"Shall I post this picture?", "Does my outfit look good?", "Is it Instagram-worthy?"
Social media is a part of our day-to-day life that we just can't live without. Whether it's scrolling through Instagram, messaging on Snapchat or looking at other people's stories, according to a survey by Tag '20, the majority of teenagers spend at least three hours a day on social media platforms. Half of us admit to using selfie-enhancing apps such as Facetune to retouch, blur and reshape images of ourselves before posting them onto platforms. Some wonder why these apps still exist as they portray unrealistic images of people and celebrities that others then aspire to be like. When interviewed, Katie Brown (not her real name) aged 17, said "I have often manipulated images of myself to feel better about what I'm posting and to fit more into society's standards". 80% of us are too insecure and scared of how people view us on social media and as a result, delete pictures we once liked, according to our survey. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian are often seen promoting fitness and weight loss products, further forcing that 'perfect body' idea on their following, when realistically that idea is unachievable for most.
Not only is there a filter to the way we look but also to the lives we allow people to see. Even though a lot of celebrities with a large following count on social media apps promote a happy and healthy life, showcasing their luxurious lifestyles, many of these aren't as real as they look. With young people watching these celebrities' lives unfold everyday, whether that be on Snapchat, Instagram or Youtube, it can be a dangerous world. Many young teens aspire to a somewhat fictional and untrue lifestyle but it needs to stop as no one's life is perfect and everyone is unique and special in their own way. Tag '20 interviewed, Alfie (not his real name) aged 18, who said "I often get quite anxious going out now after seeing lots of male influencers who I look nothing like. It's really hard sometimes, especially in summer when you're wanting to wear shorts and vests but get too worried about how people compare you to social media models".
When surveyed, on average our generation started using social media at around the age of 11–12. Some may say this is too young as they were exposed to multiple dangers such as grooming, harassment and bullying. On the other hand, others said it was a good thing as it made them more aware of what's going on and they were mature enough to understand the good and bad aspects of it all. Some feel lucky with how old they were when first using social media; younger generations are being exposed to it from such a young age, that it's affecting their mental health and the way they see themselves even in junior school.