Is Social Media Changing You?


Jenna Jones, Staff Writer

When people think of social media they think of all of the amazing things that come with it. You can become an influencer and make a good amount of cash. It is a great resource to promote content and has become a fantastic research tool. Families all across the world have been reunited by using social media. But, social media is not our primary connection; we can send mail and talk to our relatives.  There is an average amount of positivity that comes out of social websites but it nowhere near compares to the amount of negativity that comes out of it. Influence is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If someone influences someone else, they are indirectly changing a person or thing.

Social media puts you on a high podium, a podium for the entire world to see. You are put in a transparent glass box in which you can be judged or applauded. Your friends, colleagues, and even family members can see you through the box; and make opinions about you or your social media. You can become famous throughout social media, but If you make one wrong post, one mistake, your life as you know it will forever change. What happens after you click that post button, it then is completely out of your hands. You can not predict what people will say, or comment on your post, which then in return gives people anxiety. Some may see the world as a scary place because of all of the riots that are being posted on the internet; so what do they do? They start living their life in fear, doing everything under a precise schedule, and living life in a different way than what it is to. “Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls, our influence is determined by the quality of our being.” Dale E. Turner. This may start to sound repetitive, but it needs to be heard. We are being influenced! Whether it is negative or positive, it is still happening. You can not control that, but you can help control “how” you are. We have to stop accepting it, accepting it to manipulate our beliefs and our thoughts. 

“How can music change the way we act and speak?” “It is just something that I like to listen to, it does not affect me whatsoever…right” Well, these lyrics are just portraying how others see the world. If people are hearing how others are feeling and deciding to cope with their problems, they will start to do it themselves. Some people see our world with lots of drugs, sex, and violence. It makes them think that the bad things then become “normal.” In a world with no music, people would have their own thoughts, thoughts that have not been created or corrupted by listening to music that the “cool” kids are. The genre of the music that we listen to has been shown to impact illnesses, depression, productivity, and our perception of the world. Researchers have suggested that the type of music can increase aggressive thoughts, or encourage crime. As a whole, we need to learn how to separate what we listen to, and what is the real world. I am not saying music is not important. For some people, without music, they would not have a sound way to express the way that they feel.

 People see others posting pictures of their healthy diets and workout routines. Then are engaged by the amount of feedback and attention that that person is getting drawn to themselves. What do they start doing? They start pushing themselves to unreachable limits to look like that person. Insecurities are being influenced and created by social media platforms. If I do not get the number of likes that I wanted on that post, it is definitely because of the size of my chunky cheeks and the acne that I have on my face. What do I then do? I take the post down, but in my mind; there is still that subconscious thought whirling through my head telling me how many people saw and giving false ideas on how they perceived that picture. That I will not be liked because I do not look like her and that then those thoughts start to spread to others and leave people to live with those insecurities. This has become a mental problem in ages from 9 to 25 years olds. People are losing their way! Starting by isolating themselves from others and normal social activities. Becoming people who we are not, changing the way we talk, the way we dress, even the way we think. We envy and judge other people without even realizing it. Wanting to be just like everyone else, and when others are doing it; it then becomes absurd wrong of them to do. Our general population is becoming more anxious, depressed, and not wanting to come outside of their comfort zone because of the way they are being influenced.  Social media is causing teens to think that the only way out, is to kill themselves; because they did not get enough views, or enough likes on their Instagram post. Which in return is giving people the physiological mindset of negative beliefs that are ridiculously influenced by social media.  As age goes down, kids are being brought into the world thinking that their photo has got to have a filter on it to seem pretty. Or, the only way to communicate to our peers is by sending 1 streak to everyone on our friend’s list once a day. The way we live is to adapt and start doing the same things that others are doing around us. It has just become a natural habit that we have, but it is our job to control and limit it. We can be the ones to make a difference, to change how others are perceiving the world. Do you want to know a little secret? It is not real. What you are seeing on social media, or even in real life; is not real. It is just the way that we are perceiving things. People tend to make their lives seem much more glamorous on camera, but it isn’t. They have insecurities, family issues, and personal struggles. We as a whole need to disconnect from social media platforms, it makes a huge impact on one’s life without it. There is an average of 2 hours a day spent on social media, we do not even eat that long in a single day.

People are being fed with positivity and negativity from all around the world. It can come in the forms of music, posts, and even small drama happening around us. The more attention that the subject is getting, the more power that it gets. Other people’s worlds start to revolve around it, around that singer’s new baby girl, or that TikTok star that just killed himself. People get attention from everything that they do, no one has ever heard of that singer, and the bullies of that kid are now feeling remorse. Say, someone, a person, at your school makes an inappropriate rumor and you, what do you do? Wait, no, no, not what would you do, if you were a bystander, what would you do in that position. Would you just let it slide because you do not want to be made fun of? Or would you confront that person and tell them that it needs to stop. That’s how you could become an influence to others around you.

This whole time I have been talking about the negative effects of social media and how we are being influenced by it. But that is not my point of this, my point is to talk about what we can do on how to make an influence. We have a lot of inner dialogue and beliefs when it comes to being an influencer, or being influenced. Who are you? What is it that you want to bring to the table every day? Do you just want to live a normal life and having nothing that you are extremely proud of? No, you want to be known for doing something, something big! But it doesn’t have to be big, we just have to make a difference in 1 person’s life. That is all it takes, when people see what you start doing; they start doing it as well. It is called the ripple effect, where everything that you do, affects the next person. So, live life at the moment, do not wait for something good to happen; make it happen. Your life is your choice, it is all mind over matter. What do you think you can do with your life? Sooner or later, everyone will be making a difference in each other’s lives; whether it is good or bad. Even when the world feels like it is going downhill, there is always an end of the tunnel; a light. You do not have to know when you will get to the light, or what it will be. You just have to look on the bright side, for things to get better. You have got to develop self-awareness, you’ll be more conscious of your attitudes, reactions, choices, words, and actions. Grow and support others, give yourself and others credit where credit is due. And lastly, speak the cold hard truths. Show that you are willing to name the elephant in the room, be able to ask the question everyone’s thinking, but no one’s saying, and give difficult but valuable feedback with compassion This will influence you, and everyone around your lives.