Technology has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are so engraved in people’s lives that a we feel anxiety simply by going a day without our phones attached to our hands. Just recently, I overheard two girls talking about their Snapchat streaks. One girl was worried, telling the other “I haven’t done my streaks yet and it’s almost midnight.” It seemed as though it was more important for her to send a picture to someone she barely knew than to have an intellectual conversation with the person sitting right next to her.
I am not foolish enough to assume that girl I overheard is the only person who has had anxiety over social media, for technology poses many problems. Apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are known to cause a “fear of missing out,” more commonly known as “FOMO,” as well as anxiety and depression. Instagram is a place where people are free to post nearly anything. However, the vast majority of people only post the positive aspects of their day. Even then, photos are often cropped and edited before they are uploaded to one’s account. This is something that many individuals have a hard time understanding. When scrolling through Instagram, one sees the so-called perfect lives that others are enjoying. This leads them to question their own lives. Teenagers do not see the filters and work that is put into a photo; they merely see the picture and think “I wish I could be like that.”
It is common for one to stumble upon a picture of a group of friends laughing together, or people on a nice vacation with their families, or someone’s mirror-selfie, while meanwhile he or she is sitting on the bed alone, wishing to be with friends, on a luxurious trip, or looking like all the perfect people on Instagram. The fights with friends, the quarrels with family, and the makeup put on remains unnoticed. Thoughts of self hate and devalue only grow stronger. This spiral of self demoting thoughts is what turns a happy person into an unhappy person and an already fragile individual into a depressed teenager.
Simply put, social media is not worth your time, energy, or thoughts. Experience life without the pressures of Instagram and be free from the unnecessary anxiety that comes with all social media. Teens are already stressed out individuals, why stress yourself out more by looking at an unrealistic picture of someone else’s life and comparing it to your own? I promise you, a life without social media is a life worth living.