App addiction

Social media posts often fail to portray the truth

Lahari Ramini, News Editor

It’s a typical school night. After a long day, you’ve come home. You decide to take a little break before you start your homework. What do you do? You pick up your phone, click on Instagram, and mindlessly scroll through a number of posts.

This is the real world of a number of teenagers and young adults in our world. The Pew Research Center reports that 71% of U.S teens use at least one form of social media. In fact, in a survey of 100 MN students, it was found that a staggering 86% used two to three forms of social media on a daily basis.

While social media provides an invaluable resource by allowing people to instantly connect, we need to realize that it conjures up a perspective of people that aren’t necessarily correct. It creates a ‘false reality’, showing that somebody’s life may be certain way, when in truth, it is not.

A 2017 study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported that young adults with higher social media use felt more socially isolated than those who used it less. This is because of the way that we perceive people on social media.

For example, many of us only post the best parts of our lives on social media: when we’re with friends, when we’re on vacation, etc. But, this isn’t the reality. We don’t post or show the downs, or the unappealing, parts of our lives.

Most of the time, social media refuses to capture the worse and less appealing aspects of our lives.

This is why when we scroll through social media, we see this filtered reality of people’s lives. Unintentionally, we find ourselves comparing our lives to others. This can lead us to feel lonely and think that our lives are uninteresting and boring compared to others.

In an article for the New York Times, sociologist Karen Zraik agrees.

“The depression and anxiety in today’s American teenagers have been fueled by the presence of social media use. It gives them a false reality that they live in, often worse than their actual reality,” Zraik said.

We fail to realize that the majority of us post only the good, and every single person has ups and downs in their life. This unintentional effect of social media can be detrimental to our society.

Social media allows us to do something we have never done before. We can connect with others constantly, and while this is good, we can’t let this connection turn into comparison. We need to realize that everybody leads a different life, and in no way is anybody’s life perfect.