Is social media a blessing or a curse? Not long ago one of my friends decided to delete her Instagram account and as a person who loves the app and uses it constantly, I couldn’t understand her decision. Her answer was simple: it’s the pressure.
The pressure of posting the perfect picture, with the perfect filter and outfit and so on. You will never see someone advertising their negative traits or posting an unflattering selfie. Nowadays, social media is all about projecting our best, unrealistic self. We spend an awful amount of time trying to create a digital identity that would only show how good we look or how funny and interesting we are. In our battle for likes we forget how forget how social media can wreck our self-esteem and how we perceive ourselves.
But then it’s not just us who put on the pressure of portraying the ‘perfect life’. It also comes from celebrities or brands, who are the main promoters of unrealistic standards. Studies show that all those lean figures and perfect faces that we see all over Instagram on a daily basis, only lowers our self-perception. Comparing yourself to others becomes a habit and if someone’s life looks remotely better, we start thinking low of our own.
Although the negative effects of social media can impact both genders, women are the main sufferers, especially when it comes to fitness or beauty ideals and expectations that they encounter online. According to a study made by the brand Dove “82 percent of women feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic” and “almost three quarters of women believe social media comments critiquing women’s beauty are destructive to their self-esteem.”
So what is there to do about it? First of all, people should stop comparing themselves to others. We are only comparing ourselves to an ideal, unrealistic figure and not a real representation of a person. And when it comes to the things we share online, they should be a reflection of our offline persona, of our true self.