My Relationship with Social Media

Social media has a different meaning to everyone. Some people thrive on it, while others loathe it, I position myself in between these two opinions. I am a digital native, after all. My brain is conditioned to open Snapchat or Instagram as soon as I unlock my phone. I’ll try to check the weather, and my thumb automatically opens a social media app, and I hate it. I don’t like that it’s my first thought/action when I touch my phone. I like that social media is a way for me to connect with others, discover new things, and entertain myself. On the other hand, social media is full of a lot of toxicity and negativity. Social media can very quickly turn into an unhealthy obsession. I think social media is also a great way to prove self-control and growth.

I realized that I go through waves of social media. It’s a weird cycle where I’m on social media all the time one week, then the next, I’m barely active. This usually has something to do with how busy or tired I am during the week. My low-energy weeks have the highest screen time. During this time, my attention span is maybe thirty seconds, all thanks to TikTok. I’ll enjoy the app for a bit, that is until I reach the point where nothing else will entertain me. I would lose interest in TV shows and movies almost immediately because of this. I am not happy with where I am at mentally during this time. Shortly after I reach this point, I’ll get a wave of motivation. My concentration will improve, as well as my mood and attitude, and I have more overall energy.

https://www.mentalup.co/blog/social-media-addiction

Of course, everyone knows and uses social media to keep in touch with others. I think it’s quite interesting to check up on old classmates and see what they’re up to in life. It is also great to share news and information about yourself. My top two social media apps are Snapchat and Instagram. I use Snapchat most often to text my friends, mainly because we can send pictures and videos. It’s nice seeing their face or hearing their voice. Personally, I think it’s just a better way to communicate in general. It is easier to send videos explaining something, rather than typing it. It saves time for both of us. Pictures and videos also make it easier when explaining something or telling a story because you can show the person what you’re talking about.

Other social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook are useful in the business and professional world. Most employers will look at your LinkedIn profile to get a better idea if you would be a good fit for the job. Facebook provides more background information about you, as well.

LinkedIn is a service that has millions of users. The platform provides users with the opportunity to form connections with others who have similar business interests. Tom Edward emphasizes the importance of LinkedIn in his article, Why LinkedIn is Crucial for Business. LinkedIn lets you expand your network, engage with others, promote your business, support your website, educate clients, and improve your brand’s credibility. 

https://directmsging.com/linkedin-for-business/

I also like using social media to look up brands or companies. On their social media pages, brands will often post different uses for their products or videos of their service in action. It’s a wonderful resource for doing some extra research before going somewhere new.

For example, let’s say I want to get another tattoo. Of course, I’m going to want to see what all the artist’s work looks like. Viewing the business’s profile will give you an idea of some of the better tattoos they’ve done. They want to show their best work to get more customers. It’s also important to look at their tagged photos. You’re likely to find out more information and get a better idea of how talented the artist is. After viewing the business profile, I want to find the artist’s social media page. I want to see more of their work specifically. Going down this rabbit hole will make me more comfortable with getting the tattoo and trust the artist.

You see something new on social media every day. Whether it’s a new trend or an event that’s going on in the world, there’s always new content. That’s something that I really enjoy about social media. I like that I can discover and learn new things. Pinterest and TikTok are my favorite social media channels for doing so. Pinterest is full of inspiration and aesthetics. I find my recipes, fashion trends, travel ideas, and so much more here. When I’m in the mood for something funny or more attention-grabbing and entertaining, TikTok is my go-to. You really never know what you’re going to find on your For You Page.

https://mnfst.medium.com/what-is-tiktok-6bc8d448f138

           Social media isn’t all beaches and sunshine. There is a lot of toxicity and negativity that can’t be avoided, as well. There are people out there who want to watch the world burn, and they are sure to share that on social media. A study by Paediatr Child Heath discusses how eating disorders are becoming more relevant as children and adolescents are more exposed to the media.

Studies have reported a significant change in the weight and size of female and male models portrayed throughout the media in western society and the concept of the ‘perfect or ideal body.’ Over time the cultural ideal for women’s body size and shape has become considerably thinner and leaner and men’s body size and shape has become stronger and more muscular (Morris, A. M., & Katzman, D. K., 2003).

Social media is also notorious for causing many issues with self-image. The beauty standard on social media is incredibly unrealistic. Photos are edited! What you see on social media isn’t real! Seeing these perfect models on social media is often the cause of eating disorders. Social media has engraved the idea that to be pretty, you have to be skinny. Which is absolutely false. During adolescence is when you’re most vulnerable to these unrealistic beauty standards.

The majority of people spend all their time and energy trying to gain followers and a social media presence. Others avoid social media at all costs. And some just use it for memes. Social media has a specific role in everyone’s life. To me, I enjoy it in small doses. I enjoy scrolling through and discovering new content. I also enjoy taking breaks from it and reflecting upon myself. Social media is a wonderful resource to express yourself and discover new things. I think that social media is only going to grow and become more significant in our daily life. I say we take advantage of having this technology, rather than complain about how it is ruining relationships.

Resources:

https://tomjamesedwards.medium.com/why-linkedin-is-crucial-for-business-2230751b7246

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792687/

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4 thoughts on “My Relationship with Social Media

  1. This was a subject I was going to touch on in my blog but I decided to save this for another day, so I am glad you wrote about it. Today this is becoming more and more of an issue. I mean sometimes fall victim to it myself if I am not careful. I am a strong advocate of what you see on social media is not reality, because it’s not. But I really enjoyed how you use your social media platforms in a positive way. Great insight!

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  2. I do like the more personal aspect of using Snapchat. Like you said, there is just a lot that you can miss while typing a message rather than sending a video or even a picture. I think also putting a face to what you are saying can change how a person responds. People tend to put nasty stuff out on the internet because they have the anonymity behind a username.

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  3. Hey, Iris! It’s interesting to see what social media platforms you are using. My main social media platform is Facebook because that was the main social media channel that came out first and what I have used everyday and am used to. I know more and more younger people are using SnapChat and Instagram. It’s great to hear about how you use those platforms to connect with friends and family.

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  4. Hi, Iris! As a Digital Native myself, I relate to this blog post quite a lot. I agree that there are a lot of positives, as well as a lot of negatives, that come along with Social Media. I like your example of Body Image issues. As a woman, I get a lot of targeted advertisements for clothing and beauty products. Many of these ads do feature thinner models, as you noted. However, I have noticed recently (maybe the past year or so?) that I’m getting a lot more ads that feature plus-size models, as well as models with distinguishing features like freckles, moles, or stretch marks that many might consider “flaws.” I appreciate this inclusivity and I’m much more likely to make a purchase from brands that make a conscious effort to include all types of women in their advertisements. Great blog post and excellent points!

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