and physical health. Out of 1,500 Americans, 86% of those ages 16-24 revealed that social media has a negative effect on their happiness. 

For sophomore Joshua Hrynkow, happiness lies outside of social media. Or more accurately, in the air. Hrynkow has been flying planes with an instructor for the past 2 ½ years at Millard Airport.

“[Social media] doesn’t find me fulfillment, most of it’s very shallow,” Hrynkow said. 

Hrynkow prefers to pursue his passion for flying planes, rather than spend time on social networks. 

“I think [social media] contributes to being a part of the general herd, it doesn’t allow you to truly be yourself because you are trying to worry about what other people think of you,” Hyrnkow said.

As social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives, it is important not to let it stifle our individuality or twist our perceptions about ourselves and others.

“Social media has really put this image that you have to be perfect and polished. When in reality, everyone’s messy and everyone is a human being and makes mistakes,” Nguyen said.