Editorial: Live your life--don't just post it

In today’s era of Internet and technology, social media is a focal point of teenagers’ lives. From Instagram to Twitter to Snapchat, platforms of communication and sharing are more common than ever before.

However, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning your own accounts on these websites. The plus side is that you are able to connect with people from across the world with a phone or laptop. This allows you to be more outgoing, learn about the world outside of your hometown, and communicate with friends from distant places.

Social media has become a powerhouse in teenage entertainment, with kids spending hours a day checking their feeds on Twitter, liking photos on Instagram, and watching stories on Snapchat. People also will follow celebrities to feel as if they are living the life of one. Seeing a famous person’s posts makes you feel in the know and “hip.” It is easy to follow famous people and understand their daily lives, and it makes anyone watching them feel as if they in the mix of it all, when in reality they are not.

While it is good for a young adult to be present online, there are instances where too much of social media can be harmful. It is true that too much of anything can be bad for you. Spending numerous amounts of time on social media can make you forget about what is in the real world. It is more common to see younger generations put more effort into their online appearance than ever before. Online, you have to look good, talk smart, and be cool. In the real world sometimes it is hard to be all of those things, while it is easy to access them on the Internet. One can improve his/her entire personality with a click of a button on Facebook or Instagram, while to actually become a different person takes effort and hard work. The simplicity of social media makes it too easy for young individuals to change who they are.

When I go out to spend time with my friends, the first action I think about is to post something on my Snapchat, so everyone can see what I am up to, and whenever I am at an event or party, I make sure to get a good picture to post on Instagram. Sometimes it feels as if I am living my life just to post on social media, and that is the problem.

For instance, people will attend concerts and videotape a majority of the concert on their Snapchat stories, rather than live in the moment and enjoy the music. One goes to a concert to see an artist live, not record them just to watch them on a phone later. Concerts used to have swaying lighters to convey emotions about a song, but nowadays the swaying of phones flashing is much too common

It is becoming more common that teens worry about how they project themselves with their online personas more than their personas in the real world. Teens care more about Facebook friends than their real friends, people will stalk someone on Twitter instead of talking to them in person, or someone will work on potential Instagram posts rather than work on homework. In school, students are on social media in class rather than focusing on the lessons being taught.

It is prevalent that the perception of someone online is almost as important as the perception of the person himself. With more colleges, employers, and parents studying teens on social media, having a productive, powerful online presence makes you more likely to succeed. That is the main reason why social media has become such an important part of people’s lives. The concept of social media is to project you in the best possible way to others, and that sometimes is not always the truth.

All in all, it is pertinent that today’s youth concentrate more on their actual selves rather than focus on a face on a screen. It is more important to have genuine friends than followers, and it is more important to spend time living your life instead of posting about it.


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