Online presence has its advantages and disadvantages. We have all heard how being behind a screen could give you freedom and how people use it to their advantage and say things they might never tell someone to their face.There’s also no doubt that web-based media has helped various organisations in developing and advancing themselves, as well as people in better interfacing and speaking with each other. Social media has helped to raise awareness and continue the conversation about mental illness, body positivity campaigns, and non-profit.
Despite the numerous efforts by people trying to help through social media, it has also provided many people with problems involving mental health and emotional insecurities. People are conscious of what they post, how they post, when they post, and on which platform they post. I am not just talking about women and the unrealistic beauty standards they are expected to follow. I’ve had conversations with my friends and brothers where they asked me if their picture was ‘post-worthy’ or if they should use a filter or even say ‘you can see my pimple in this, I can’t post this’. I was shocked listening to them ask these things because, as a woman, I’ve always heard people tell me or my sisters to do these things to get rid of my pimples, or how to lose weight, or how to dress. My brothers were not subjected to such conversations.
It is odd to see men care about such things because we are made to think that a man is expected to study and earn well and not care about looking nice or wearing nice things. It is so surprising how people care so much about a stranger’s opinion who might see their post once and not even remember them.
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Every image you see on social media platforms has been filtered, altered, and adjusted to make it more appealing to the eye. It’s a never-ending circle. Let’s face it, not every day is packed with delicious food, sunshine, and exciting activities.
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing our friends’ and even our own lives altered online. We believe that those people’s lives are great, amazing, and full of skill, but ours are simply different. If a child does not know how to deal with the pressure, drama, and negative effects of social media, it can be very challenging. Though there are many positive parts of social media, I believe we should prohibit kids from using it since it can be incredibly addictive. It can also negatively impact their mental health. Most teenagers have not yet discovered their actual identities, and with the added pressure of social media, they may not feel good about themselves, leading to life-altering mistakes.
Social media platforms are spaces made for people to express themselves freely without being judged. It’s a place where you have complete freedom to speak your mind and let it all out, whether it’s about a personal ailment, a political issue, or something you believe should differ from what it is. How did a space like that become a platform where people are being judged based on their appearance or on how they choose to express themselves?
Things are presented on social media in a way that make them unachievable. Whether it’s about their body image, food, lifestyle, or activities, the internet picture is more flattering than reality. What often gets forgotten in the process is that everyone has a unique story behind their photographs, as well as individual skills and flaws. Everyone experiences melancholy, loneliness, and a variety of other feelings. When we feel stuck in the world of social media, we have three options—take a break, avoid it, and get off the gadget.We are all human beings. Everyone has their moments, we just don’t see them on social media. No matter how beautiful their life appears online, they are regular individuals behind the screen, just like you and me.
The author is a student at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. Views are personal