Filter of social media clouds judgment on people

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Bianca Antunez/Contributing Writer

If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen. That seems to be a modern-day adage of the millennial generation.

The stress for individuals, especially college students, to be #instaworthy or #goals these days is something that has taken this generation by storm. In a life behind photo filters, more people are sharing their lives for the world to see everyday.  It is compulsory, it seems, to add a photo, a video, a collage of moments each day to share with friends, family and even perfectly good strangers.

Today, one can simply search a name and click through several social media accounts to find out more about a specific person. Just by browsing around any given social media platform, one can find a wide variety of subjects such as travel, news, celebrities, fashion, sports, or simply what family and friends are up to.

You name it, and social media probably has it. It begs the question if we as products of a steeply technological society, have ever stopped to think how social media actually affects our day to day lives, especially as we mindlessly scroll through our endless social feeds.

Kassandra Casanova, an English major at FIU, describes how she typically feels when she logs onto social media to see people constantly posting pictures of themselves, going out, having fun and having many friends.

“I need to have something cool to post like that as well. I need to go out and get cool Instagram pictures or something for Snapchat,” she said.

Casanova also mentioned how social media, which could be used as a form of expression, could also make you frustrated at your own life because you aren’t doing what others are doing even though it may not be realistic. For example, you may compare your own accomplishments to others your age, especially when you see people your age traveling around the world, getting engaged and reaching other celebratory milestones.  

Courtesy of Flickr.

Dr. Dulce Jane, a psychologist who deals with adolescents, understands the social media phenomenon from a professional perspective, as this is what she does on a daily basis.

“The person who might have once been upset of not getting an invitation to a birthday party now might be upset because his friend got more likes than he did on a Facebook post. A girl who lights up when a cute boy smiles at her across the room might now feel that same level of happiness when he winks at her via an emoji. The world changes. The people who live in it do not. This is true 200 years ago and it will be the same 200 hundred years from now.”

Dr. Jane, the outpatient coordinator for the Institute for Child and Family Health in Kendall, FL, also discussed how individuals feel pressured when they see others on social media seemingly doing better than them, and how it could make them wonder why they cannot reach that level of achievement or happiness. Maybe someone has a better job or got into a better university. Whatever the case may be, it will ultimately pressure someone into thinking why that is not them, because a picture can make someone forget about all the circumstances of the particular occurrence.

On a more positive note, Dr. Jane mentioned the concept “Ambient Awareness,” which she described could make people content to see their family and friends doing well and thriving.

Aside from the fact that social media can be a way to check up on the world around us, your accounts can also open the flood gates to your future employer’s decision to hire you or not. Some of you may now be saying #OMG #SCARY.

Aimee Rodriguez, a political science major at FIU, when asked about what her thoughts on having a potential employer check her social media accounts were, stated that “it would not be a big deal.”

We can only hope that everyone feels the same way and has the same confidence that Aimee does about their social media accounts. It is no secret that these past years have shown hardships of young people not being able to obtain jobs and getting rejected from schools because of inappropriate posts. Universities and jobs all around the country cannot stress this enough. If you do not want your grandmother to see it, you probably should not be posting it.

Do not let that happen to you. Social media is all about having fun and expressing one’s self, but remember to not cross the line by posting inappropriate photographs or malicious comments. What we post online is there forever.

Going online is entering a whole new universe. Just like with our real “offline” (#IRL) lives, we can choose to have positive or negative experiences. Do not let the overwhelming feed of Instagram fitness models make you second guess yourself, and do not think of yourself as a loser or less-than because you are not currently residing in #BoraBora and are not relating to the newest #relationshipgoals. In fact, you may be relating to videos of cats rather than you are at these relationship posts.

Half of the things you see on social media are enhanced. No one lives the perfect life that their Instagram profile leads you to believe. I am all for documenting moments to share, but never forget to actually experience and enjoy the moment while it is happening.

The views and opinions expressed in “Bianca’s Banter” do not reflect that of FIU Student Media’s editorial team.

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